Where are they now?
During these dark times for Hoosier fans, it’s important to remember some of the good times, so I decided to do a brief recap of where some of our favorite former Hoosiers are now.
I decided to start off with one of my favorite Hoosiers ever, Jordan Hulls. This Indiana Mr. Basketball award-winner played at IU from 2009 to 2013. He was an excellent player all four years, an amazing 3-point shooter, a starter on the team that won the Big Ten outright, and earned a 1-seed in the tournament. After going undrafted, he signed oversees and now plays for Eisbären Bremerhaven. On Feb. 11, 2017, his son Jackson was born, so congrats to him.
Another former Hoosier, guard Verdell Jones, who ranks 24th all time in points and 10th in assists, is playing overseas for Orleans Loiret Basket, after playing on the Santa Cruz Warriors, the Warriors D-League team, last year. In his last game, he posted eight points.
Next, Christian Watford, who should need no introduction. As a four year starter who played from 2009-2013, Watford ranks second all time in IU starts. He is also notorious for his “Wat-shot” he hit vs. Kentucky to upset the No. 1 ranked team and help put IU back on the map. After going undrafted in 2013, he has played for several D-League teams, most recently for the Raptors 905, the Toronto D-League affiliate, after being traded away from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
Next, another Indiana Mr. Basketball award winner and another Hoosier who should need no introduction, Cody Zeller. This former McDonald’s All American was outstanding during his two years at IU, being a member of both the Big Ten all-freshman team, and all Big Ten. In his sophomore year, he put up 16.8 ppg on 57 percent shooting, while also snagging 8.2 rebounds per game. His performance led to him being drafted fourth overall in the draft, by the then Charlotte Bobcats, who are now the Charlotte Hornets. He is currently out with an injury, but has put up 10.8 ppg, along with 6.5 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.
Next, is his teammate, who was drafted two picks ahead of Zeller in the 2013 draft, Victor Oladipo. This two-time all defensive first team Big Ten member and Big Ten defensive player of the year award winner was also an amazing Hoosier, who was by far the best defensive player in the country and an extremely efficient scorer. This led to him being a first team All-American and to being runner up in National Player of the year voting. His performance helped him get drafted so high, at No. 2 overall, by the Magic. During this past offseason, he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he currently puts up 16.3 ppg along with 4.5 rebounds a game and has strung together three 20-point games in his last four outings.
The next player, Eric Gordon, didn’t play as long as the other guys, as he was a one and done in the 07-08 season. However, in only one year, he definitely left had a huge impact, leading the Big Ten in scoring, putting up 20.9 ppg, good enough to make him a third team all-american. He also turned the heads of NBA scouts, helping him get drafted seventh overall by the LA Clippers. After a stint with them, where he had two 20+ ppg seasons, he landed with the New Orleans Pelicans, and is now with the Houston Rockets. He is a prime candidate to win 6th man of the year, as he puts up 17.3 ppg for a very good Houston team.
Our next player, Noah Vonleh, was also a one and done, playing in the 2013-2014 season. After averaging 11.3 points and 9 rebounds, he earned the Big Ten freshman of the year award, and a spot on the third team all Big Ten. He was drafted fourth overall by the Hornets, the same team as Cody Zeller, but has since been traded to the Portland Trail Blazers, where he averages a little over 3 points per game.
My next two players are also my last two, and they were both teammates. After they both had amazing seasons leading IU to another Big Ten outright title, Troy Williams declared for the draft after his junior season, while Yogi Ferrell graduated. However, both went undrafted, but have since landed on their feet. Troy played for the Suns in the preseason, where he was excellent, and led rookies in scoring. He has played in several games for them, but is currently playing for the Iowa Energy in the D-League, where he recently dropped 22 points. Yogi played for the Nets in the summer league and eventually played a few games for them, but ended up back in the D-League. However, after injuries struck the Mavericks point guards, Yogi was called up and did not disappoint. In a string of several good games, he led them to an 8-2 record in his first 10 games and had a ridiculous 32-point night in Portland, where he hit nine of 11 threes, including one in the clutch, helping him ink a 2-year deal to remain with the Mavs.
Which of these Hoosiers is your favorite and did I leave out any? Let me know in the comments.