Was this the college end for Indiana standouts Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo?
It’s too early to say.
The two, projected as possible lottery picks in this summer’s NBA draft if they come out early, said they hadn’t decided on their futures in the aftermath of Thursday night’s 61-50 Sweet 16 loss to Syracuse in Washington, D.C.
“I have no clue,” said Zeller, a sophomore center. “I don’t know how the process works from here. I put everything into this team and this tournament. We were hoping to go farther than this. I’m not worrying about the future at all. I don’t know where to go from here.”
Neither did Oladipo, a junior guard.
“I don’t know,” he said. “It’s not been in my mind. The only thing that’s been on my mind is Indiana Hoosier basketball.
“I was focused on playing with these guys as long as I can. I haven’t been thinking about that. We’re really disappointed about the loss. We wanted to go all the way. I’m not thinking of my future, just the present.”
Zeller had 10 points and 10 rebounds (his 16th career double-double) in what might be his last college game. The All-America has 1,157 points and 526 rebounds in two college seasons. He led Indiana in scoring (16.7) and rebounding (6.0) both seasons.
Oladipo had 16 points, three rebounds and three steals. He was the Sporting News national player of the year and also an All-America. His 78 steals this season are a school record. He averaged 13.6 points and 6.4 rebounds.
The odd Duck
Forgive Dana Altman and the Oregon Ducks if they have a bit of an inferiority complex this weekend. And no, this isn’t a gripe about the selection committee’s seeding.
The 12th-seeded Ducks are in the Midwest Regional semifinals with a veritable Who’s Who of college hoops.
On Friday, they played Louisville — a two-time national champion that was in the Final Four last year, coached by surefire Hall of Famer Rick Pitino.
There’s also Duke, which won its fourth national title three years ago and whose coach, Mike Krzyzewski, has more wins than anyone else in Division I. The Blue Devils’ opponent Friday night was Michigan State, which was seeking its second national title and seventh Final Four under Tom Izzo.
“Fortunately, it’s our team going out there,” Altman said.
Altman is no slouch, either. Oregon is the third school he’s taken to the NCAA tournament, and the Ducks have had 20-win seasons in each of his three years as coach. But this is Oregon’s first NCAA tournament appearance since 2008, and first trip to the Sweet 16 since 2007.
“All three of those programs, because of their coaches, have great records, great traditions,” Altman said. “We’re trying to build a tradition. We’re trying to build something that consistently competes year in and year out. That’s a big challenge for us.”