WASHINGTON DC – Was this the college end for Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo?
It's too early to say.
The Indiana standouts, both 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.
“I have no clue,” said Zeller, a sophomore forward. “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 totaled 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 IU 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-American. His 78 steals this season are a school record. He averaged 13.6 points and 6.4 rebounds. He has 1,117 career points.
Freshman point guard Yogi Ferrell said he'd like to play another year with both, but he knows that's not his call.
“Cody will do what's best for him and his family,” Ferrell said. “Whatever choice he makes, I'll give him full support. The team will give him full support. And wherever he ends up, he'll be great.
“Vic is one of the great players I know. He's a great guy. He'll make an impact at the next level.”
Coach Tom Crean said he'll work with Oladipo and Zeller along with pro officials to determine what is in their best interests.
“I try to be a voice of reason,” he said. “I try to do the right research, give them as honest of an assessment as I can. It won't come from dotcoms and scouts. It will come from general managers, scouting directors, people like that who have an investment in what those picks mean, and where they potentially would go.
“I try to give them the best advice they could have, be supportive of them and their families through the entire process and treat them with care and love.”