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January 28, 2013
Richmond High School


Troy Derengowski

As the Indiana Hoosiers prepare for their BIG TEN match-up against Purdue on Wednesday, there have been plenty of discussions about which Hoosier player has had the biggest impact for Indiana, Cody Zeller or Victor Oladipo.  There’s no doubt both players have a good argument as the top impact player on the team and if you take a closer look at the statistics, the argument may be closer than you think.

Remember, Oladipo and Zeller are the complete opposites.  One is a 7-0 post player, the other is a 6-4 shooting guard.   Both impact the game in different ways, but just for fun, let’s put them side by side and see what we find out. 

Zeller is the pre-season player of the year in college basketball and his numbers for the most part are living up to the expectations.  Zeller is averaging 16.0 ppg, close to 60 percent shooting, eight rebounds per game and nearly 1.5 blocks per game.  Oladipo is scoring at 13.8 ppg, shooting an incredible 66 percent from the field and averages 2.5 steals per contest.  Oladipo should be the defensive player of the year in college basketball.  As you can see both have an incredible impact every time they step on the floor. 

In a closer look statistically, both remain close in 11 categories in terms of percentages from a  team standpoint.   Here’s the breakdown….Points scored, Zeller scores 19% of the team total, Oladipo is at 16.6%, edge Zeller.   FG’s…Zeller is at 19%, Oladipo 18.5%...edge to Zeller.   FT’s…Zeller 26%, Oladipo 13.3%..edge again to Zeller.  3 pointers…Zeller 0%, Oladipo 11.5%...edge to Oladipo.  Offensive rebounding..Zeller 23.7%, Oladipo also at 23.7%..even.   Defensive rebounding….Zeller 20.7%, Oladipo is at 12.6% edge to Zeller.  Assists…Zeller is at 7.9%, Oladipo is at 14.9%...edge to Oladipo.  Steals…Zeller 15.1%, Oladipo 30.8%...edge to Oladipo.   Blocked shots….Zeller 41.2%, Oladipo 22.1%...edge to Zeller.  Turnovers….Zeller 13.3%, Oladipo 17.8%..edge Zeller.  Finally….Personal Fouls, Zeller 12.3%, Oladipo 15.9%...edge to Zeller.   Zeller topped Oladipo in seven categories with one tie while Oladipo scored higher in three with one tie.

The statistics may not mean a lot to Indiana basketball fans as long as the Hoosiers keep winning.  In fact, other than just plain curiosity, I really don’t care which player has the higher impact as long as they don’t let the media put a wedge in between them with their analysis about which player is better.  Both Zeller and Oladipo play the game differently, play different positions and will impact each game in different ways depending on whom Indiana is playing.    So when you hear the announcers try to tell you which player is the better impact player, just remember, both Zeller and Oladipo are doing it as team players, not individuals.

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