Oladipo Elects for NBA Draft
The Indiana Hoosiers were primed for a storybook return to glory. They had the seemingly perfect balance of youth and experience, a combination of great shooting and inside presence, and star power in two Player of the Year candidates in Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller. They spent much of the year as the top ranked team in the country, and hanging a banner in Assembly Hall would have been the exclamation point to “#TheMovement” that the Hoosier faithful have been buzzing (err...tweeting) about all year.
It didn’t happen this year, and any banners that Indiana will be hanging in the future will be without the help of Oladipo. Teammate and pre-season Player of the Year, Cody Zeller is scheduled to make an announcement this afternoon at 4:10pm about his decision to stay another year at Indiana or enter the draft. Most expect him to enter the draft as well. Along with Oladipo and Zeller (likely) gone, the Hoosiers lose seniors Jordy Hulls and Christian Watford. This will leave Indiana with freshman Yogi Ferrell as their only returning starter. It also leaves many wondering what next year will look like...
Oladipo has been a crucial to the success that Indiana has had in its return to a relevant program the past two years. His improvement has come in leaps and bounds (pun intended). He is an athletic and dynamic slasher who attacks the rim with terrific tenacity. He has improved his offensive arsenal to encompass much more than just that, and he ended the year averaging 13.6ppg on incredibly efficient shooting (60%fg, 44% 3fg).
Oladipo has long been regarded as a tenacious defender, and his length and quickness along with his desire to work hard on the defensive end have helped him achieve that label. This is where many thought his value would be as an NBA player. Unfortunately for Oladipo, some teams may be wondering about his defense as he was lit up in the tournament by Khalif Wyatt (Temple) and Michael Carter-Williams (Syracuse) who went for 31 and 24 points respectively.
However, his overall body of work should speak for itself. He is third all-time for steals at Indiana, even though he only played three seasons. His athleticism and desire to improve and work hard is absolutely unquestionable. His newly improved jump shot from both mid-range and beyond the arc have turned him into an incredibly efficient offensive player. He rebounds and passes well. And his ability to attack the rim will translate well to the NBA.
He is a sure lottery pick, potentially a top five pick. He has already completed his degree. The time is right. Good-bye and good luck, Victor. Indiana fans appreciate what you’ve accomplished and wish you the absolute best.