High-flying Oladipo will play in Derby Festival Classic

  • 02/08/2010 9:29 pm in

Last season’s Kentucky Derby Festival Classic at Freedom Hall gave Indiana fans a glimpse of things to come with a trio of incoming freshmen.

There was Jordan Hulls connecting with Christian Watford, the Gold Team MVP, for a fastbreak alley oop. And there was Maurice Creek carrying an Indiana flag above his head during the pregame warmups.

This year’s game, which will be played on April 10, will include high-flying DeMatha wing and IU signee, Victor Oladipo. (Game information available here.)

“Yeah, I’m going to play in that one,” Oladipo told Inside the Hall via telephone on Monday evening.

Oladipo has emerged as a senior leader for the Stags, who are 20-3 and No. 20 in the latest USA Today Super 25.

“We’ve had our share of ups and downs,” Oladipo said. “But I’m glad that we’re coming together and I feel like we’re going to have a good stretch of basketball coming up soon and I’m looking forward to it.”

Known primarily for his ability to finish at the basket and defend, Oladipo has put in a great deal of work this season improving his outside shot. He says improving that part of his game is just as much mental as it is mechanical.

“Through working at it, it’s a little bit of both. I think most of my problem is that it’s a mental thing. I just got to realize to shoot it with confidence and be confident in myself and my jump shot and just know that it’s going in every time. If I miss two or three in a row, I just got to realize that the next one I’m shooting is going in.”

Besides the confidence he’s building in his jump shot, the DeMatha wing is also encouraged with the strides he’s seeing from the team he’ll join next season in Bloomington.

“They’re a young team,” Oladipo said. “They give everybody a run for their money. They’re improving every game.”

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  • JerryCT

    If he can play defense he will help us alot. Only Rivers and Dumes are “stoppers” as Jones is still lost and Hulls and Creek are not defenders yet.

  • IUDan

    Agree Jerry – I think Victor can earn some playing time early on with his defense and overall athleticism . . . he can focus on defense and rebounding and then look for scoring opportunities off of that. I think he's a nice addition for us, and I'm starting to really like Sheehey alot as well. Hopefully we can add a high-quality big man or PG in '10/'11 . . .

  • JerryCT

    Sheehey is a track guy as well so I expect court speed and the conditioning to be in constant motion rubbing off screens all night. Too bad we rarely screen off the ball.

    I am critical of players that lots of folks love, I love them too, but they kill us on defense AND that is exactly where our transition offense starts. Given that we play this offense then we MUST get somebody stopped to start our offense……….this is the case for Sheheey and Olapido to crack the rotation and why they make sense as recruits.

    Since Creek gets tons of points in transition better defense will make him even more effective.

  • IUDan

    Has anyone heard anything about Will Yeugette? 6'7 forward – apparently making a name for himself as a rebounder and defensive player. It appears he has an IU offer. Could be an interesting piece to the puzzle, but we do have to value that last scholly for 2010/2011.

    I know we'd like an immediate impact big man, but I have to remind myself how rare those are – most teams don't have them – they have big men who have developed over time. I think alot of time we (myself included) get caught up in thinking that what we see now is what we have . .. the truth is many players make biggest development between freshman and sophomore years – particularly big men. I'm hopeful between the combination of Capo, Elston, and Bawa we can see good development the rest of this season and into the offseason. Hopefully Pritchard will make the jump we hoped he would make this year.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Exactly. These guys aren't five-star recruits and they aren't program changers. However, they make sense for this program at this time. Oladipo and Sheehey are long wing players that will be able to see the court because of their defense.

  • Newms the Sage

    I think IU needs players with skills and heart/energy. The Tar Heels have virtually all 4 & 5 star players and they have an average coach in Williams – 100% the Truth as he has the talent and they are mediocre – this is NOT a rebuilding year for them.

    IU may have a chance if they can get a gazelle PF.

    Enjoy Denny's free grand slam breakfast until 2 pm today.

  • Bryan

    Great, gives me a reason to attend the Derby Classic this year. Any idea of Sheehey has been invited?

  • I assume he will be, but haven't been able to confirm that.

  • JerryCT

    Villanova plays 4 guards and Pena who is not big and they get away with it becasue every guard can defend. I keep thinking Sutton should transfer to IU…….. a fantasy.

    if Crean goes 4 guards we could actually have Watford, Rivers, Creek, Jones, Sheehey/Olapido next year rotating Roth for Creek, Hulls for Rivers, Elston for Jones and Pritchard for Watford.

  • Villanova's ball handling is also much, much better than most teams and they move the ball efficiently and take good shots.

  • JerryCT

    Yes, you are right, our 4 guard lineup would not be as good with the ball . But when I watched Fisher defend Ebanks I was shocked at how effective he was at it.

  • IUDan

    It's a shame about Ebanks – I think he would have fit well in Crean's system . .. though I understand his desire to look elsewhere.

    But I'm not here to talk about the past. I think our future is very bright.

  • Love Vic's defense that I have seen. Hes a hustler. We need a Dane Fife!

  • Louisville is 25 mins from my house. Ive never been to the Classic but would love to wear my IU hat inside Freedom Hall!


    I too am not far away from Louisville and went to the Classic last year for the first time. It was a neat thing……..but as you can imagine be ready to put up with a boat load of obnoxious Kittycat fans. Last year they stood up and booed every single player that was not going there, even the one that was undecided, and when I say booed I am leaving out all of the vulger language they screamed out as groups of fans and some by their drunken selves. I'm pretty laid back but I have never got so tired of hearing the F bomb in my life. I figured it was not just where I was sitting that this was going on because for one you could hear pockets of them from other places and after talking to others that was there they said there expercience was about the same. Almost got into a fight on the way out when “one of those” actually put is hand on my IU jacket where it said IU and told me he was trying to get something nasty off of my jacket. Lucky for me (and that piece of s!*t) I had a good friend who instantly grabbed by my arm and starting dragging me the other way. I guess both he and I are lucky it was not 10 or 15 years and a couple of six packs ago because my friend would not have been able to drag me away. Of course none of this should surprise anyone that has ever been around just about any of theri fans. I do intend to go again this year and try to get out of the building without such an incident again because it was a neat setting to see future IU players.

  • marcusgresham

    Said it before, I'll say it again…”You can't spell 'suck' without a 'U' and a 'K'.” 25 minutes from Louisville, myself, (Corydon,) and I get sick to my stomach at seeing all that blue crap and listening to those greasy, toothless, inbred, grammatically-challenged boneheads on a daily basis. Can't wait 'til the probation kicks in on them. The NCAA followed Tark 'til they got him, they've got to have the same desire to catch Criminalipari.


    Criminalipari. I think I like the ring of that, no, no, wait a minute, I know I like the ring of that in fact I'm positive I like the ring of that. Cause it damn sure fits. Alot of people said the NCAA came down as hard as it did on IU because of, you know who's, past so if that same kind of decision making is used on Criminalipari ( I even like typing that ) then he should get the college coaching death penalty and deservadly so. My internet skills are about like a UK fans intelligence, very limited, but I believe you can put this in and see a very well documented case of their cheating over the years at hppt://www.cbssports.com/mcc/messages/thread/19323471 The comment is titled UK fans can't ignore this. Good title but as we all know if they can ignore what inbreeding with their sisters and first cousins does to you than they will not have any trouble ignoring these facts.


    Told you my internet skills left something to be desired that should have been http at the first of that address not hppt. Just typing and talking about those damn inbreds gets me fired up to the point that I can't even type.