Oladipo’s intensity sets tone for Indiana upset

Victor Oladipo laid underneath the basket holding his left ankle, clearly in pain. Indiana’s sophomore guard had just taken the ball hard to the basket and finished in front of multiple Michigan State defenders to extend the Hoosiers’ lead.

Now, though, Oladipo remained on the ground while the Spartans hurried the ball the other way. But he wouldn’t remain there long.

Oladipo got up and hopped toward the action, a noticeable grimace covering his face the whole time. He was hurting, but he refused to make his teammates play 5-on-4. That just wouldn’t be fair.

Oladipo began to hop faster. As he approached the elbow, he jumped and attempted to block a shot, then knocked the rebound away from a Michigan State player and out of bounds.

Oladipo’s effort on the play kept Michigan State from scoring an easy basket. His effort in the game helped the No. 18 Hoosiers earn their third win over a top-5 ranked opponent this season.

From the opening tip, it was clear the Hyattsville, Mary. native was not going to allow his team to lose. Oladipo welcomed the challenge of guarding star forward Draymond Green, and he pushed the issue on offense until someone forced him to stop.

“When Vic gets his energy going defensively, it helps the team, but it certainly helps him,” said Indiana coach Tom Crean. “If you’re going to guard Draymond Green, you’re going to be locked in right away, and he was.”

Oladipo was the quickest player on the floor, and he knew it. Anytime he saw a small opening off a pick-and-roll or a dribble handoff, Oladipo went hard toward the basket. When he didn’t finish, he usually got fouled and cashed in on his free throws (he was 7-of-8 at the line).

“I just felt I could go past because a lot of the guards weren’t checking me,” Oladipo said. “I was just trying to use my athleticism to get past the defenders.”

Oladipo’s aggressiveness and confidence carried over to the rest of the team. After Oladipo got the Hoosiers started by establishing the intensity level from the beginning, Indiana looked like a team that expected to win. And with this team, attitude is the most important thing. The Hoosiers have proven they are good enough to beat anybody in the country, but they’ve also lost games to Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa.

The confident attitude the Hoosiers played with Tuesday night is one they need to have every game — whether they’re making shots or not. Oladipo’s intensity can go a long way in creating that attitude.

“When we beat top teams like that, we’re nasty, we’re scrapping, we’re fighting,” senior guard Verdell Jones said. “We came out expecting to win (against Iowa), and we can never do that. We haven’t accomplished anything, we haven’t won anything in the postseason.

“We’ve got to have that nasty attitude every time we play.”

Precisely.

The problem for the Hoosiers is they sometimes fail to take that attitude on the road, and they sometimes forget to bring it against inferior opponents. It’s easy to get up for a game against No. 5 Michigan State, but what about Penn State in the first round of the Big Ten tournament? What about a lower seed in the Big Dance?

There’s no way to know how Indiana will respond to each new situation. But if Oladipo continues to lead by example like he did against the Spartans, there’s a good chance his teammates will continue to follow.

  • millzy32

    I can criticize him as much as anybody but I’m always rooting for him to do well.  He is still very streaky but getting better and that move under the hoop last night was really big time and something I’ve never seen him do before.  He would typically make an errant pass in that situation but instead he came from behind the hoop and swooped it up with his right hand and right in the hole.  It was a thing of beauty.

  • HoosierDadE

    Thanks stroot

  • http://twitter.com/IUMitchell Deon M

    Subbing is a weapon to use to confuse your opponent.  Just think the scouting report for Kentucky is only 6 pages while the scouting report for IU is like 15.  Remember if you ever see number 0 aka THVC its over.   

    I think the instructor (CTC) is doing a great job while the students are all passing the course — Division 1 Men’s Basketball (10 credit hours) Pass/Fail 

  • http://twitter.com/IUMitchell Deon M

    I forgot who Bracey Wright was for a moment.  Oladipodazed blurred vision. Kid is forgotten.  The Movement continues.  

  • calbert40

     ^^^This!

    Any kid thinking of going to IU knows what happened last night regardless of where they were.  They didn’t need to be in the building to know how special that performance was all around.  I wasn’t there, but I could tell the Hall was rockin’!

  • calbert40

     Osmosically.  LOL!  That’s hilarious!

  • calbert40

     Would love to be a 3, but I don’t care what seed we are (3, 4 or 5) just so long as we don’t get shipped out West again.  I want us in the Midwest.  I think that this group of fans might travel pretty well if we are within 300-500 miles.

  • Kennydescombes

    Lets not forget, that next could mark the return of one of if not the most talented basketball player on this team, that being Creek.  Just remember before he got injured as a freshman, he was getting at or around 20 pts/game.  Last year, he didn’t look like he was ready to go prior to injuring the other knee.  Sure he has two knees that have plagued him thus far, but in the meantime, he has certainly been working on his shooting, and watching a lot of game film.  No doubt taking this year to rehab fully will get him somewhere near the athleticism that he could have had if not injured, certainly more than he showed prior to last year’s injury.  He even looks like he has added some lb’s when they show the bench, perhaps he can be someone who can get some points against smaller guys in the paint and find some open cutters.    We could only imagine what he would have been able to do the last three seasons if he was healthy, but I am sure that there is a place for him on next years team.  Maybe even a big role. 

  • Kennydescombes

    I doubt Purdue will play much zone if any at all.  It is not in their team make up.  I don’t think that it plays at the toughness that they want to be associated with.  I don’t think any top BT school can play the zone effectively enough to try to implement it against the other top teams.  I certainly don’t think it is IU’s best interest to play a zone set for very long stretches.

  • Bucky

    I can see that.  The flip side is, not everyone checks this site daily, or even weekly, and it might be news to them. 

    A few weeks ago, Mop Lady asked the same question after a game, and I learned a lot about some new Kentucky kids I had never heard of, including a 6’8″ power forward who has IU at the top of his list. 

    As I write this, there are over 300 comments on the ITH postgame stories about a game most of us just watched.  It seems like there’s room for a couple comments about recruits.  It’s not like asking the question somehow dilutes one’s support for our team. 

    Go IU.

    (PS:  despite my name, I’m an IU alum, not a Wisconsin troll.  I’m just stranded up here, dodging blizzards while it’s supposed to be near 70 degrees in Indianapolis this week.  Gah.) 

  • Dfitz

     Last year I said VO looked to me to be a poor man’s Michael Jordan and that watching him was like watching a 16 year old who just got the keys to a Ferrari. I think he is growing on the first count and getting much better handling all of that horse power.
    Still much more to come. Can’t wait to see how he looks the next 2 years and beyond.

  • Dfitz

     Last year I said VO looked to me to be a poor man’s Michael Jordan and that watching him was like watching a 16 year old who just got the keys to a Ferrari. I think he is growing on the first count and getting much better handling all of that horse power.
    Still much more to come. Can’t wait to see how he looks the next 2 years and beyond.

  • Dfitz

     I laughed out loud at that one. Loved it!

  • IUfanToby

    Nice post on the taxes.  Take that W-2′s!

  • dssnyder1

    deleted post

  • IUfanToby

    Yeah I enjoyed that one too.

  • Aubreyhouse

    WT? :-)

  • Aubreyhouse

    WT? :-)

  • IUMIKE1

    Agree

  • IUMIKE1

    I just hope the IRS never taps him to do audits. Can you imagine him throwing down the audit papers like he does a two handed slam. People would admit to cheating on the spot.

  • wyohoosier

    Any word on wheather Matt Roth might come back for a fifth year?

  • IUMIKE1

    I have a close friend that I watch every IU bball game with and we both said the same thing. 

    Best sign in some time.

  • IUMIKE1

    I’m pretty sure that most people use it as an abbreviation for Coach Tom Crean.

  • IUMIKE1

    I’m pretty sure that most people use it as an abbreviation for Coach Tom Crean.

  • InTheMtns

    Agree. CTC has alway meant Coach Tom Crean to me, both when I type it and when I read it.  And it’s use has never meant to be anything other than a way to save time and space, sort of like typing IU instead of Indiana University.

  • iufan4life10

     I never knew it had a different meaning than Coach Tom Crean.

  • dssnyder1

    if thats the case, my bad

    Sent from my Droid Charge on Verizon 4GLTE

  • dssnyder1

    if thats the case, my bad

    Sent from my Droid Charge on Verizon 4GLTE

  • 888

    CTC said he doesnt know if hell have him back next year or not. Well have to wait and see. If he is he wont be on a scholly. Hell pay his own way cause were full.

  • http://twitter.com/IUMitchell Deon M

    I think the NC ST, ND, and Butler/Evansville Purdue are quality wins beside the wins over 1,2, and 5.  

    UK, UNC, and SYR are on a different planets than the rest of the field.  
    IU just due is coming.  We can win against any other opponent.   The rematch in the Final Four against Kentucky would be IN-sane.  

    I just wish we played in an elite early season tournament like Maui or something to get that tourney fell.  But oh well the pieces are there lets go Hoosiers.   

  • http://twitter.com/IUMitchell Deon M

    I think the NC ST, ND, and Butler/Evansville Purdue are quality wins beside the wins over 1,2, and 5.  

    UK, UNC, and SYR are on a different planets than the rest of the field.  
    IU just due is coming.  We can win against any other opponent.   The rematch in the Final Four against Kentucky would be IN-sane.  

    I just wish we played in an elite early season tournament like Maui or something to get that tourney fell.  But oh well the pieces are there lets go Hoosiers.   

  • CreanFaithful

    I see no issue with that question and I think “some people” need to get over themselves if hearing that question is such a burden.  It’s not the same as seeing the same questions and/or comments pop up throughout a thread that have already been stated by someone else in the same thread.  For example: Will Bob Knight be the special guest?  But even that is no reason to get bent out of shape. It’s really more funny than anything else.  That is what this space is for.  It’s a social community where we can share and learn with others…. Now.  Anyone know if there were any recruits at the game?

  • CreanFaithful

    …but if they had been there, they would have got to experience the loudest Assembly Hall crowd to date.  Not nearly the same as watching on TV.  Not even close.

  • CreanFaithful

    You really went out on a limb by suggesting VJ be removed from the starting lineup… No need to continue to remind us how “hoops savvy” you are in your posts.  It shows!

  • CreanFaithful

    You really went out on a limb by suggesting VJ be removed from the starting lineup… No need to continue to remind us how “hoops savvy” you are in your posts.  It shows!

  • CreanFaithful

    this is a joke right?

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    At first, it was a “one man wolfpack.”

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    Derbus is one of the Inside the Hall Insiders.  Take your tent inside.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    I always thought CTC was a bit degrading as well.  Of course, I was under the mistaken impression it stood for “Clean the Crapper” or “Crean the Crapper.”

  • dssnyder1

    I deleted that post because it looked like I was the only one who thought ctc was a dig to the coach. I’m positive I read it somewhere online, but it looks like thats not the case on “inside the hall”. on this issue, I have no problems with being wrong.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    I would have preferred you left it up, honestly.  Talked to a couple of people that follow this site and obviously we had some fun with this particular thread, hence me coming up with my own translation.

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