That’s A Wrap: Victor Oladipo

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2011-2012 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Victor Oladipo.

Final stats (36 games): 10.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 47.1% FG, 75% FT in 26.7 minutes per game.

Victor Oladipo was driving past the Kentucky defenders with relative ease. He played under control, and once shot blocker Anthony Davis went to the bench with two fouls, Oladipo got the the rim nearly every time he drove.

“They can’t stop you!,” Indiana coach Tom Crean yelled from the bench.

Oladipo’s 15-point performance in Indiana’s Sweet 16 loss to the top-seeded Wildcats was a perfect example how dominating he can be when he plays within himself. It also showed how far he has come in only a year. Oladipo was easily Indiana’s most improved player this season.

He showed more explosiveness in his sophomore year, he played more under control, and he grew into one of the Hoosiers’ top defenders. Oladipo also displayed a fearlessness that seemed to carry over to his teammates in the season’s biggest games.

In a home game against Michigan State in Februrary, for example, Oladipo attacked the basket regardless of how many defenders were in the lane. He scored 13 points and got to the line eight times. He also set the tempo for the Hoosiers’ defense by starting the game matched up against Draymond Green, the Big Ten Player of the Year.

Oladipo scored 10 or more points in 21 games this season, 11 more games than last year. He also increased his free-throw percentage from 61 to 75, and he got there four times per game.

For as much as he’s improved, Oladipo can still get much better. He needs to develop his outside jump shot to force defenders to come out and guard him instead of playing him for the drive. His 3-point percentage dipped from 31 percent last season to 21 percent, and he made only 1-of-10 from beyond the arc in the final 12 games of the season. If Oladipo could make the occasional 3-pointer, he would be a nearly unstoppable offensive player.

While Oladipo is a strong on-ball defender, he sometimes falls asleep when his man doesn’t have the ball. He got beat back door by a number of players this season. Oladipo seems to thrive against guards, but he occasionally struggles against bigger guys.

Bottom line: An under recruited and under appreciated high school player, Oladipo has quickly grown into one of the Hoosiers’ most indispensable players. He has quickness unlike most other players, and he has already become a team leader.

Other than Cody Zeller, Oladipo has the most upside on the current roster. After the jump he took from his freshman to his sophomore year, it’s scary to think what the Hyattsville, Mary. native can do with another summer to work on his game — especially if he can develop a more consistent jump shot.

Previously: Previously: Derek Elston,  Jordan Hulls, Matt Roth, Tom Pritchard, Verdell Jones

  • And_One

    I love love love Vic. A highlight reel play every game: you know it’s coming, the other team knows it’s coming, then WHAM! His dunk during the first KY game made me fall to my knees. I look forward to watching him launch the 3 without my screaming, Aw, man, NO!

  • And_One

    I love love love Vic. A highlight reel play every game: you know it’s coming, the other team knows it’s coming, then WHAM! His dunk during the first KY game made me fall to my knees. I look forward to watching him launch the 3 without my screaming, Aw, man, NO!

  • http://twitter.com/RatKingCole Cole Phillips Allen

    Great write up and great analysis of his game.  I agree with this article 100%.  He definitely has the most upside on the current roster besides Zeller.  I just hope he continues to develop his game and his outside shooting.. if he does, watch out.  He could lead the team in scoring.

  • MillaRed

    My house was full of Badger fans during the Sweet 16 matchup and everyone just kept saying, “Man that guy is going to kill us next year.”

    VO’s ceiling is sky high. You know he’s going to work on shooting those 3′s. When he starts knocking those down at 35% – 40% watch out. One of the best players in the conference.

    I LOVE this kid!

  • AlexT

    If Vic spends all summer in Cook Hall and improves his shooting the way Sheehey did last summer, he could be an All-American. Can’t wait to see him continue to improve.

  • HOOSIER KEN

    Got to love this kid, with his work habits, you know he working on his game as we speak, Coach TC has to be staying awake at nights trying to figure out how to play 12 starters next year, I hope this new team jels like last years team, if it does no one can stop this HOOSIER Train. GO IU

  • CH

    I love the toughness and attitude VO brought this year. He will get that three pointer down. He has good form on his jumper. When the opposition has to respect his outside jumper watch out, sportscenter top ten.

  • HoosierPat

    Once he learns to knock down the three, that will open up the drive for him even more. The Big Ten should be terrified of what he can become over the next two years. Let’s get Calbert working with him on his shot as soon as possible.

  • catronhoosier

    You hit the nail on the head.  He has to be under control and develop a respectable jumper (as you said 35-40%) and he will be an All-American no doubt.  he does not have to like jordy or watford form downtown, but something where the opposing coaches and defenders have to say, “gotta stay in his face cause he can nail it from downtown.”  I believe this is important not just so teams will be forced to press up on him giving him the advantage to get around them and to the hole, but also I would almost gurantee there will still be a good amount of team who will say, “we will let him shoot to beat us, we won’t let him drive.”  So they will lay off of him and he will just keep knocking down jumpers.  

    I think Vic was a biggest reason for our success or “magic” as some people have referred to it this season in terms of mental attitude (not talent, obviously that would be Cody, not that vic aint talented).  Not only is he talented and explosive but Vic strikes me as being the guy on the team that everybody loves off the court as well as on.  he is kind of a clown and is always smiling. He brought something to this team that I honestly feel has been missing since A.J. Moye.

    Hopefully this “magic” can carry over to the white sox because they sure as hell are gonna need some this season.  Danks is opening day starter to give you an idea of how bad it could get. He is a good 3rd or 4th guy in a rotation by no means is he an opening day starter.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KCZUX4SBFXXM2GEHVKTVKOIYTY Aaron

    An all American?  Were you just exaggerating?
    I’m sorry, but I don’t see anyone on the 2011-12 team besides the Z being an AA.

  • Kokomo_Joe

    In my opinion, if VO improves again this summer like last summer, he will be option #2 on this team and CW will slide to offensive option #3.  CW may bolt for the NBA, but I have no doubts that VO will play in the league and defend the hell out of whomever he is assigned.

    If he can improve his outside game, he could be unstoppable as a Jr and Sr.

    VO has a greater upside potential than Greg Graham.

  • Kokomo_Joe

    In my opinion, if VO improves again this summer like last summer, he will be option #2 on this team and CW will slide to offensive option #3.  CW may bolt for the NBA, but I have no doubts that VO will play in the league and defend the hell out of whomever he is assigned.

    If he can improve his outside game, he could be unstoppable as a Jr and Sr.

    VO has a greater upside potential than Greg Graham.

  • SCHoosier

    With his work ethic..improving the jumper and ball handling (dribbles too loose and way too high) should not be a problem. Not even worried about the 3 pt shot if he can get a reliable mid-range jumper which will help his driving. (along with using his left hand better). I remember as a freshman, Crean said of VO “We need Victor to stop trying to make the great play..and concentrate on playing great every possession.” How insightful was that. Lot of upside left which is good for the Hoosiers.

  • SCHoosier

    With his work ethic..improving the jumper and ball handling (dribbles too loose and way too high) should not be a problem. Not even worried about the 3 pt shot if he can get a reliable mid-range jumper which will help his driving. (along with using his left hand better). I remember as a freshman, Crean said of VO “We need Victor to stop trying to make the great play..and concentrate on playing great every possession.” How insightful was that. Lot of upside left which is good for the Hoosiers.

  • Mixman

    I couldn’ agree more with your post. Vic has a persona about him that makes you want to step up your game. He brings an infectious attitude of going 100% all the time. Now as he matures and lets the game come to him with the blance of staying focused on defense, his up side is astronomical. He has the tools in his shed, he just has to sharpen them to reach the next level.
    Don’t be suprised if he sets the tone for the off season workouts, comes back next year stronger physically, mentally, and takes some of the reigns with leadership. It’s hard not to like the guy that will go into battle with you and give every ounce of blood sweat and tears to bring pride to the jersey he is wearing.
    I wouldn’t be surprised seeing his teammates benefit more from his drives and kick-outs because of weak side help to knock down open shots. I would love to see him work tirelessly on his 3 point shot and develop into an intimidating 2 guard mismatch for most teams.

  • iudawg

    This year’s team was my favorite IU team in quite some time. Vic and Will are big reason why. I can’t wait to see them next year. 

    Still love ESPN calling  Vic “OLAPEEDO”.

  • Hardwood83

    No doubt VO is a handful as is, but add a little better ball-handling and a pull-up/mid-range jumper? He’s all B1G first team. Also improve the 3pt shooting and he’s a first round draft pick. I think his passion/emotion may be even more important for the team’s success then his skills.

  • Hardwood83

    No doubt VO is a handful as is, but add a little better ball-handling and a pull-up/mid-range jumper? He’s all B1G first team. Also improve the 3pt shooting and he’s a first round draft pick. I think his passion/emotion may be even more important for the team’s success then his skills.

  • dfitz

    Vic will inflict a lot of pain on the opponents in his last 2 years! Still say he is a poor man’s Jordan.

  • catronhoosier

    I mean the guy averaged 10 points per game this season with no jumpshot.  Add in a jumpshot plus take into account his defense I would be willing to bet that he would make honorable mention or something

  • Earl Sheib

    He’s a great player who’s super fun to watch. Reminds me of A.J. Guyton and Keith Smart in a way. Quick, aggressive and fearless. Add a bit of finesse on the shooting end and there will be no stopping him. Looking forward to seeing this fantastic player add more elements to his already show-stopping game. Nice job Vic you and this entire program have nowhere to go but up.

  • MillaRed

    AA is a lofty goal but I think he can sneak in to All B1G conversations if he puts it all together.

    Your points are valid and well spoken.

    - 3-point shooting will open up his dribble drive
    - He is a huge part of what we accomplished this year.

  • DarkSouth

    If I’m Oladipo, every time I step on the court I’m thinking “I’m the most unstoppable force in the country.  I’m going to make them fear me, double me, and then I’m creating shots for my teammates.”

    Oladipo, as Albers wrote, has a fearlessness that’s contagious.  Like Cody, having a teammate who you know can suddenly dominate an opponent with dunks and layups sure takes away a lot of pressure of other players.  How many teams have one guy like that, let alone two?

  • Threewellers

    How CTC utilizes Victor next year will be critical in maxing out the potential of next years team. Putting the ball in Vic’s hands, starting with the Purdue game, completely changed the offensive flow of the team and made us very difficult to defend.

    There has been considerable discussion on ITH about who runs the point next year, Yogi or Jordy but my question is are we really going to take the ball out of the hands of our teams most difficult player to defend?

    I’d be interested what others thought about how to best use Vic. Given the shooting limitations I really can’t see him as a 2 guard. Maybe he can evolve into the role of a slashing 3 but I’m still intrigued at what he can bring to the point guard position. I see him as much more likely to build on that skill set than becoming a great shooting 2.

    I’ve been waiting on this thread to see what others thought about this. Clearly there are areas that would need improvement but his skill set screams put the ball in my hands and let me create opportunities. There is no one else on the roster ( even Z) that has the potential to create nightmare match ups like Vic can.

    My fear is if you take the ball out of his hands does he get lost like he did at times during our funk in the middle of the year. I’m sure CTC will find a way to get the most out of him as he surely has so far. This should be one of next years most interesting story lines, IMO.

  • jaywiz

    Well, good thing Cheaney can coach now cuz he needs to help Victor develop that silky smooth release.

  • MDTIU88

    I love this guy….and when Will is reviewed I will say the same had no idea who these guys were beginning of last year, but think both VO & Will are going to be in Hoosier history forever….I had a chance to run into VO outside of Cook last summer after one of his workouts, ran up to him like i was some teenage girl, got picture with him, talk to him for a while, a really great young man. One thing CTC has done exceptionally well is to get exceptional, quality individuals, we will not have any off campus issues with this team, which is great to see!

  • http://twitter.com/btown1056 brian workman

    I agree with most people on here in saying that if he can work hard on his jump shot that he will be almost unstoppable. My main concern with VO is his getting out of control and trying to always make something out of nothing which sometimes led to stupid turnovers. I think with Yogi running the point next year he is going to be able to work without the ball more and get open and then get the ball. The sky is the limit with this kid though and he is a highlight reel just waiting to happen. With Him and Perea we are going to see a lot of really nice plays this year that will make SportsCenter.

  • http://twitter.com/btown1056 brian workman

    I agree with most people on here in saying that if he can work hard on his jump shot that he will be almost unstoppable. My main concern with VO is his getting out of control and trying to always make something out of nothing which sometimes led to stupid turnovers. I think with Yogi running the point next year he is going to be able to work without the ball more and get open and then get the ball. The sky is the limit with this kid though and he is a highlight reel just waiting to happen. With Him and Perea we are going to see a lot of really nice plays this year that will make SportsCenter.

  • http://twitter.com/btown1056 brian workman

     In my opinion Yogi is going to be harder to defend than Jordy. We need to use Jordy with the second unit to give them some experience and leadership. I see Victor as a 2 or a 3 where he can use his speed and athletic ability to get open without the ball instead of with it. We are going to have 2 players now like play above the rim and a PG in Yogi who can drive and dish with the best of them and thats going to make VO and Hanner very exciting to watch. I say we should start Yogi, VO, CWat, Hanner and CZ and bring in Jordy, Patterson, WS, Hollowell and Jurkin with the second unit and use the rest of the players to fill in when needed. Obviously thats just my opinion and I think any way CTC decides to use our rotation and will work out simply because we are going to be deeper than any other team in the country.

  • http://twitter.com/btown1056 brian workman

     I agree about the ball handling. I think this is one area that you just don’t hear about enough. There were games last year where I thought he was honestly hurting us more than helping because he would just get out of control and throw up circus shots. He needs to learn that sometimes you can just go up strong and draw the foul and hope for an and 1. He seems to always want to try to get the ball up without getting fouled. I think with Yogi now at the point VO is going to be able to move without the ball more and get easier shots.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jon-Robling/100000258874944 Jon Robling

     No way does Jordan Hulls play with the second unit, dude.  He has started every game and he surely will his senior year. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jon-Robling/100000258874944 Jon Robling

     No way does Jordan Hulls play with the second unit, dude.  He has started every game and he surely will his senior year. 

  • marcusgresham

    I started to say he’s far more athletic than either of those two; then I remembered Smart could reportedly touch the top of the backboard.

  • Earl Sheib

    Met some KU fans Monday night and told ‘em I was rooting for them against the latest NBA expansion team, aka Kentucky, and they knew of him pre-IU as he’d played at Garden State. One of them said they used to say Smart could jump out of the gymnasium. 

  • Earl Sheib

    I agree. Jordy is a first teamer. Yogi penetrates, kicks it out and he drains 3′s like I used to drain jars of ale at Nick’s.

  • calbert40

    I happened to find a transcript of CTC’s postseason one-on-one meeting with Vic.  Here’s the abridged version…after the salutations, of course.

    VO: What would you like me to do over the offseason?

    CTC: Shoot.  A lot.  Oh, and before you leave…here’s a basketball.  Don’t stop dribbling it all summer except for while you are sleeping.  Have a good summer.

     

  • calbert40

    The only players in the B1G that MAY be able to stay in front of him consistently will only play against him in practice next year.  When he wants to get to the rim, he gets to the rim.  That simple.

    If he improves his shooting to anything respectable (not the 21 percent from 3 like this year), there is no way he isn’t all conference next season.

  • http://twitter.com/btown1056 brian workman

     I know he has started every game but thats because we didn’t have a PG that is better than he is. Yogi is so much quicker, a better passer and can push the break a lot better. Put Jordy at the 2 so he can shoot and leave the point to Yogi.

  • smartybucket

     I think Vic could be National player of the year in his junior or senior year, unless Cody beats him.  Reminds me of a guy named Michael Jordan or Dwayne Wade.  I am dead serious.  Those Kentucky NBAers couldn’t stop him.  Only the zebras could.  He doesn’t have to become a great shooter, just better.  But if he does become a great shooter, look out!

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