2012-2013 Player Profile: Victor Oladipo

It’s time for Inside the Hall’s player-by-player breakdown of the 2012-2013 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Victor Oladipo.

Key stats: 10.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 49.8 free throw rate, 15.4 defensive rebounding percentage

The emergence of Victor Oladipo from under-recruited freshman to a junior who looks to have a future playing professionally is a prime example of what happens when you merge a talent who is willing to work with the player development currently taking place in Bloomington.

Oladipo’s commitment to the Hoosiers in September of 2009 shortly after a visit went largely unnoticed nationally, but it was arguably one of the most important moments in the first year and a half of the Tom Crean era. It continued IU’s plan of building a pipeline in the D.C./Maryland/Virginia area, which started with Maurice Creek and is still ongoing today with the hiring of Kenny Johnson. It also quickly changed the course of the 2010 recruiting class which at the time was only comprised of David Williams.

After playing primarily off the bench as a freshman, Oladipo shifted to the starting lineup in 34 of 36 games as a sophomore. His shooting percentages dipped with more attempts, but his effectiveness grew as the season moved along. Over Indiana’s last eight regular season games, he scored in double figures seven times and stopped settling for jump shots and instead attacked the basket. The result was more free throw attempts (59 in eight games), and he finished the season as a 75 percent shooter from the line. It’s a trend he’ll look to continue as he enters his junior year.

Oladipo’s prowess on defense was also critical to an improved effort overall for the Hoosiers. He was the third best defensive rebounder on the team and at times, his ball pressure flipped the direction of games in favor of IU. The sequence below against Ohio State was perhaps the most memorable of all as it shows just how effective his ball pressure can be in changing momentum:

If there’s one glaring flaw that still exists for Oladipo, it’s his perimeter shooting. He took 48 attempts from behind the 3-point line and hit only 21 percent. At Thursday’s media challenge, he acknowledged that it was a point of emphasis for improvement over the offseason, but pointed more to confidence being the problem rather than the form on his shot. Whatever the case, it bears watching as an early storyline as practice begins on Friday.

Bottom line: As a starter and upperclassmen, Oladipo is expected to be a leader on a team with aspirations for a Big Ten championship and more. His total scoring numbers won’t be expected to move much, if at all. A quick study of his numbers show that getting into the lane and to the free throw line should be his primary focus instead of settling for the jumper. Defensively, he’ll need to continue answering the challenge of guarding some of the best perimeter players in the country.

Quotable: “I’m way more of a leader now than I was last year. I have to be. I feel like these guys look up to me. I feel like when I say something, they actually listen to me. I’ve gotta be a leader because I feel I can do different things on the court to help impact the team. I feel like if I play at a high level, then the team plays at a high level. I not only need to lead by example, but I need to say something as well. I’ve been working on that. When I first got here, believe it or not, I was quiet. I know that’s hard to believe, but I was. And now, I’m getting more comfortable with this role of being a leader. Hopefully I can continue to keep doing it not only now, but throughout the year.” – Oladipo at Thursday’s media challenge.

PreviouslyDerek ElstonChristian Watford, Jordan Hulls, Maurice Creek

  • Evansville Hoosier

    That clip is the kind that almost makes me cheer in the middle of class… Vic is a magnificent defender, and one of the best slashers in the B1G. I’m excited to see his jumpshot, even though, as the article states, he should be looking to drive. But if he had a reliable jumpshot, he would have another weapon, and he would become MUCH harder to guard.

  • Hoosier_DC

    Love that clip

  • Evansville Hoosier

    Just thought of this: what if Vic wins the 3 point competition this year at Hoosier Hysteria? Are our expectations suddenly changed to expect him to be a top 10 player in conference? They would for me.

  • And_One

    VO could be the answer to our depency on foreign oil. He is an unlimited source of renewable energy. I love watching this cat. Counting down…

  • iujunebug

    Goosebumps watching that climb, so excited! Cannot wait for the season to begin, the potential is just amazing!

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

    I hope he is shooting about 500 free throws a day to bring his percentage up because he is going to get to the line a bunch this year and we can’t have him shooting 50% from the line. He said he has worked on his perimeter game quite a bit will make him a much better player and give him the ability to drive the lane more. Can’t wait to see him and all the Hoosiers this year. See you all at Hoosier Hysteria!!!

  • Kris

    How can you not love some Oladipo? He’s a stud. He’s IU version of “Hollywood” but with humility. Such a team player. So coachable. The same kid who would dunk in high school and flash the IU sign. Love this kid.

  • sconsinhoosier

    Vic was 108-144 last year, good for 75%. With the number of fouls he’s capable of drawing, it would be great to see him over 80%, but I don’t think there’s much of a chance that he’ll be anywhere close to 50%.

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Alex Bozich

    The free throw rate of 49.8 listed above is (FTA/FGA), which measures how often a player is getting to the line in comparison with his field goal attempts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshobie Josh O’Brien

    He was a 75% free throw shooter last year. The 49.8 free throw rate, which you’re probably referring to, is a percentage of total shots taken, including free throws. In this case, it means of all the shots he aimed toward the hoop, about half of them were free throws. It speaks to his ability to get to the line.

  • hoosierodi

    that would pretty much be Eric Gordon 2.0

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Alex Bozich

    Free throw rate is actually FTA divided by FGA.

  • http://www.facebook.com/geoff.chenoweth Geoff Chenoweth

    His defense reminds me of Chris Reynolds and that’s not a name I throw around lightly. By the end of the season, he’ll be considered on on the best defenders in the country.

    Most exciting player in the B1G hands down.

  • http://twitter.com/erikholm Erik Holm

    What is the IU sign? Sounds gangsta.

  • IUMIKE1

    If VO wins the 3pt competition than I’d venture to guess that it not only helps our chances of hanging a banner but it also means another scholly will more than likely be available for next year.

  • http://www.vccm.net/ iubase

    Great clip. Against the “best defender in B10″. Vic is quick and he has a motor like no other. CTC has a nose for players like this and he gets a lot of credit for VO’s development.

  • http://www.vccm.net/ iubase

    Great clip. Against the “best defender in B10″. Vic is quick and he has a motor like no other. CTC has a nose for players like this and he gets a lot of credit for VO’s development.

  • Caleb Moore

    Amazing how far he’s come in just two years. If he can develop that jumper he’s easily a top 50 talent in the country. His athletecism and ability to defend will open the eyes of many NBA scouts, but at 6’4″ he’s got to have a consistent jumper if he really wants to be something at that next level.

  • SCHoosier

    One of my all-time favorite Hoosiers..with a lot of upside left. He’s gonna be given the green light to head to the rim this season (off pick and rolls)..his jump shot should be improved and his conditioning will only make him a better defensive player. All that said..I still cringe when I remember what one of the CBS announcers said (correctly) during the S-16..something like “Oladipo is way too loose when dribbling the b-ball.” I know Vic has worked on that also in the off season..and playing more under control..with all his other talents..will be a big plus for the Hoosiers and misery for the opponents:)

  • 11th and Done (Dunn)

    I remember yelling “Let go of the F’n rim Vic!!!”. I can’t believe he didn’t get whistled for that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Slappyslapperstein Brandon Tucker

    Favorite player on the roster & if he can cut down on the ticky-tack fouls (like vs. UK in the NCAAs) & get a little more in control, then he will be unstoppable! Will be sad to see him leave after his Jr. year but he’ll have a great career in the NBA as a D-Wade Lite.

  • VerdellJonesIV

    Arms straight up in the air to make an I, bring down the elbows to make a field goal signal to make the U. Keep fists closed entire time for swag.

  • jmoney

    Vic and Will are the pulse of this team. When they bring it, everyone else responds in kind.

  • http://twitter.com/erikholm Erik Holm

    OK, I know what that is now. I’m from the hood & when someone “flashes a sign” it’s a little more discrete then getting arms involved. Not that gansta, but it’s still swag.

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