Oladipo on Bryant: “He’s gonna be a huge help”

  • 04/18/2015 8:16 am in

Former Indiana All-American and current Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo was courtside for Friday night’s Jordan Brand Classic at the Barclays Center.

Oladipo, who averaged over 17 points in his second NBA season, is a Jordan Brand athlete, along with Cody Zeller and Noah Vonleh.

In an interview with ESPN2 during the broadcast for the Jordan Brand Classic, Oladipo was asked for his thoughts on class of 2015 big man Thomas Bryant, who committed to the Hoosiers earlier this month.

“I thought they did a great job (this past season), but we do need an inside presence,” Oladipo said. “They need an inside presence, especially defensively, someone to protect the paint and rebound. So he’s going to be big for us. He’s gonna be a huge help.”

Bryant finished with 11 points and eight rebounds for the East team, which fell 118-116 to the West, in the Jordan Brand Classic.

He was 5-of-10 from the field, 0-of-3 on 3-pointers and 1-of-2 from the free throw line.

The Jordan Brand Classic was the third all-star event this spring for Bryant, who also participated in the McDonald’s All-American game and the Derby Festival Basketball Classic.

According to his high school coach Arkell Bruce at Huntington Prep (W.V.), Bryant was scheduled to sign his National Letter of Intent on Friday, but Indiana has yet to announce or comment on the signing.

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  • thrawnjan

    So cool to have Victor say “WE need an inside presence”.

  • Ron Swanson

    I was thinking the exact same thing. Love that guy!

  • Ms hoosier

    Can’t wait until next year!!!!

  • BMusic

    Should we be worried about the LOI delay?

  • Henry

    Yes until he signs

  • SCHoosier

    I read somewhere that he has now signed.

  • Yeah, I got a kick out of that as well. Looks like he caught himself in the middle of his quote, then said “aw, heck, screw it” and finished as a true Hoosier. Right next to Calbert, one of my all-time favorite players.


    I agree with VO…..and TB will make even more of a difference if he isn’t left on the floor as the only true big playing the majority of the time to protect the rim and keep the other team off the offensive glass. I think our perimeter D will be better next year (hell it just about has to be better) but I’ll be convinced it is where it needs to be and should be when I see it that way next year. VO sees the obvious need to start and play two true bigs next year and reading between the lines that’s kinda what he said, IMHO. We have more than enough depth to play that kind of lineup next year and not at the expense of no longer being able to spread the floor enough to allow for other things. Will playing that lineup spread the floor as much as last year’s lineup did, no, but then again, 1) having at least one other true big on the floor almost at all times allows us to utilize all of TB’s talents better and more easily, plus as talented as he is he will still be a true freshman, especially at the beginning of the season, 2) we shouldn’t have the need to spread the floor to that degree next year 3) we probably wouldn’t be letting the other the team play, ” rebound your misses and shoot until you make it” near as often, 4) the other team might not shoot over 50% on 2 pt fg attempts, and 5) having enough size in the front court to make a difference does a lot to discourage a drive to the rim by the other team’s back court, aka helps our perimeter defense and something tells me that our back court may be improved next year defensively, but not to the point that having enough size behind them on defense wouldn’t be a big help as far as team defense is concerned.

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    Now that he has signed, let’s hope we don’t see his name with the word “boot” next to it.

  • marcusgresham

    The fact that Bryant is a capable outside shooter still gives the opportunity to spread the floor somewhat. Especially if Morgan is playing the 4, as he can also shoot the 3.

  • hardly

    totally agree – if they don’t pick/pop like crazy with Bryant next year it will be a shame. pair him with any of yogi, james or robert and with troy making cuts to the basket and the defense loses whatever it chooses to cover.

  • hoosier93

    He’ll be a great addition and make us a top 15 team.. unless we lose Yogi. Then we go from not having a center to not having someone play the most important position on the floor.

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    It is no accident that yogi’s PER is off the charts poor (literally).

    So I do not in any way think losing yogi is much of a downside. To be honest, I think IU can go further without him than with him. Here’s why I think that: I believe that IU’s offense makes more cuts, more passes, more screens and achieves better shots as a team when he’s not in the game. And they play somewhat better defense (that will only improve as RJ and JBJ gain strength and speed). With Yogi, far too often the offense bogs down because yogi likes to take control of the ball until everyone else stands waiting for him to do something (for 2 years, and who knows how many teammates, this has been self evident in my view). Better to give up the yogi style of play and embrace TEAM basketball and TEAM movement. IU will win more games that way.

    Something to consider:
    Did IU outplay Wichita State ONLY when yogi sat? It is an important, under-discussed question on these threads…and I think you’ll find the answer is an overwhelming “yes.”

    IU will be just fine, and maybe better, overall, if yogi plays less (if he stays) or leaves.

  • vanpastorman

    He acts like he grew up in Indiana. Gotta luv it!!!!

  • hoosier93

    We will be worse. Yogi can control the team. It isn’t from a stats view. Yogi is the only leader on the team. And with at PG it’ll be a turnoverfest.

  • Bk39

    Agree, senior leadership, experience in all the great high profile venues, knows the opponents better than any other player. Team will have an opportunity to be great with Yogi, be very good should Yogi move on, because I believe RJ and JBJ can handle the point but not nearly at the skill level of Yogi. Also with experienced players returning hopefully Yogi can fine tune his game more instead of teaching freshmen basics and address some of the over dribbling and clutch shooting issues.

  • SilentBob

    Clutch shooting is something you are born with in my mind. It’s crazy how fans only remember the most recent successes or failures of a player. The first memory of Yogis career that I have is him hitting that buzzer beater to send us into overtime with Butler his freshmen season. In fact every late game run we have had the last two years seemed to start and end with Yogi. Even the great Michael Jordan missed game winners. Since Yogi arrived on campus there have been few, if any, players in the country I’d feel more comfortable with the ball in their hands in the last 10 seconds. He won back to back state titles and was runner up his sophomore year. He cried his eyes out over missing a game winner in the regular season. The kid is a born winner.

  • Bk39

    I stand corrected, as I should take in his whole body of work not a single season.

  • IURob1997

    I think our offense will be lethal with Yogi, JBJ, Troy, Colin, and Bryant. Tons of room for Bryant to work inside without being double or he can step out and open up more driving lanes for Troy. Replace Troy with RJ and you have 5 legit shooters and then Bryant can go inside to work and who can they double off of.