The Washington Times-Herald

Local Sports

February 8, 2013

To win sixth banner, IU needs Oladipo to lead

Glade's Games

WASHINGTON — If No. 1 Indiana realizes its potential and wins the National Championship this spring it will be Victor Oladipo, not Cody Zeller that leads the Hoosiers to the promised land for the first time since 1987.

Yes, before the season Zeller got all the attention, and all the magazine covers, as he should have. But, since the Hoosiers began the regular season, Oladipo has been the most improved player in the country, and one of the most impressive players overall.

Oladipo's improvement across the board has been a marvel to witness, and has made IU more of a threat than the Hoosiers appeared to be before the year when Zeller was the clear best player on the roster.

Last season Oladipo averaged 10.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game to go along with 47 percent shooting from the field. This season, however, he has launched into himself into the National Player of the Year conversation. The junior from Upper Marlboro, MD., has upped his scoring average to 14 points per game, a blistering 64 percent from the field and a 51 percent average from beyond the 3-point line, after converting just 20.8 percent of his long range attempts a year ago.

The offensive production aside, the aspect of Oladipo's game that might be the most important to the Hoosiers is his defense.

Through 22 games, he has averaged 2.45 steals per game, which is good for 15th in the nation, and first in the Big Ten.

Oladipo will be neck and neck with Ohio State senior point guard Aaron Craft for Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. He will also be on the short list for Defensive Player of the Year.

Oladipo's defensive prowess turns steals into fastbreak baskets for Indiana, and sends the best home court advantage into a frenzy. In the biggest Indiana home game in quite some time, Oladipo forced Michigan standout sophomore point guard Trey Burke into a tough night offensively, allowing Indiana to take a big lead early as they took down the then-No. 1 Wolverines, 81-73. Two days later, Indiana reclaimed the No. 1 spot in the polls for the first time since December.

Oladipo¹s defining moment this season was in Indiana's 75-70 victory over No. 13 Michigan State at Assembly Hall. Zeller made only two baskets, but clinched the contest with a layup and a drawn charge in the final 98 seconds. Oladipo¹s stat line jumped off the page.

In 30 minutes, the junior guard finished with 21 points, seven rebounds, six steals and three blocks. It¹s his complete arsenal offensively and defensively that has seen Oladipo steadily rise on NBA Draft boards this season.

Before the season, Oladipo was considered a late first round pick at best.

With his breakout season, Oladipo could be a lottery pick. He, of course won¹t be the highest draft pick on the Indiana roster. Zeller is all but guaranteed to be a top five pick. The seven-foot sophomore has had a very good season while averaging 16 points and eight rebounds this season.

Zeller is a terrific player, but if the Hoosiers are going to hang their sixth National Championship banner in the rafters of Assembly Hall, Oladipo will lead them there.

 

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • SPT-WT-041714-JAKE BEDWELL PIC Hatchets get first win over Loogootee LOOGOOTEE -- The Loogootee baseball team had its chance to get back to .500 and pick up its fifth win of the season, but instead the visiting Washington Hatchets flipped the script to get their first win of the season. The Hatchets (1-4) scored four

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports Briefs Vikings beat Cardinals MONTGOMERY -- The Barr-Reeve girls tennis team defeated Washington Catholic, 5-0. Allison Hoover beat Macy Kane at No. 1 singles (6-2, 6-0), Melody Rohrer beat Claire Burch at No. 2 singles (6-0, 6-1) and at No. 3 singles, Beth

    April 17, 2014

  • Area girls tennis teams strive for sectional championship Spring is here and that means we have traded snow showers for almost daily thunderstorms, but the temperatures have warmed up and the girls tennis season is in full swing. Washington, Washington Catholic, North Daviess, Loogootee and Barr-Reeve all f

    April 17, 2014

  • SPT-WT-041614-BrianHughes Hughes named District 3 Coach of the Year Bryan Hughes has been coaching basketball for more than half of his life, he's received numerous accolades for his team's success, but one award in particular still brings him great pride. For the third time, Barr-Reeve's Bryan Hughes has been named

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Area Athletic Postponements

    All Barr-Reeve and Washington athletic events for Tuesday were postponed due to inclement weather. Loogootee track and junior varsity baseball were also postponed. North Daviess baseball, girls tennis and boys golf still will go on as planned.

    April 15, 2014

  • SPT-WT-041514-Hatchet CCOV golf WHS 4th at Vincennes Invitational VINCENNES -- The Hatchets finished with one of their top performances in several years Saturday in the Vincennes Invitational. Their team score of 327 was good for an overall finish in fourth place in the 18-team event. Tournament favorite Vincennes

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT-WT-041114-LHS_ND02 Nolley tosses 2nd straight no hitter in win LOOGOOTEE -- Over the first six games to start the baseball season, Loogootee (3-3) has struggled with consistency from its pitching staff. The lone exception would be southpaw Gabe Nolley. Nolley threw his second straight no hitter during Thursday

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Barr-Reeve wins opener at WHS Barr-Reeve was rusty in the field and at the plate, but Lucas Graber took care of the rest. The Vikings (1-0) defeated Washington (0-1) Wednesday night at the Sports Complex behind a complete game shut out from Graber. The Vikings and Hatchets ente

    April 10, 2014

  • SPT-WT-040914-LHS_NK Lions drop Blue Chip opener to Warriors

    LOOGOOTEE -- As the old adage goes, "momentum is the next day's starting pitcher." After two lopsided wins over the weekend, the Loogootee baseball team learned that didn't guarantee anything in week two of the regular season.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT-WT-040514-ALEX WITTMER PIC ND looks to take step forward in 2014 ELNORA -- The last two season's have ended for the North Daviess baseball team in similar fashion -- a close loss to a talented team in the sectional. In 2012 it was Loogootee and last year it was Barr-Reeve, both games were decided by a combined fou

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo