Heading into the season, many were touting Indiana‘s Cody Zeller as the top pick in the Draft. While Zeller had had a strong sophomore campaign, he may not even be the top pick on his own team. That honor could be bestowed upon Victor Oladipo.
The numbers that Oladipo is putting up this year are simply astonishing for a guard. He’s averaging 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals a game for one of the nation’s deepest teams in a remarkably efficient way. He is shooting 63% from the field, 49% from beyond the arc, and 75% from the line. We had the chance to watch Oladipo in the summer at the CP-3 Elite Guard Camp and at IU’s Hoosier Hysteria, where he wowed onlookers with his strength and athleticism. The way that the DeMatha product slashed to the rim was simply unstoppable at times, especially when going right. His 210 pound frame allowed him to finish through contact at the rim and he showed that he was a solid shooter with his feet set. The defensive end is where Victor really stood out, though. He was able to stay in front of smaller guards such as C.J. McCollum, Trey Burke, and Lorenzo Brown with his length and outstanding lateral quickness. Oladipo’s ability to change the game defensively and slash to the rim with ease has made him one of the highest risers in the 2013 NBA Draft and a viable candidate for the Naismith Player of The Year award.
Just 20 years old, Victor is on pace to graduate early from IU and many expect him to enter the 2013 NBA Draft. ESPN.com, DraftExpress, and NBADraft.net all have him slotted in the top 10 picks of the Draft, with Chad Ford writing that he may be in contention for #1 overall. While that may seem a little far fetched at this point, Oladipo has been proving people wrong all season long and you never know what could happen with a strong NCAA tournament run for the Hoosiers.