Men's Basketball

    Oladipo Declares for the NBA Draft

    Go Hoosiers! Victor Oladipo
    Go Hoosiers!
    Victor Oladipo
    Go Hoosiers!

    April 9, 2013

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    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana University men's basketball All-American Victor Oladipo has announced that he will forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the NBA Draft. Oladipo will graduate from Indiana University in May with a degree in Sport Communications - Broadcasting.

    "It's been an honor to play here at Indiana, to grow as a man and as a human being, but I'll be growing and going on and entering the NBA Draft," said Oladipo at a press conference in Assembly Hall on Tuesday. "It's an honor to be an Indiana Hoosier. It means so much to me and I will always be an Indiana Hoosier. This is my home. I love this place. I love the fans. I love the people."

    Oladipo ends his time at Indiana with a career average of 10.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.7 assists in 104 career games. He ranks third at Indiana in career steals (161) and owns 1,117 career points, ranking 37th all-time at IU. During his junior campaign, he averaged 13.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 2.1 assists per game while helping lead the Hoosiers to back-to-back NCAA Sweet Sixteen's for the first time since 1994 and the Hoosiers' first outright Big Ten regular season championship since 1993. This season, Oladipo set Indiana's single-season record in steals (78) and led the Big Ten in field goal percentage (59.9) and steals (2.2).

    "It's an incredible thing to watch someone who is as good a person, has the charisma, the personality, the integrity, the character to just come alive with this second-to-none work ethic that he has brought. It has helped transform our team," said Indiana head coach Tom Crean. "It has made everybody else in this program better. Victor may not have been the point guard per se, but when he was on the court, he impacted the game for everyone and made every one of this teammates better. It was a lot more than just what happened on the basketball floor during the games. That's why I truly support what he's doing and there's no question that he has the physical abilities, the mental capacity, maturity and focus, the emotional well-being and the spiritual background to be able to go and put himself in a position now where he takes this next step, which is a huge step, but where he takes this next step and is truly ready to embark on what I think will be an incredible career at the next level, the NBA level."

    Oladipo, the NABC National Co-Defensive Player of the Year and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, was named the Sporting News National Player of the Year, while also earning First Team All-America honors from Sporting News, the NABC and the Associated Press. The Upper Marlboro, Md., native was also selected to the Wooden All-America team.

    At the conclusion of the regular season, Oladipo was named a First Team All-Big Ten honoree. A finalist for the Wooden Award and the Oscar Robertson Trophy, he also earned his first career Academic All-Big Ten accolade in March.

    The 2013 NBA Draft will take place on Thursday, June 27.


    Here is a partial transcript of what Victor Oladipo and head coach Tom Crean had to say at today's press conference:

    Opening Statement
    Coach Crean:"Thanks to everybody for coming on short notice and for those of you that were here a little bit earlier you saw that we just finished our workouts and J.D. (Campbell) and the team transformed this into a press conference. There is no better place to have a meeting like this than inside this building (Assembly Hall). In short, what Victor Oladipo means to us, what he has meant to me and my family, and our coaching staff personally for a lot longer than even what he's meant to our Indiana family, the Indiana fans, the entire Hoosier Nation, it's really hard to describe it. The privilege that we have had here with him in this time period of being able to watch him grow and develop of all areas of his life leads to a point where you have decisions to make. You have options. Victor epitomizes, to me, what it means to have someone that deserves to have those options in his life. He has truly, truly earned those. He didn't have them handed to him. They weren't bestowed upon him. They weren't entitled to him. He went out and took them. When you get around people like this, and I've been around a few, but when you get around people like this, that just have that spirit, will, grit and toughness, but more importantly the ability to dream big and then to build goals into those dreams and destinations into those dreams it is a great, great feeling.

    "Now I will turn it over to Victor."

    Oladipo: "Thank you for coming out. I appreciate you for doing this. It's been an honor to play here at Indiana, to grow as a human being, as a man and as a human being, but I'll be growing and going on and entering the NBA Draft. It's an honor to be an Indiana Hoosier. It means so much to me and I will always be an Indiana Hoosier. This is my home. I love this place. I love the fans. I love the people.

    "I'd like to thank Coach Crean, personally, for believing in me when it seemed like no one else would. I would like to thank the coaching staff, Marni Mooney, my academic advisor, everybody who helps me around here at Indiana, because without them I wouldn't be successful and I wouldn't be graduating in three years. I graduate on May 4, my birthday, and I'm looking forward to that more than anything. It's truly an accomplishment for me. In my family, education is big, so for me to actually accomplish that is truly a blessing.

    "I would like to thank my teammates, my teammates of the past and my teammates now. Without them I definitely wouldn't be in this position I am in today. It's not just one person that wins games. It's a team. They've become my brothers. You guys know it, I don't have any brothers in my family, so these guys are truly my brothers and they've been supporting me all the way. Without them, like I said, I wouldn't be here.

    "I'd like to thank my family. They've been my rock. They've been coming to games and they've been supporting me, even though they might not be sure exactly what's going on. I'm just thanking God for this opportunity. It's truly a dream come true but it's become a goal and to actually achieve my goal is an amazing story. I just have to keep working and make sure that my hard work and my work ethic stays that way and it becomes a way of life. I'm going to make sure I do that."

    Coach Crean:"What you've been able to see with Victor, the numbers and I know you have a lot of them there, they don't tell the story. The story has been written inside of (Assembly Hall) with the extra work, inside Cook Hall, inside the film room, inside gyms back home in (Washington D.C.), certainly DeMatha, wherever his Team Takeover team was practicing, wherever he could get a workout. That's where the story has been written to this point. It's an incredible thing to watch someone who is as good of a person, has the charisma, the personality, the integrity, the character to just come alive with this second-to-none work ethic that he has brought. It has helped transform our team. It has made everybody else in this program better.

    "Victor may not have been the point guard per se, but when he was on the court, he impacted the game for everyone and made every one of his teammates better. It was a lot more than just what happened on the basketball floor during the games. That's why I truly support what he's doing and there's no question that he has the physical abilities, the mental capacity, maturity and focus, the emotional well-being and the spiritual background to be able to go and put himself in a position now where he takes this next step, which is a huge step, but where he takes this next step and is truly ready to embark on what I think will be an incredible career at the next level, the NBA level."

    On the decision he had to make and if he struggled with it:
    Oladipo:"I swayed back and forth, especially throughout the season. I felt like this is what was best for my family. Coming here, like I said, and graduating in three years and getting such a great education that I have here at Indiana University, I feel like I've prepared it. Coming in and working out with Coach Crean and his coaching staff, I feel like I've prepared for it so I feel like it's the best thing."

    On his playing career at Indiana University:
    Oladiop:"It's been a crazy three years. My freshman year coming in here was tough. We won 12 games. Coach Crean, as he does, did a phenomenal job of recruiting and brought in a lot good players and the players that are already here, that I have the utmost respect for, they just kept growing as players and as human beings and we got this thing rolling last year, my sophomore year.

    "This year it was a great feeling. We had a great team. We won the Big Ten outright and we went to the Sweet 16 two years in a row. It's been a crazy three years. I'll always love playing and will remember love playing in Assembly Hall and turning around and chest bumping and fist swinging and all that stuff to the crowd to get them hype and everything like that. Like I said, I'll always be a Hoosier until the day I die."

    On when entering the NBA Draft became a real possibility:
    Oladipo: "Probably after the season was over. I was hearing stuff (during the season) and realizing I had a good chance of getting to the NBA, but I was so focused on Indiana and wearing the Candy Stripes that I wasn't worried about anything else. At the end of the year, then it seemed like the best decision was to go (to the NBA). As I said before, I will always be a Hoosiers. I love the people here. They are my family, they really are. They are role models for me and I will always come back and I hope you guys welcome me with open arms."

    On the keys that helped him decide he was ready to make the jump:
    Oladipo: " A little bit of everything. Hearing where I am at (in the projections) and meeting with coach Crean, my family and people I really care about about, and then seeing where I am at as a human being and as a basketball player. Even then, I have a lot of room to grow in both of those areas. I am looking forward to it. I am opening another chapter in my life. God has opened it for me and I thank him from the bottom of my heart, because without him I definitely wouldn't be here. Without him I definitely wouldn't be at Indiana to begin with and be blessed to be around so many great people. God works in mysterious ways and he is working for me in my life and I am really thankful for that."

    On when he realized that Victor might be ready for this:
    Coach Crean: "It was last year. That's one of the reason we oversigned (our recruiting class). We don't talk about that publicly but there is no question because we are here every day and we see the story being written. We are part of the story with him.

    "Now, was that a given? Absolutely not. The one thing that stands out to me on the court was the shooting improvement. I could coach another 30 years - I won't - but I may never see another guy improve from one year to the next. That is astronomical improvement. But it wasn't mind blowing because we saw him every day. And even when we couldn't work with him, he did so many things to build his game.

    "I think the thing that made me realize more and more that, not only could this happen or it might happen, but he was going to be ready for it to happen was how his leadership went this year. It's not just how he leads himself but how he started to lead and be a big leader for his teammates. When you are younger, you have your up and down days. Victor didn't have too many of those. There are always thing that you want to see as a coach that cares about the players the way that you do, in the sense of `these things have to be there to be really good'. When they are with you, it is an extended family to the highest degree. You want to feel comfortable turning someone over to someone else. It is the same thing when families send them over to us. So there are certain things that you want to make sure are there for him, not that it would change a decision or sway a decision because it shouldn't. But then you feel good about where he is going.

    "Ultimately this is a daily process and we have to have a short term ability to look at it. It is a day-to-day thing, but you have to have a long-term vision for these guys and exactly where it could take them. I have never mixed words with Victor on that. He always knew that we had that plan for him and that's how it worked here.

    "I don't think there was any one moment. But I think it has been over a period of time. But I am not surprised that he has the ability to do this and where he is projected right now by the people that make decisions."

     

     

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