Posted April 09, 2013 on AP on Fox
Indiana junior Victor Oladipo is heading to the NBA. Cody Zeller could be next. Oladipo made his announcement official Tuesday at a news conference inside Assembly Hall. He is the Hoosiers' first underclassmen to leave school early since Eric Gordon and D.J. White departed after the 2007-08 season. Zeller's announcement is expected later this week, possibly Wednesday. Losing Oladipo was no surprise to those inside the Indiana program who watched the 6-foot-5 guard mature from talented freshmen into a refined star. NBA scouts have been so impressed with Oladipo's progression that many mock drafts now project him to be taken among the top six picks. With Oladipo expected to graduate May 4, his 21st birthday, and coach Tom Crean collecting information that Oladipo would be a certain lottery pick, it was too much too turn down. Crean said the two would start looking into potential agents soon. ''I swayed back and forth especially throughout the season, but I felt this was best for my family,'' Oladipo said softly, explaining how difficult the choice was. ''Coming here and graduating in three years, I feel like I'm prepared for it. So I feel like it's the best thing for me.'' What the NBA will get in Oladipo is a workaholic. The once overlooked recruit has improved each season in Bloomington, dazzling the nation this season with his athleticism and defense. He was a first-team All-American after finishing second on the Hoosiers in scoring (13.6), tying for second on the team in rebounds (6.3) and earning Big Ten defensive player of the honors. He can play above the rim, too, as evidenced when Oladipo delivered a spectacular game-sealing 360-degree dunk against Illinois in the Big Ten tournament. This past season, he shot 59.9 percent from the field, 44.1 percent on 3-pointers -- both up from his sophomore numbers of 47.1 and 20.8. But that's only part of Oladipo's game. ''He's still not satisfied being an NBA player or a draft pick, so he's going to continue to work hard,'' said Mike Jones, Oladipo's high school coach at national power Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha. ''He's the same person today that I coached in high school.'' If scouts had any doubts regarding Oladipo's plans, all they had to do was walk into Assembly Hall before the news conference. There, a sweaty Oladipo was dressed in his crimson practice jersey for yet another individual workout with some of his soon-to-be ex-teammates at Indiana. The group included forwards Will Sheehey and Hanner Mosquera-Perea and point guard Kevin ''Yogi'' Ferrell, three players who will try to fill the void left by Oladipo's absence. It won't be easy. Oladipo's infectious personality and relentless drive were two big reasons the Hoosiers went from 12 wins in Oladipo's freshman season, 2010-11, to making back-to-back appearances in the regional semifinals. Indiana came into the 2012-13 season ranked No. 1 for the first time since 1979 and stayed there longer than any other team this season. But he just couldn't pass up the opportunity to become one of the highest-drafted players to ever come out of DeMatha. Other alums include Danny Ferry, the No. 2 pick in the 1989 draft; Adrian Dantley, who went sixth overall in 1976; and Kenny Carr, who went No. 6 in 1977. ''If you take me back to when I was playing for DeMatha and you asked who would have been in the position I am today, I guarantee you I would have been the last one picked,'' Oladipo said. ''Whenever I say he (Crean) believed in me when nobody else did, I really mean it. Coach Crean was the most consistent and most persistent (recruiter), and I just saw it as a sign from God that I needed to be wearing the candy stripes. I've become a great man because of it and I'm becoming a great basketball player because of it.'' Oladipo may not be the only underclassmen Indiana has to replace next season. Zeller, the 7-foot sophomore center, led Indiana in scoring (16.3) and rebounding (8.1) and was considered a top-three pick for most of the season. Many believe that Zeller, Indiana's 2011 Mr. Basketball and a three-time state champ, will try to join his older brothers, Tyler and Luke, in the NBA next season. Crean didn't discuss Zeller's decision Tuesday. Oladipo and Zeller did talk about it over the last week, though. ''We talked about it a little bit, I have no idea what he decided because Cody, as you know, is pretty quiet anyway,'' Oladipo said. ''I just wished the best for him and wished him the best of luck.'' If Zeller also leaves, Crean would be replacing four starters -- Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford, Oladipo and Zeller -- next season. Crean signed six players during the fall despite having only three graduating seniors. Oladipo's decision will clear another spot and if Zeller leaves early, that would create a fifth opening. For the first time publicly, Crean acknowledged Tuesday that they were preparing all along for the likelihood of more than one player leaving early for the NBA this spring. ''That's one of the reasons we oversigned. There's no question,'' he said. ''Was that a given? Absolutely not.''
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Explosive Indiana Hoosiers shooting guard Victor Oladipo wisely decides to bolt from Bloomington

Graduating college in three years, explosive Indiana Hoosiers shooting guard Victor Oladipo wisely declared for the NBA Draft on Tuesday. The 6-foot-5, 215 pound Oladipo, born to Nigerian parents and raised in Hyattsville, Maryland, averaged 13.6 points, 6.3 boards and 2.1 assists over 36 games. “It’s been an honor to play here at Indiana, but I will be entering the NBA draft...

Indiana’s Victor Oladipo Declares for NBA Draft After All-American Junior Season

After going from complementary player to national superstar in a few short months, Victor Oladipo is now taking his game to the next level. The Indiana guard announced his decision to enter the NBA draft at a news conference Tuesday afternoon on the Bloomington campus. Nobody in college basketball raised his stock more than Oladipo this season. The junior was the Hoosiers’ second...

Oladipo declares for NBA Draft; Zeller next?

It was the right decision, and it came as little surprise. But nevertheless, Indiana’s Victor Oladipo officially announced on Tuesday afternoon that he will forgo his senior season and enter the 2013 NBA Draft on June 27. “I swayed back and forth, especially throughout the season,” Oladipo said at a press conference on the Assembly Hall floor. “I just felt like this is what...

Impact of Oladipo, Zeller doesn’t end now

For IU fans, the immediate reaction to the news that sophomore Cody Zeller and junior Victor Oladipo will both enter the 2013 NBA Draft is one of a bittersweet nature. On one hand, it’s hard to escape the thought of what next season could have looked like had the two All-Americans opted to return for another crack at a national championship. It’s been 26 years since the last...

Podcast on the Brink: Oladipo, Zeller, 2012-13 recap

After a long hiatus (also known as post-Sweet 16 depression) Podcast on the Brink is back to talk about Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller’s decisions to go pro and recap the year that was for the Hoosiers. Co-hosts Matt Dollinger and Justin Albers are joined by Indy Star columnist Bob Kravitz to discuss Oladipo and Zeller’s prospects in the NBA as well as Indiana’s season-ending...

Indiana’s Victor Oladipo has Top 5 NBA Draft pick potential

Entering this college basketball season, Victor Oladipo was not the Indiana Hoosiers baller that everyone was talking about as a future NBA lottery pick. Instead it was Cody Zeller. The stock of Cody Zeller is still high, but Oladipo draft stock is a must buy. Dipo, as the Indiana faithful refer to him is a tremendous leaper, and lockdown defender. His defense has always been there...

Zeller, Oladipo declare for NBA Draft

Indiana forward Cody Zeller is declaring for the NBA Draft according to a report out of the Indianapolis Star, a move that isn't too surprising - yet one that's debatable. The move is expected to be made official at a press conference set for 4:10pm Eastern.  Zeller joins teammate Victor Oladipo, who made his announcement less than 24 hours ago, in declaring...

McLemore, Oladipo, Ledo declare for NBA draft

Ben McLemore is one and done at Kansas. Ricky Ledo is none and done with Providence. McLemore, Kansas' talented freshman guard, was among several underclassmen who wasted little time in declaring for the NBA draft on Tuesday, the day after the college season ended. Ledo, Providence, R.I., native, practiced with the Friars this season but never played because he failed to qualify...

CC Video of the Day: One Shining Moment

The NCAA Tournament ended Monday with Louisville's victory over Michigan in an extremely entertaining basketball game. For NBA fans that may not mean much. But Tuesday, the dominoes for the NBA Draft started to fall. Indiana's Victor Oladipo and Kansas' Ben McLemore announced they will enter the NBA Draft. Both are expected to be among the top five picks in this...

Big Ten basketball landscape to be vastly different in 2013-14

Earlier this week we reported that Cody Zeller will be joining teammate Victor Oladipo in declaring early for the NBA Draft this summer. They aren't the only ones to do it or about to do it either and coupled with a lot of graduating talent it means that the Big Ten in 2013-14 is going to look vastly different than it did this year. Different to some in the national...

What each Big Ten basketball team loses next season

The Big Ten was the best conference of all this past college basketball season. That will change as a lot of talent graduates and declares for the NBA Draft. In the past few days, we’ve already seen Deshaun Thomas of Ohio State and the Hoosiers’ Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller declare. Add in the fact that only one McDonald’s All-American is coming to the Big Ten- Noah Vonleh...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.