Posted May 17, 2013 on AP on Fox
Victor Oladipo mentions the late nights at the gym, the wear and tear on his key card, and he's quick to point out he's just a tad unusual, too. The Indiana product is also just a few weeks away from realizing a dream. The NBA draft is next month and Olapido figures to be one of the top picks after he helped lead the Hoosiers back to national prominence. ''It's surreal sometimes,'' he said. It's also the product of all those hours at the gym honing his shot and developing into something more than a defensive stopper. He spent so much time there he wore out his key card. Now, he's in for a big payoff. ''I'll be honest with you, I'm a weird dude,'' he said Friday at the NBA draft combine. ''At Indiana, we'd just finish watching a playoff game ... a late game, West Coast.'' That didn't stop Oladipo from going to the gym afterward. He swiped his key card so much it stopped working. Not Oladipo, though. With his infectious demeanor and relentless drive, he helped the Hoosiers go from winning 12 games as a freshman in 2010-11 to making back-to-back appearances in the regional semifinals. Indiana came into the past season ranked No. 1 for the first time since 1979 and spent more time at the top of the poll than any other team, with Oladipo and likely lottery pick Cody Zeller leading the way. Oladipo was a bit overlooked when he arrived at Indiana from high school power DeMatha in Hyattsville, Md. But he dazzled with his athleticism and defense and improved in each of his three seasons in Bloomington. He was a first-team, All-American this past season after finishing second on the team in scoring (13.6), tying for second on the team in rebounds (6.3) and earning Big Ten defensive player of the honors. He left jaws dropping with a spectacular game-sealing 360-degree dunk against Illinois in the Big Ten tournament, and he saw his shooting percentage rocket from 47.1 percent as a sophomore to 59.9 percent this past season. He made a huge leap from long distance, hitting 44.1 percent of his 3-pointers after converting just 20.8 percent the previous year. Now, he's poised to make the biggest jump of all - to the NBA. ''I'm looking forward to the journey,'' he said. ''It's a new chapter in my life. ... I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be fun. At the same time, you've got to grind. It's a business. You've got to be serious about it.'' Whether they were trying to solidify spots at the top or move up, the combine gave prospects a chance to boost their stock. They'll have more opportunities when they visit teams in the coming weeks, and UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad hopes to take advantage. A key piece of fired coach Ben Howland's recruiting class, he was widely viewed as a potential No. 1 pick but didn't quite live up to that billing. The 6-foot-6 guard had a decent season, averaging 17.9 points while leading the Bruins to the Pac-12 regular-season title but he's expected to go later in the lottery. One issue was he arrived in Westwood under the cloud of an NCAA investigation. He had to sit out the first three games and repay $1,600 in impermissible benefits after the school and the governing body discovered he accepted travel and lodging during three unofficial visits to Duke and North Carolina. It also came out in March that he was 20 years old, not 19 as UCLA had said he was. That didn't help, but Muhammad seemed relieved to get a chance to talk to teams and repair his reputation. ''I think a lot of teams were surprised by my interviews, how nice and well-spoken I am as a player and as a person,'' he said. ''I'm a guy who wants to learn, learn from veterans who I'm playing with.''
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Derrickson looking for program that’s “just like a family”

Indiana’s recruiting efforts in the area known as the DMV (D.C./Maryland/Virginia) in the Tom Crean era have yielded talents like Victor Oladipo, Maurice Creek and Stanford Robinson over the last five years. As arguably the most talent rich pocket of the country, it’s no surprise that the Hoosier staff continues to recruit the area hard. One [...]

Despite setting a standing vertical leap record, former Indiana Hoosiers center Cody Zeller will struggle in the NBA

Former Indiana Hoosiers center Cody Zeller achieved a standing vertical leap of 35.5″ at the NBA Draft combine on Friday. The 20-year-old Zeller’s jump is a record for any individual listed at 6’9″ or above in the last decade. After averaging 16.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists over 36 games as a sophomore, the 7-foot, 240 pound Zeller unwisely declared for the draft...

HD Video: Cody Zeller at the NBA Draft combine

CHICAGO — Indiana All-American Cody Zeller didn’t participate in the day one drills portion of the NBA Draft combine at Attack Athletics, but he did meet with the media and will participate in Friday’s strength and agility tests. Inside the Hall was there as Zeller fielded questions from the media on Thursday afternoon. Watch him [...]
College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

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.