Late nights at gym likely to pay off for Oladipo

Associated Press  |  Last updated May 17, 2013
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.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Logan Morrison curses out umpire CB Bucknor mid at-bat

Raptors jab Bucks on Twitter after Game 4 victory

Report: NBA GMs not hesitant to draft Lonzo Ball due to father LaVar

DeShone Kizer changes course, stands by Tom Brady-Cam Newton quote

Nick Saban doesn't offer much praise of team for 'adequate' spring game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dennis Schroder admits Mike Budenholzer wants him to avoid trash talk

WATCH: Miguel Sano throws punch as benches clear in Twins-Tigers game

Glen Coffee making NFL comeback after four years in Army, seven years away from game

Fan wears Clemson championship gear to Alabama spring game

NBA reportedly investigating incident involving Patrick Beverley, Thunder fan

Blake Griffin out for the season with toe injury; how screwed are the Clippers?

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Best of Yardbarker: David Fizdale and the Grizzlies won't go down quietly

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

25 times Mother Nature disrupted sports

In some ways, Dan Rooney was just another NFL owner

Box Score 4/20: When Westbrook isn't enough

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The '♫Happy Birthday Simpsons. Simpsons, it's your birthday♫' quiz

White House championship visits over the years

Biggest needs in the draft for every NFL team

The 'Baseball has been very, very good to its players' quiz

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

In some ways, Dan Rooney was just another NFL owner

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The '♫Happy Birthday Simpsons. Simpsons, it's your birthday♫' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: David Fizdale calls B.S.

Kris Bryant can become the next Derek Jeter — and more

The 'Baseball has been very, very good to its players' quiz

NHL youth movement: How the 2016-17 rookie class fared

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker