Indiana University's Victor Oladipo is making a move to the NBA.
The junior guard made the announcement at a news conference along with Coach Tom Crean at Assembly Hall. Oladipo says while it's been an honor to be a Hoosier, it's time to move on.
Crean praised him as being the kind of player who epitomizes what it means to have those choices.
"What you've been able to see with Victor - the numbers, and I know you have a lot of them there with you, they don't tell the story. The story has been written inside this building, with the extra work inside Cook Hall, inside the film room, inside gyms back home in DC, certainly DeMatha [High School], wherever his takeover team was practicing, wherever he could get a workout, that's where this story has been written to this point. It's an incredible thing to watch somebody that 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. It's helped make everybody else in this program better," said Crean, who added that Oladipo's influence extended beyond the basketball court.
"To be an Indiana Hoosier means so much to me and I'll always be an Indiana Hoosier. This is my home. I love this place. I love the fans. I love the people. I would like to thank Coach Crean personally for believing in me when it seemed like no one else would," said Oladipo, who also thanked his academic advisor and the coaching staff for helping him to graduate in three years. "It's truly an accomplishment for me."
He also thanked his teammates. "Without them, I definitely wouldn't be in the position I'm in today. Because it's not one person who wins games. It's a team. They've become my brothers. You guys know it - I don't have any brothers in my family. These guys are truly my brothers. They've been supporting me all the way."
Crean says he believes Oladipo has the "physical abilities, the mental capacity, maturity, focus, emotional well-being and spirital background" to take the next step towards an "outstanding career at the NBA level."
About Victor Oladipo
Oladipo was tapped for a number of honors in recent weeks, including the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Co-Defensive Player of the Year, the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, 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 started all 36 games this season and averaged 13.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Oladipo led the Big Ten in steals (2.2 spg) and ranked among the top two in field goal percentage (59.9) in the conference. He also earned his first career Academic All-Big Ten accolade in March.