User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Indiana star Oladipo leaving for NBA

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - Indiana junior Victor Oladipo is heading to the NBA. Cody Zeller could be next.

Advertisement
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.''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
NCAA to appeal O'Bannon decision
UConn to meet Ohio State, Arizona
Gaines, Kresse to receive Lapchick Awards
Vols adding Memphis transfer Woodson
Former Hoosiers stars reunite in Indy
Tulsa sued over alleged rape
Vanderbilt coach dismisses 2 players
Michigan's LeVert able to play again
Duke's Jones: 'Never a rivalry' with Cook
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAABK College Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2013 CBK SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
The Gold Sheet + 3952
Bill Marzano + 2405
Tony Stoffo + 2235
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
No Games Last 7 Days  
   
   
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
The Gold Sheet 57 %
The SportsBoss 56 %
Tony Stoffo 55 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
The Gold Sheet + 2810
Bruce Marshall + 2797
The Prez + 1048
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kyle Hunter + 3283
Antony Dinero + 1301
Tony Stoffo + 1265
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Marc Lawrence + 1600
The SportsBoss + 1422
Bruce Marshall + 1116
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!