The return of Maurice Creek from injury with the return of starting wings Christian Watford and Verdell Jones, the 28.5 points scored between them on average and a solid incoming freshman class has Indiana University fans talking resurgence. You know, a complete turnaround from the past three seasons where the Hoosiers won a combined 29 games and lost 66? Tom Crean has great depth on the wing, but one guy who could breakout and help take the program back to heights circa the 2007-08 season is guard Victor Oladipo.
In his freshman season, Oladipo stepped in for the oft-injured Creek, providing an active rebounder, especially on the offensive glass and a tremendous defensive presence in limited minutes. His flashes of production put him on scouts' radar along with his size and toughness; he has decent size at 6'5", 210 pounds, with good length and great athleticism. He elevates well above the rim and shows excellent bursts to change speeds in the open court. Oladipo averaged just 7.4 points in 18 minutes per game, mostly acquired by injuries and a lack of depth, but his lack of polish offensively (raw ball handling abilities, limited perimeter shooter) does have some intrigue. He moves well without the ball, makes hustle plays and crashes the glass hard.
Oladipo may be stuck behind Creek, Watford and Jones this season and may not break out onto the national scene just yet, but if he can make steady strides in his offensive game, Indiana is in great shape to make their first NCAA Tournament since 2008.