With the outcome of the draft lottery decided last night, Otto Porter seems very unlikely to end up in a Pelican jersey. Now, asides the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Washington Wizards are reported to be very interested in selecting the Hoya on June 27, 2013. Consequently, let's shift our attention today to Victor Oladipo.
Oladipo attended the highly regarded DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, Maryland. Since it was a powerhouse, with many players going on to play for the college elite, Oladipo didn't become a starter until his senior year. In that final season, he averaged 11.9 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.6 blocks a game. Not surprisingly, he was rated rather low among high school shooting guards: 41st by Rivals, 39th by Scout and 53rd by ESPN.
Regardless, due to his impressive motor and athleticism, he was still recruited by several notable schools including Notre Dame, Indiana and Xavier. Eventually, Indiana's persistence won out as Tom Crean saw a player he had to have on his roster:
"When you coach a guy like Dwyane Wade, you're always looking for the next one, and you realize, they're not really out there, so you're out there looking for some of the same traits,'' Crean said of Oladipo earlier this year. "We saw that talent, that upside, the athleticism, how humble he is and how undervalued. There wasn't a doubt in our mind he was going to be a key recruit.''
Victor Oladipo's first two years at Indiana were borderline mediocre and didn't scream - NBA prospect. In his sophomore campaign, he averaged 10.8 PPG, 5.3 REB, 2.0 AST. 1.3 STL, 0.6 BLK and 2.1 TOV. Both his PER (20.5) and TS% (.546) actually slipped from his freshman season. For whatever reason, besides FT%, his shooting efficiency dropped significantly, down 7% from 2 point range (52.3%) and a whole 10% from 3 point range (20.8%).
However, many things came together for him in his junior season, where he averaged 13.6 PPG, 6.3 REB, 2.1 AST, 2.2 STL, 0.8 BLK and 2.3 TOV. His PER and TS% skyrocketed to 28.9 and .648 respectively. His 2FG% jumped to 64.4% and 3FG% to 44.1%.
- Prototypical SG. Oladipo measures to be 6'4'', but more importantly, has a wing span of 6'9'' and weighs 213 pounds.
- Athleticism. At the NBA combine, Oladipo recorded an excellent vertical leap (33 inches) and a maximum vertical (42.5 inches). Additionally he fared very well on the agility tests, besting highly touted Ben McLemore. Lastly, he reportedly can benchpress 185 pounds 15 times.
- Defensive abilities. In his final year of college ball, Oladipo posted a 86.9 Defensive Rating, which were buoyed by his strong per 40 minutes rates in steals (3.1) and blocks (1.1).
- Intangibles. Many observers have credited Oladipo with an excellent motor and work ethic. Winning is a priority - back in high school, he agreed to come off the bench during his junior season.
Victor Oladipo, winner of the Sporting News Player of the Year and the NABC Defensive Player of the Year, is one of the top talents in the upcoming NBA draft. However, there remain several concerns that demonstrate, offensively, he isn't nearly as polished as say Otto Porter or Trey Burke.
First, many wonder whether his efficient production is sustainable. It's already been mentioned above the dramatic improvement he displayed from his sophomore to junior season. However, few fail to take into account a decline in many of his numbers through the course of his breakout season, when the schedule usually strengthens:
Second, his playmaking ability is questionable at best. Besides suffering from a poor assists to turnover ratio, his turnover rate, when considering his shot attempts per game (8.4), is extremely high and he never showed any improvement in this area in his three years at Indiana.
These caveats are the main reason why I'm not a fan of people comparing Oladipo's ceiling to say that of Andre Iguodala; or some like Magic Johnson, taking it to a whole other level:
"To me, he's a combination of [Michael] Jordan and Dwyane Wade."
No one is saying Oladipo won't reach these lofty comparisons and become a perennial all-star, but in fairness, shouldn't the bar be a little lower? There is nothing wrong with drafting a more efficient shooting Tony Allen.