Crean On Oladipo

Whenever anyone puts out a press release for any reason, they presume that they’ve said all there is that needs to be said about the topic, and that the release should be sufficient for everything a reporter might need. This of course, is never the case, because people never really talk like they do in a press release, and even if they are giving out what is basically the same information, it’s more interesting to read when you know that a real person actually spoke the words with his own mouth.

With that in mind, somebody (I think it was Inside Indiana’s Ken Bikoff) asked Tom Crean for more information on recruit Victor Oladipo. What he said isn’t all that different from what you’ve already read, but it’s mildly interesting because it comes from Crean’s mouth, It also gives you an idea of what it’s like to interview the naturally caffeinated one.

Q: Any more thoughts on getting a letter of intent from Victor?

A: Oh, I’m excited about it. We targeted Victor along with a couple of other guys. We’ve had Victor in our sights for a long time. Great program. And I remember when we offered him a scholarship, I remember when I saw him the first time, I remember the feeling that I had when I saw how improved he was when we told his coaches we were offering a scholarship. He is a high-level athlete. Probably what we didn’t say in that press release is that his motor just runs at a high level all the time. And I think that’s one reason he’s such a good defender. He takes pride in his defense. He takes pride in going after you. And I think he’s going to fit in very well. And he’s an outstanding young man. Here’s an example. I think there’s 200 young men in his class, I think, at DeMatha. He was one of 10 chosen to have lunch at the White House with Barack Obama. That’s pretty strong at a school like DeMatha. And it wasn’t like it was all athletes and things of that nature. So he’s got a lot of things going for him. He’s got a great family. He’s got a great mindset. He’s pretty aware of what he’s gotta work on for a kid that age. He knows he’s not anywhere close to a finished product. One thing that I’ve felt even better about as a coach, we were sold a long time ago, but I have some friends in coaching that go through there because it’s such a loaded program and there’s so many players, and they’ll come out and say ‘We had no idea he was that good.’ And that’s good news. And I’m glad that nobody tried to steal him away, because then we didn’t have to have a fight. But he is going to really be a really strong part of this program for a long time.

Q: What are the things he still has to work on?

I think his offensive consistency would be the biggest one. I think a consistent, reliable 3-point shot. I think he gets it. I think he’s streaky right now. The ability to really finish with contact at the rim when he can’t dunk it. He’s an explosive athlete, I mean a high-high level athlete. Right away, you get a kid like that, you’re starting to think about the lobs you’re going to put in for him. And that’s what we saw this summer from him. I would just think the offensive arsenal. The ability to finish with contact will happen when it gets stronger. The ability to be a pure, ball handling guard. And then defensively, he’s very very good on the ball, he’s very good in a trap situation, I think really improving off the ball and having that awareness.

(At this point, Crean went on a tangent about what he calls “spatial awareness,” relating it to both the current team and Oladipo. I might type this out if my flight from Philadelphia to State College weren’t about to leave. I think you get the point.)

9 comments

  1. I think Coach Crean is really giddy about having a kid that can jump out of the gym and setting up those lob plays for alley oops. Not sure I remember having a guard at IU with the jumping ability VO has. He will be fun to watch.

  2. It’s rather ironic that you guys call out press releases, when half of your stories and posts on this blog are copy-and-paste jobs from press releases.

  3. Stlhoos, you don’t remember a guard with VO’s jumping ablility?? Greg Graham????

    If VO follows in GG’s footsteps, he’ll turn out to be one of IU’s top 10 all-time scorers when he completes his eligibility and win Big Ten defensive player of the year his senior year, as Graham did in ’93. That would be okay!!!

  4. I think stlhoos asked for one simple comparison…Leaping ability…I don’t think he asked for years of Hoosier service, all-time scoring numbers, etc….Leaping ability combines exceptional athleticism, explosiveness to the rack, and overall verticality relative to size? There’s really only one possible answer..the best dunk footage and closest thing to a mortal taking flight that I’ve ever seen in a Hoosier Hoosier uniform..

  5. Irony,

    Your math’s a bit off, to say the very least.

    And of course we’ll pass the press releases on to you guys. We just don’t think they’re the best option for us. Sending them out makes it much easier for IU, both to control how much time their people spend dealing with the media and to control the message.

    We’d just always rather have a face-to-face conversation about anything we’re reporting on.

  6. kieth smart, cal cheaney, rod wilmont. great jumpers, all. surely we can come up with more.

    also, i want to thank the moderators for coming up with an anti-spam equation we can all figure out. the sum of one plus three. FORE!

    my private pre-game sofa gate party is starting to take its toll

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