NOTES: Hoosiers to honor Oladipo on Sunday

Victor Oladipo is stopping by his former stomping grounds.

Days after the Indiana Pacers guard was named to his first NBA All-Star team, the former Indiana University All-American will be recognized prior to today’s game against Purdue.

Oladipo, who earned his IU degree in three years and was named the 2013 Sporting News National Player of the Year, is averaging a career-high 24.1 points per game for the Pacers this season, along with 4.1 assists and 5.2 rebounds.

“What an unbelievable story he’s been for not only our program, himself and the Pacers this year, but he’s really put himself on a different level as a player in the NBA,” first-year IU coach Archie Miller said Saturday.

“Really happy to see that. Victor has been very supportive of us since we got the job. To have him back will be incredible feeling for our fans, an incredible feeling for our players and our staff to have him back. He’s a great guy. Just excited to see him continue to do his thing.”

Oladipo has made occasional trips back to Bloomington since the Orlando Magic selected him with the No. 2 overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft.

Having the jovial Oladipo pop in is typically a treat, IU senior Collin Hartman says.

“It’s always good having old guys back, especially Vic,” Hartman said. “He’s a legend in Indiana now, not just for Indiana basketball, but also for the Pacers organization. It’s awesome to have guys like that come back and support the program.”

Old guy?

Would Hartman call the 25-year-old Oladipo an “old guy” to his face?

“Yeah, I would,” Hartman said with a smile. “People call me an old guy already.”

Ready for a rival
Having played his college ball at North Carolina State during some of the most exciting years for the Atlantic Coast Conference, Archie Miller understands the value of a rival.

Down on Tobacco Road, Miller’s Wolfpack teams always relished games against North Carolina. Since arriving in Bloomington last March, Miller has heard from fans and former players about the passion associated with IU-Purdue games.

Today, he’s looking forward to getting his first taste.

“You don’t need to tell me or ask me what it means,” Miller said. “I know what rivalries mean. I know what the opportunities when you play each other can do for you on the good and the bad. It’s big.”

Free throw competition
After struggling at the line in Wednesday’s loss at Illinois, the Hoosiers are making free throw shooting a competition.

To get players focused on knocking down their shots, Archie Miller has his Hoosiers taking a tournament-style approach during practice.

“That’s something we’ve done from the beginning of the year and we’re just getting back into it,” junior Zach McRoberts said. “It’s always a good challenge. It makes guys focus on shots. It’s been going good. If you win, you go up a basket. If you lose, you go down a basket. It’s a good competition.

Collin Hartman is the current free throw leader in practice.

The Hoosiers are shooting 66 percent at the line as a team this season, while shooting a league-worst 65.5 percent in conference games.

“Guys make free throws in practice,” Hartman said. “We just need to bring that carryover into the game.”