Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean on Victor Oladipo’s development into a NBA lottery pick:
TOM CREAN: “Victor may not have been the point guard per se, but when he was on the court, he impacted the game for everyone and made every one of his teammates better. It was a lot more than just what happened on the basketball floor during the games. That’s why I truly support what he’s doing and there’s no question that he has the physical abilities, the mental capacity, maturity and focus, the emotional well-being and the spiritual background to be able to go and put himself in a position now where he takes this next step, which is a huge step, but where he takes this next step and is truly ready to embark on what I think will be an incredible career at the next level, the NBA level.”
Victor, talk about making the decision and how tough was it to make?
Oladipo:”I swayed back and forth, especially throughout the season. I felt like this is what was best for my family. Coming here, like I said, and graduating in three years and getting such a great education that I have here at Indiana University, I feel like I’ve prepared it. Coming in and working out with Coach Crean and his coaching staff, I feel like I’ve prepared for it so I feel like it’s the best thing.”
When did you realize that entering the NBA Draft was a real possibility?
Oladipo: “Probably after the season was over. I was hearing stuff (during the season) and realizing I had a good chance of getting to the NBA, but I was so focused on Indiana and wearing the Candy Stripes that I wasn’t worried about anything else. At the end of the year, then it seemed like the best decision was to go (to the NBA). As I said before, I will always be a Hoosiers. I love the people here. They are my family, they really are. They are role models for me and I will always come back and I hope you guys welcome me with open arms.”
What were the deciding factor for you to make the jump?:
Oladipo: ” A little bit of everything. Hearing where I am at (in the projections) and meeting with coach Crean, my family and people I really care about about, and then seeing where I am at as a human being and as a basketball player. Even then, I have a lot of room to grow in both of those areas. I am looking forward to it. I am opening another chapter in my life. God has opened it for me and I thank him from the bottom of my heart, because without him I definitely wouldn’t be here. Without him I definitely wouldn’t be at Indiana to begin with and be blessed to be around so many great people. God works in mysterious ways and he is working for me in my life and I am really thankful for that.”