In this morning’s Post, we learned more about Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, a DeMatha product and one of the brightest stars competing in the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16 at Verizon Center. While most analysts agree that the talented junior will be a top 10 pick in June’s NBA draft, The Post’s Michael Lee spoke with a front office executive with one Eastern Conference team to learn more. Here’s what he had to say (he requested anonymity to speak freely about Oladipo’s prospects):
“Oladipo would probably be, by far, one of the most improved players in the last four or five drafts. I don’t know if there has been a player who has gone from where he was projected at the beginning of the season compared to where he’s finishing at the end of that same season. Looking at most mock drafts coming into this season, I doubt if anybody had him in the first round, yet alone top five or six.”
“What he’s shown is not only an ability to improve on certain skills, but he has shown a tremendous ability to become more consistent at what he was already very good at. Oladipo was already a very good athlete who could really defend. And I think what he’s done is he’s gone from being a very good athlete who could defend every second or third game, to a very good athlete who could defend every single game. And that has been, as much as anything, responsible for his rise in most people’s mock drafts.”
“I do think he has helped himself tremendously in terms of increasing his ability to shoot the basketball. He’s gone to like a 50 percent three-point shooter right now. Even if that doesn’t carry over directly percentage wise. I mean, if it dropped 10 percent from 50 to 40, that’s pretty good. What Oladipo has done in terms of rising is, one, I mentioned is consistency, two, he’s become a better shooter and three, he’s an integral part of the reason his team is winning at a very high rate. You could make the argument that he and/or Cody Zeller are responsible for leading the number one team in the nation, at least a team that has been number one.”
“But I think the impact he’s had on winning, and improving his shooting and his consistency, that’s pretty dramatic for a player to do that in one season.”
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