Victor Oladipo named national player of year by Sporting News
By Andy Proffet Post-Tribune correspondent March 13, 2013 6:10PM
Updated: April 16, 2013 3:37PM
Victor Oladipo will have at least one player of the year award this season.
On Wednesday, Oladipo was named the National Player of the Year by The Sporting News, two days after he lost out to Michigan’s Trey Burke in voting for Big Ten Player of the Year.
Both players, along with IU’s Cody Zeller, are semifinalists for the Wooden Award, presented to the nation’s top college basketball player.
“It is an amazing feeling and a blessing,” Oladipo said of the award. “I could not have done it without my teammates.”
But he admits he’s looking forward to the postseason. The Hoosiers (26-5) open Big Ten Tournament play as the No. 1 seed on Friday, facing either Illinois or Minnesota. And barring a major upset, IU is expected to be one of the four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament next week.
IU is vying to be the fourth straight No. 1 seed to win the Big Ten Tournament. It’s unfamiliar turf for this group of Hoosiers; IU hadn’t had a first-round bye since 2008.
“I think we just need to take it one game at a time and treat each game like it’s your last,” Oladipo said. “If we take it one game at a time and realize if we don’t win, we go home, it will be hard for us to lose.”
Indiana coach Tom Crean said Oladipo “never takes a day off.”
“We were done with practice the other day at 4 p.m.,” Crean said. “At 4:15 p.m. we went into the film room, there’s meetings, and it’s 6:30 p.m. and he is still out there working on his shot.
“He has made this his life’s calling on that court. … He never, ever takes a day off from getting himself better.”
Oladipo is the third Hoosier to win the Sporting News award, joining Scott May (1976) and Calbert Cheaney. The Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Oladipo is also a finalist for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, also awarded to the top player of the year.