Men's Basketball team, player head shots, taken in Cook Hall, 07/20/12_Aaron Ferguson
Updated: March 12, 2013 6:28AM
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Victor Oladipo has emerged as a candidate for national player of the year.
But Indiana’s junior guard isn’t getting too caught up in the added attention.
“It’s nice and all, but I remember where I came from,” Oladipo said after scoring a career-high 26 points in Sunday’s 81-68 victory against Ohio State. “That’s great that people think of me like that, but I don’t really think of myself like that. I just want to win ball games, to be honest with you. I have to keep growing and doing whatever it takes for my team to win. Because when I play at a high level, my team does.”
IU coach Tom Crean isn’t into the promotional aspect when it comes to awards. With Oladipo and Cody Zeller, he’d rather let their play do the talking.
“I think you can poll most coaches in the country, they’d like to have Cody Zeller on their team. And I think most would probably like to have Victor Oladipo as well,” Crean said. “When you have a couple of guys like that, that keep getting better on both ends of the floor, that speaks for itself.”
Zeller created havoc in the paint for Amir Williams, getting the Ohio State center in foul trouble less than four minutes into the game. Zeller finished with 24 points and eight rebounds.
Oladipo scrapped for loose balls and scored five straight points to spark a 10-2 spurt in the second half that gave IU breathing room. Oladipo finished with eight rebounds and two steals. He came into the game leading the Big Ten in that department (2.3 per game).
“I can become so much better,” Oladipo said. “Every day of my life I tell that to myself because it is true. There’s a lot of things I need to work on and I’m willing to work on them.”