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Off-Season To-Do List: Victor Oladipo

Indiana freshman Victor Oladipo drives around Minnesota's Austin Hollins in Minneapolis on Jan. 4.

With the season complete and the offseason officially started for the 2010-11 Indiana Hoosiers, The Hoosier Scoop will have a breakdown of each individual player’s season and what he needs to focus on during the offseason. The eighth player in the series is freshman guard Victor Oladipo. PREVIOUSLY: Christian WatfordVerdell JonesJordan HullsMaurice Creek, Tom Pritchard, Derek Elston and Will Sheehey.

2010-11 STATS: 7.4 points per game (54.7 percent FG, 30.8 percent 3-point, 61.2 percent FT) and 3.7 rebounds a game.  28 assists to 44 turnovers, 34 steals.

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Will Sheehey and Tom Pritchard may have provided IU’s dunks of the year, but Oladipo made up much of the rest of the Hoosiers’ highlight reel. Beginning with Hoosier Hysteria, when he slammed over seven elementary school kids in the dunk contest, the freshman from Maryland’s Washington, D.C. suburbs established himself as Indiana’s most electric athlete. He and Sheehey were widely regarded as the Hoosiers’ most energetic players, and they served as catalysts for veteran lineups when the team desperately needed a spark. Oladipo’s vertical was a weapon, as he led the team with 51 offensive rebounds and was dynamite in transition, but he was also one of the Hoosiers’ best defenders. He tied for the team lead in steals with 34 and showed an ability to check ball handlers for 94 feet.

THE TO-DO LIST:

  • Become the team’s go-to defender. Defense was considered Oladipo’s strength when he was at DeMatha High School, and as a freshman at IU, he mostly lived up to that. He has all the tools to be a good defender — lateral quickness, length and strength — and it’s evident he takes it seriously, which is not always the case with high school stars when they arrive in college. He usually drew the assignment of the opponent’s top perimeter scoring threat for at least a few possessions per game and as always defending at least the second or third option when he and senior guard Jeremiah Rivers were on the floor together. There is still room for improvement there, though, and with Rivers graduating, the Hoosiers need him to iron out the kinks quickly. He proved his tenacity, but there were still occasions when he got crossed up, beat off the dribble, lost on screens or simply was caught out of position. He will have to cut down on those mistakes in a season when he will likely draw the assignment of the opponent’s top perimeter scorer each time he’s in the game. (more…)

In third practice, Hoosiers go in full pads

Just a day after returning from spring break, the Indiana football team was reminded of what a full-padded practice was like.

The Hoosiers used full pads just a handful of times last preseason and busted them out very rarely once the games began, usually wearing shoulder pads, helmets and shorts.

And, of course, the Hoosiers haven’t had a game since late November, and since then have seen a regime change, so it took them sometime to get used to hitting each other at full speed again.

“(Safeties coach Doug Mallory) about took me out of practice today for just tagging off when we were supposed to be thudding up,” safety Chris Adkins said. “I’m still stuck in tagging off mode.”

The Hoosiers did wear full pads a lot last spring, though some of the injuries that occurred were the reason the coaching staff opted not to use them very often in the summer and fall. It was something the Hoosiers were ready for.

“During the season, you put on the full pads, but you don’t necessarily use them,” Adkins said. “But as far as right now goes, going in just the helmets and top hats, you’re kind of wasting your time and kind of itching to hit. So wearing full pads is cool.”

Four players — running backs Darius Willis, Antonio Banks and Xavier Whitaker and offensive lineman Colin Rodkey — were held out of some of the drills with injuries. Willis, Banks and Whitaker are all coming off of season-ending knee injuries.

AUDIO: Lawrence Barnett

AUDIO: Chris Adkins

AUDIO: Lenyatta Kiles and Donnell Jones

AUDIO: Doug Mallory


IU soccer nabs No. 2 recruit

Multiple media outlets, including TopDrawerSoccer.com and ESPN.com, have reported that Andrew Oliver, the second-ranked player in the 2012 recruiting class, has verbally committed to play his college soccer for coach Todd Yeagley at Indiana.

Oliver has spent the past two years at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., as a member of the U.S. Soccer residency program, but will be returning to his home town of Indianapolis following this summer’s U-17 World Cup in Mexico. He will attend Southport High School, and if he chooses to play high school soccer, would play against Bloomington North and Bloomington South in Conference Indiana games.

Recently, Oliver led the U.S. U-17 team to the CONCACAF Tournament championship in Jamaica, scoring four goals and picking up an extra time red card after the title game against Canada had been decided that will force him to sit out the World Cup opener.

His Westside FC club coach, Josh George believes the 5-foot-9 forward will be a proficient scorer.

“I think technically he’s still developing quite a bit,” George told ESPN.com’s Brent Latham. “I think he’s gonna be a big time goal scorer, I think he has the potential to be a bigger goal scorer than even Landon (Donovan) is for the U.S. He’s not the biggest guy but he’s got an edge to his game, he doesn’t back down from anybody.”

Latham has an entire story comparing Oliver to Donovan, but you have to be an ESPN Insider to read it. Read a broader overview of the story here.

Oliver could still wind up with an MLS Generation Adidas contract next winter, especially if he plays well in the U-17 World Cup, and never make it to IU. But he told TopDrawerSoccer.com that playing collegiately close to home was a big attraction.

“I just thought being close to home was a big plus,” Oliver said. “And Indiana definitely has lots of young talent coming up that’s looking really good for the program. It was the right fit for me.”


Offseason to-do list: Will Sheehey

Indiana guard Will Sheehey guards Wisconsin’s Mike Brueskewitz in Assembly Hall. Chris Howell | Herald-Times

With the season complete and the offseason officially started for the 2010-11 Indiana Hoosiers, The Hoosier Scoop will have a breakdown of each individual player’s season and what he needs to focus on during the offseason. The fourth player in the series is sophomore forward Derek Elston. PREVIOUSLY: Christian WatfordVerdell JonesJordan HullsMaurice Creek,Tom Pritchard and Derek Elston.

2010-11 STATS: 4.8 PPG (48.4 percent FG, 30.4 3pt, 64.9 FT), 2.1 rebounds, 12 assists, 14 steals.

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Admittedly, I did not expect much of Will Sheehey during his freshman season. Because Indiana did not really begin pursuing him until well into the fall, we did not get the opportunity to watch him during the spring and summer AAU season. Therefore, we went off what we could: some Internet scouting reports and a high school game televised on ESPN.

(more…)


Hollowell to announce decision Thursday

Lawrence Central swingman and Indiana target Jeremy Hollowell will announce his college decision Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at his school, his coach J.R. Shelt confirmed via text message Tuesday morning.

Hollowell, the No. 39 rated player in the Class of 2012, said last week he had narrowed his choices to four schools —Indiana, Ohio State, Purdue and Cincinnati — and that he wanted to make a decision before the beginning of the AAU season. CBSSports.com is reporting that Hollowell is expected to choose Indiana.


Offseason To-Do List: Derek Elston

Derek Elston defends Ohio State's William Buford during the Buckeyes' 82-61 win in Columbus this season.

With the season complete and the offseason officially started for the 2010-11 Indiana Hoosiers, The Hoosier Scoop will have a breakdown of each individual player’s season and what he needs to focus on during the offseason. The fourth player in the series is sophomore forward Derek Elston. PREVIOUSLY: Christian WatfordVerdell JonesJordan HullsMaurice Creek and Tom Pritchard.

2010-11 STATS: 4.9 points (51.2 percent FG, 17.6 percent 3-point, 63.6 percent FT) and 3.7 rebounds a game.  Eight blocks, 68 personal fouls.

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Elston went into last offseason knowing he would have to make a physical transformation to compete in the paint in the Big Ten and he did exactly that. The 6-foot-9 sophomore put on at least 15 pounds of muscle. His listed weight inflating from 220 pounds to 235, though it’s possible he actually weighed less when last season ended. He entered the season looking like a Big Ten power forward and he showed some signs of becoming one early, especially in December when he strung together three straight double-digit games. The athletic Tipton native continues to show range and athleticism that is beyond that of most of his fellow big men.

THE TO-DO LIST:

  • Get it together defensively. Defense has been Elston’s problem since he arrived in Bloomington. There were periods when it seemed like he made strides in that department this season, but the campaign ends with him still not making nearly as much progress as the Hoosiers had hoped. A big part of that is the fact that he had to play center instead of power forward because Guy-Marc Michel was declared ineligible, leaving IU with two other foul-prone options at the five in Tom Pritchard and Bobby Capobianco. But generally, Elston doesn’t appear to have figured out post defense. He’s out of position too often and almost always appears to be scrambling. As it has with Pritchard and Capobianco, that has resulted in a lot of fouls. His average isn’t near Pritchard’s or Capobianco’s, but he still averages 5.6 fouls per 40 minutes. Defense continues to be the biggest reason Elston hasn’t been a fixture in the starting lineup or at the top of the rotation. He started just 10 games, only two after Jan. 4, and played more than 20 minutes in a game just seven times. Pritchard doesn’t appear to be nearly as athletic as Elston and certainly doesn’t have most of the offensive skills Elston has, but he maintained the starting job for most of the season because he had a much better understanding of the basics of post and help defense than Elston showed.
  • (more…)

Borman: Traylor “as athletic as it gets.”

IMG Academy basketball director Andy Borman doesn’t think Jamari Traylor would be a natural fit as a center at the college level, but he does believe the Class of 2011 Indiana target could make an impact anywhere in the frontcourt immediately.

“He’s about as athletic as it gets,” Borman said Monday. “The immediate impact he will bring to a program is he will never be in a game that is above him.  A lot of guys can come in and shoot the ball, but it takes a year to get their frame ready. Because of his size, his frame, his athleticism, his quickness, his leaping ability, his strength, all of his physical tools are prepared right now to compete at the highest level. He has to work on his offensive game, but as far as protecting the rim, rebounding and finishing, he’s ready to go.”

Indiana needs a player that fits that sort of description, and Borman confirmed reports last week that the Hoosiers have offered Traylor a scholarship. Kansas, St. John’s, Oklahoma State, Mississippi State and Virginia Commonwealth have also offered and are in the mix, Borman said. (more…)


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