Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Oladipo more valuable to IU?
By Matt Giles
Ever since Indiana's defeat of Michigan State, a popular topic of conversation among college basketball analysts and enthusiasts has centered around the value of Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller. More specifically, there have been debates on whether one Hoosier is more valuable than the other. CJ Moore, who has written for Basketball Prospectus, took a very in-depth look on the conversation and had an interesting take on what Oladipo provides Indiana.
During the offseason, coach Tom Crean vowed the Hoosiers would be a more stingy defensive squad in 2013. Per John Gasaway's Tuesday Truths, IU is holding Big Ten teams to just .94 PPP, the second best defensive rate in the conference, and a significant reason for their defensive turnaround is the junior wing. Oladipo's steal rate -- 5.2 percent -- is impressive, and it is worth noting IU relies heavily on deflections. The coaching staff measures the team's defensive deflections after every game, and Oladipo registered 22 deflections against Michigan State, and as Moore stresses, Oladipo's ability to pressure ballhandlers into either taking a flustered shot or committing a giveaway fuels Indiana's offense, especially their transition game.
While Zeller is not a defensive slouch, Oladipo is clearly Indiana's best player on that side of the ball, and because Oladipo's offensive abilities have broadened beyond the open-court -- his true shooting percentage of over 70 percent leads the team -- the wing may very well be the Hoosiers' MVP at mid-season.