When Dwyane Wade, the player whom Victor Oladipo (somewhat unfairly) is often compared to, was coming out of Marquette, no one thought he would be the player he was. Pat Riley, Doc Rivers and plenty others in the NBA thought he was a point guard (check NBA Live 2004, if you don't believe that). His versatility was more what enticed scouts and NBA teams than what has become his legendary scoring and attacking ability.
Wade truly made his mark on the big stage of the Final Four when he recorded a triple double for Marquette, ultimately in a loss.
Victor Oladipo did not have such a moment. But his game -- a quiet explosiveness and an ability to make his teammates better and defend -- were oddly reminiscent of Wade.
The comparison is unfair because of how great Wade became. Heaping those expectations on Oladipo is extremely unfair to him at this point. Still, it is hard not to make those comparisons with some of the work he put in at Indiana this past year.
In a season where Cody Zeller was supposed to be the "it" guy on a top-ranked Hoosiers team, it was Oladipo who really shined.
Oladipo began his career more as a defensive stopper and athletic player. However, this year at Indiana, he showed a much more expanded offensive game. He was no longer just a role player but a bona fide college star. That was what made this season for Oladipo so astounding. He truly stepped into a new role and flourished for a team of extreme national prominence.
He undoubtedly has a place in the NBA because he understands how to be a role player. But to get drafted this high, he needs to be more than that. And this is where the general improvement in his game from his freshman and sophomore years to his junior year last year come into play.
The talent is clearly there for Oladipo, now it is about seeing if he can do it again at the NBA level.no comments