Victor Oladipo’s stellar play this season and down the stretch of the Michigan State game is helping his stock with NBA executives and personnel.
The 6-foot-5 Indiana junior guard went for 19 points, including his 1,000th career point, 9 rebounds and 5 steals as No. 1 Indiana held off No. 4 Michigan State 72-68 Tuesday night.
Indiana (24-3, 12-2 Big Ten) broke a first-place tie in the conference. The Hoosiers had lost 17 straight — since 1991 — on the road against the Spartans.
After earlier air-balling a 3-point attempt, Oladipo crossed the 1,000-point plateau with a tip-in that put the Hoosiers up 68-67 with 47 seconds left.
He later scored on a runout dunk off a pass from Christian Watford that extended the Indiana lead to 70-67 with 10.9 seconds left.
With 2.5 seconds remaining, Oladipo then made two foul shots to ice the game and give Indiana a 72-68 lead.
“For this guy to have his ankle turned for the last game, Victor has actually won this game,” Magic Johnson said on ESPN, referring to Oladipo’s left ankle injury against Purdue Saturday. “He took the game over.”
DraftExpress.com currently has Oladipo ranked No. 9 among its Top 100 Prospects.
Said one veteran NBA scout who was at the game: “He is playing with a lot of confidence. Needs to work on ball skills and his mid-range game offensively. Best perimeter defender in college.”
Added one NBA GM: “Great athlete, outstanding on-ball defender. Limited offensive player. Lottery lock.”
(The AP contributed reporting; Photo: Mike Carter, USA Today Sports