Oladipo recognized for his defense for the first time since college, voted All-Defensive First Team

Hickory, Pacers, Victor Oladipo

Victor Oladipo was voted the Defensive Player of the Year in the Big Ten, and nationally in college basketball by the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 2013, his third and final season at Indiana University. It’s known to be a strength of his game.

But it wasn’t an emphasis for him again until the 2017-18 season with the Pacers. Back in Indiana, Oladipo got back to his defensive success in year one with his third team in three years.

He led the entire league in steals per game (2.36), was fourth in deflections per game (3.8), and contested more three-point attempts than any other player. He has recorded a steal in a franchise-record 64 consecutive games, a streak that continues into the 2018-19 season.

All that, and the Pacers’ 48 wins, six more than last season, helped Oladipo be selected to the All-Defensive First Team for the first time in his five years as a pro.

This was one of Oladipo’s goals for the season. He wanted to get back to being active on the defensive end and he’d do that by setting the tone.

“It’s huge,” he told VigilantSports.com last fall during training camp. “That’s a huge part of the game. I think the best teams in the league all have the best defensive ratings so that’s going to be huge for us. If we want to be good, we have to play defense.

“I’m going to make a point to be the point guy for everything. I just feel as though that’s my role and I just got to continue getting better, learning, and being a willing teacher as well.”

Utah’s Rudy Gobert, one of three finalists for Defensive Player of the Year, received the most points, including 94 First-Team votes. Also on the first team: New Orleans’ Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis, and Philadelphia’s Robert Covington.

As a team, the Pacers ranked 14th in defensive rating (105.6), two spots better than last season.

Fun sidenote: Pacers head coach Nate McMillan was voted to the All-Defensive Second Team twice, in 1994 and 1995 with the Seattle Supersonics.

Oladipo becomes the fourth player in franchise history to earn All-Defensive First Team honors, joining Don Buse (1975), Ron Artest (2004), and Paul George (2014).

This was something his college coach, Tom Crean, thought should happen. He tweeted “I’m looking for Victor Oladipo to be 1st team all defense” … and that’s exactly what Oladipo did.

Voting Results:

NBA, All-Defensive Team

2018 NBA All-Defensive Teams.

[Photo: Frank McGrath/PS&E]

There are no comments yet. Be the first and leave a response!

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL http://vigilantsports.com/oladipo-recognized-for-his-defense-for-the-first-time-since-college/trackback/