Victor Oladipo on Tom Crean: ‘He’s always watching’

Victor Oladipo, Tom Crean, Georgia Basketball, Pacers

After games, Victor Oladipo always checks his phones. He has a routine he goes through — getting wrapped in ice bags, talking to the media, firing up his Bose bluetooth speaker, singing, and then hitting the showers.

At the Pacers’ final road game of the regular season in Charlotte, he didn’t need a text from his former coach … because Tom Crean was in the building. Oladipo changed up his routine and made his way back out onto the court at the Spectrum Center and worked with Crean for more than 30 minutes.

Oladipo had just scored 27 points in 27 minutes on 12-of-15 shooting, but had missed both foul shots in the six-point Pacers win.

They worked on free throws and his mechanics, but Oladipo said it was more about reinforcing what he should do and not about making changes. It may be nitpicking, but his free throw shooting is one area where he could improve. He shot 79.9 percent this season and got to the line twice as often versus last year, almost five attempts per game.

“I just missed two and the competitor in me, I hate missing to in a row so just go shoot some more,” he said.

It was Crean and Oladipo together again, and they were locked in like they were on the court at Cook Hall in Bloomington. Teacher, player. Mentor, friend.

“But TC, my man, is always there for me. He was just there in the building and he came in and gave his input on some that things he saw, not even just at the free throw line, but in the game that could help me down the road. It’s always awesome to have that kind of guy who’s [smirks] always watching.”

[Oladipo on IU recruit Romeo Langford: “Hopefully he makes the right choice”]

Meanwhile, Cody Zeller of the Hornets had a trying season, limited to only 33 games due to left knee pain.

Crean was recently named the head coach at the University of Georgia. The Bulldogs. Immediately, many of his former IU guys congratulated him publicly.

“They got a great coach coming,” Oladipo said. “And they’re going to win.”

By extension, Oladipo will cheer on the Bulldogs much like Marquette’s Dwyane Wade rooted for IU while Crean was roaming the sidelines.

“He’ll always be my coach. By default I’m a Georgia Bulldog fan now.”


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