The college basketball world is increasingly familiar and impressed with Victor Oladipo, who is overtaking Cody Zeller as the best-known member of top-ranked Indiana.
But Oladipo's ascension gets special attention in Washington. The 6-foot-5 junior from Upper Marlboro may not have been the most celebrated player to come through DeMatha High, but with dedication and work he has become has become the area's latest national player of the year candidate.
"He never came home," said Georgetown sophomore Mikael Hopkins, who didn't see Oladipo very much after playing with him for two years with the Stags. "He was always at school, and it shows that he was down there putting in work. I'm proud of him. I've been there with him for a couple years, so it's good to see that he's doing well."
With 14.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game, Oladipo has doubled his averages from his freshman season. After suffering a sprained ankle last weekend, he took over late in the Hoosiers' 72-68 win at Michigan State on Tuesday with 19 points, nine rebounds and five steals.
The play that demonstrated just what kind of rhythm Oladipo has had lately came in the first half, when he inbounded the ball off the back of a Spartans player under the basket and grabbed it for an easy dunk.
Georgetown junior guard Markel Starks, a Georgetown Prep alum, played against Oladipo in high school and in Brooklyn earlier this season, where the Hoosiers topped the Hoyas in overtime.
"He's always had the athleticism," Starks said. "But his confidence is through the roof."
- Craig Stouffer