Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tigers join the race for Oladipo

Note: This article was originally published at

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – In order for Missouri basketball to be successful, it needs athletic wings who can create turnovers defensively and run the floor on the offensive end.

Victor Oladipo fits both of those descriptions perfectly.

Oladipo, a 6-5 swingman from DeMatha (Md.) who plays AAU for Team Takeover (D.C.), is a defensive menace who racks up steals and blocks at a high rate. He is very active in the passing lanes and forces deflections and turnovers with his pressure and athleticism. Oladipo is also solid on the glass despite his size.

Offensively, he is deceptively quick and can get to the rim on most defenders. Oladipo is a tremendous finisher who dunks with authority and can also hit the three.

More importantly, however, he is unselfish and a team-first player.

“I wanted to make a name for myself and my team,” Oladipo said after Takeover’s win over Houston Hoops in the semifinals of the AAU Super Showcase in Orlando. “We have been underrated all season long, and now we have a chance to win the whole thing. I’ve played pretty well, pretty solid, but I’m just trying to win games.”

Team Takeover would go on to defeat Team STAT/Each One Teach One in the championship game – Takeover’s U-16 team also won their age group’s title.

The 2010 prospect, ranked as the No. 27 shooting guard in the class, had a long list of potential suitors, including a particular Big 12 school: Indiana, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Providence, George Mason, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Clemson, Missouri, Charlotte and Auburn.

“[Missouri] started recruiting me after the Peach Jam,” Oladipo said, referring to the NIKE AAU tournament held in South Carolina earlier this month. “They like to run with a lot of pressing; they play at a high level. I guess they think I suit their style of play. I like their style of play and I’m looking forward to getting to know them better.”

He added that the Tigers have offered him a scholarship and he might check out the Columbia campus with DeMatha teammate Justin Black, who is from Missouri.

“Yeah, he moved here from there but I might visit this month,” Oladipo said.

Oladipo plans on cutting down his list to 10 at the end of July.

“I want to go somewhere where I can make an impact as a person and as a player right away,” he said. “Somewhere I can call home.

“I want to go where it’s best for me, where it’s the best situation.”

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