Oladipo, we’re all for you

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Did you hear the loud earth-shattering boom earlier today? That was the sound of the hearts of Hoosier Nation fans breaking.

Although it’s not a complete shock Victor Oladipo is forgoing his senior year and entering the NBA draft, it didn’t make the news any less bitter-tasting.

The junior, first-team All-American is graduating in May and according to the AP he is projected as a top-six choice.

Oladipo was the second-leading scorer and averaged 6.3 rebounds and 13.6 points a game. He also commanded respect by those he played with and against. But more than that, at the risk of sounding like a complete girl, he looks really, really cool doing it.

I mean come on, not only can he drive the lane, throw a shot up under handed and sink it, he can dunk the ball with what looks like an effortless jump. The man has “hops.”

I’ve written before about the program rebuilding after sanctions from Kelvin Sampson nearly demolished the tradition known as Indiana basketball. Oladipo was one of the guys who helped fans remember what it’s all about. The 6’5″ Maryland native was able to come in to a new state, school and basketball program and not only succeed, but epitomize what Indiana University basketball is. They worked hard and demanded the nation note their growth. As a result they made IU basketball spectators have fun.

Although I’m not happy to see him leave, I’m grateful to have attended the school consisting of this program. Cody Zeller, a sophomore basketball player, will announce his plans tomorrow. I won’t be surprised if he decides to enter the NBA draft as well but the holes left behind will be big to fill (and not just because they are big guys). If both Oladipo and Zeller are NBA bound that will leave four former starting positions ( Christian Watford, Zeller, Oladipo and Jordan Hulls) empty.

Although it’s uncertain what Zeller will decide, I will put my sadness aside and wish the best for Oladipo. I think Victor said it best in the press conference announcing his decision.

“It’s an honor to be an Indiana Hoosier. It means so much to me and I will always be an Indiana Hoosier. This is my home. I love this place. I love the fans. I love the people.”

In the same press conference, he said will come back to visit and he hopes he will be welcomed back with open arms.

We will always welcome you back, Victor.

Love, a member of Hoosier Nation

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Obama chooses Indiana to win NCAA tournament

Obama chooses Indiana to win NCAA tournament

In what has become a spring ritual, President Obama filled out a men’s basketball bracket. He choose Indiana to win the NCAA tournament. He also had Louisville, Florida and Ohio State in the final four.
The president has given his predictions to ESPN before but hasn’t correctly guessed the winner since 2009. Here’s to hoping he is right.

IU basketball seniors: foundation of a comeback

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Indiana University basketball makes me emotional. Every time I watch Christian Watford’s game winning shot against no. one Kentucky in Dec. 2011, and the crowd’s reaction, I get chills.

Every time they lose, I lose with them and ever time I see them do well I can’t help but feel the pride for the Indiana University men’s basketball team.

Those who haven’t witnessed Indiana basketball will not understand why I feel this way. However, members of Hoosier Nation will know exactly what I’m saying.

My father is an Indiana University basketball fan and his father was as well. Through them I learned the tradition of Indiana basketball.

Tonight they have a chance to win the Big Ten regular season title.

I can’t think of anyone more deserving than the three seniors, Derek Elston, Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford.

The three seniors are getting ready to play their last game in Assembly Hall and will try to win this outright Big Ten regular season title, something IU hasn’t accomplished in 20 years.

The senior class, who has gone through some of the roughest moments in IU basketball history will play Ohio State.

They went 22-41 their first two years as Tom Crean tried to rebuild the program tarnished by previous coach Kevin Sampson.

I was trying to figure out why the program was so emotional and realized it’s because they never gave up, showed loyalty and put in the work they are finally seeing pay off.

Each player could have said goodbye to the team when things got ugly. Instead they decided to be the faces of the program in a rough rebuilding period. They practiced, played and practiced more, even in the two-year period  they lost 41 games. They are a big part of the reason younger players in recent years decided to commit to IU.

After all they have done, Elston, Watford and Hulls deserve to be returned the love, respect and support they have put in the game every day for the past four years. They have been the foundation of the Indiana University basketball comeback.

I will be watching the game from my home tonight and hope the crowd in Assembly Hall will cheer loud through the game and stay for the senior activities after. As the Indiana Daily Student said in their paper today, Derek, Jordy, C-Wat, you are Indiana.

Good old-fashioned rivalry

I love sports. I love everything about them – competitiveness, teamwork, group effort, victory, heartbreak, all of it.

If you’re from Indiana you know the in-state college athletic rivalries – Indiana University, Purdue and Notre Dame. I make no secret of the fact I am an IU alum and avid IU basketball fan.

I don’t have a personal vendetta against Purdue (my brother, friends went there etc.) but I do love a good athletic rivalry. Tonight my Hoosiers beat Purdue at their home, Mackey Arena, by 37 points and I can’t help but be happy about that.

The Hoosiers have had a good season thus far but have a tough match-up Saturday. Although Hoosier Nation fans everywhere are enjoying the victory, it’s now time to be on to the next one – no. 1 ranked, Michigan.

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Watford wins 2012 ESPY for Best Play of the Year

I just had to relive the moment. Such a cool experience to witness IU campus when Christian Watford made the shot coined “Watshot” and the team beat no. one seed Kentucky. Congrats to Watford for the 2012 ESPY for Best Play of the Year.

Team celebrating with the crowd.

After the win, Hoosier Nation rushed every inch of the court. Then ran to Kirkwood.

One more for good measure: Kirkwood after the game.

Well worth the ESPY win.

This Is Indiana

There has been a lot of well-deserved hype surrounding the Hoosiers lately. The men’s basketball team, with the help of Tom Crean, has had a season that has left many IU fans exclaiming, “We’re back.” The Hoosiers, 15-2, are now ranked 7 in Associated press and 8 in the Coaches poll.

Because of the hype, a lot of writers are coming out of the woodwork to cover the notorious Hoosier basketball program. However, when covering athletics, or any subject, the writer should really check his facts. Sports Illustrated senior writer L. Jon Wertheim recently wrote an article referring to the IU fan base as “Hoosiers Nation.” Hoosiers? There is no “s” at the end. The IU fan base is actually “Hoosier Nation,” and I am a student who is very proud to be a member of Hoosier Nation with players such as Zeller, Oladipo, Watford, Hulls, Sheehey, Jones, Roth, and Elston on the team.

Hoosier Nation is bleeding cream and crimson for the players who are reminding us all what basketball is about. It’s the camaraderie, pride, and high that come with competition. Coach Crean was asked why he chose to coach Indiana basketball after NCAA violations from a previous coach. His response? “It’s Indiana.”

The Hoosiers will be be visiting No. 5 Ohio State, 15-3, at 4:30 this afternoon. Go Hoooooooooosiers!

The following link is the perfect example of why IU fans are so excited this season: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f2TXItC_hU&feature=player_embedded