Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN


March 26, 2013

Oladipo, Jordan are similar, not the same


Both are known for their high intensity, non-stop motor and elite athleticism.

Jordan and Oladipo both are shooting guards known for being more slashing, attack-the-rim type of players than as sharpshooters.

Both are known for generating highlight reel dunks as Jordan won two NBA Slam Dunk Contests (1987-88) and a quick YouTube search for “Victor Oladipo dunk” yields 22,300 results.

Both are also known for their on-ball defense. Jordan was a nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection and Oladipo was the 2012-13 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.

With Oladipo currently in his junior season and Jordan leaving for the NBA after his third year of college, both playing three years allow for convenient stat comparisons.

Jordan averaged 54 percent career shooting with a college-best of 55.1 percent his junior year. Oladipo has averaged 53.6 percent career shooting with a college-best of 59.4 percent this season. Jordan averaged 1.7 steals a game in his career, Oladipo sits at 1.5 currently. Jordan holds the college career advantage in assists slightly with 1.8 a game compared to Oladipo’s 1.7. Jordan leads the free-throw percentage at 74.8 percent to Oladipo’s 71.7 percent. Oladipo has averaged 5.2 rebounds per game in his career slightly besting Jordan’s five rebounds.

In terms of scoring, Jordan’s 17.7 points per game college career average blows Oladipo’s 10.7 points per game out of the water.

Are they the same player? No.

Is Oladipo the scorer that Jordan is? No, only two players with the first names of Kobe and LeBron can compare.

Will Oladipo go down as the greatest ever to play the sport? No, not even close.

But are Jordan and Oladipo comparable in the way that their elite athleticism enhances each aspect of their games, especially in their ability to finish at the rim and defense? Yes, without a doubt.

Oladipo’s continued and gradual improvement has shown that his ceiling as a basketball player is as tall as the sky and maybe even higher if he can leap over that.

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