Does Oladipo score enough to win Big Ten POY?

Last week, my colleague Tom Dienhart and I debated the frontrunner for Big Ten Player of the Year. Hours after leading No. 1 Indiana over No. 5 Michigan State, Victor Oladipo was my selection.

Not only does the guy do it all, he does it for the Big Ten’s best team. My only question is: Does he score enough? Right or wrong, scoring often is what decides who brings home the hardware.

At 14 points per game, it’s not like Oladipo struggles to put the ball in the basket. That said, there are seven Big Ten players who average more than him, including teammate Cody Zeller (16.6).

[ RELATED: View our Victor Oladipo news archive ]

Let’s look at some history to get a better feel for this topic. Going back to the 1995-96 season, only two players have averaged fewer points than Oladipo and won Big Ten Player of the Year – Mateen Cleaves (11.7 in 1998-99) and Dee Brown (13.3 in 2004-05).

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Not surprisingly, Cleaves and Brown both led their teams to the Big Ten title in their award-winning seasons. Like those two former stars, Oladipo could benefit from team success – even if he isn’t the point guard of the title team.

Take away Cleaves and Brown’s seasons, though, and the 17 other players to win Big Ten Player of the Year since 1995-96 (there were ties in 1998-99 & 1999-2000) have combined to average 17.6 points per game.

That’s quite a bit more than Oladipo. But the Indiana junior makes up for it with superb peripherals, including field goal percentage (64 percent) and defense (2.4 spg, 0.8 bpg).

Given all that Oladipo does and the way in which he impacts the game, this race figures to come down to – surprise, surprise – the Big Ten standings. If Indiana holds on to win the crown, Oladipo should claim at least a share of the conference’s top honor.

Big Ten Player of Year (since 1995-96)
2011-12: Draymond Green, Michigan State – 16.2 ppg
2010-11: JaJuan Johnson, Purdue – 20.5
2009-10: Evan Turner, Ohio State – 20.4
2008-09: Kalin Lucas, Michigan State – 14.7
2007-08: D.J. White, Indiana – 17.4
2006-07: Alando Tucker, Wisconsin – 19.9
2005-06: Terence Dials, Ohio State – 15.3
2004-05: Dee Brown, Illinois – 13.3
2003-04: Devin Harris, Wisconsin – 19.5
2002-03: Brian Cook, Illinois – 20.0
2001-02: Jared Jeffries, Indiana – 15.0
2000-01: Frank Williams, Illinois – 14.9
1999-2000: Morris Peterson, Michigan State – 16.8; A.J. Guyton, Indiana – 19.7
1998-99: Mateen Cleaves, Michigan State – 11.7; Scoonie Penn, Ohio State – 16.9
1997-98: Mateen Cleaves, Michigan State – 16.1
1996-97: Bobby Jackson, Minnesota – 15.3
1995-96: Brian Evans, Indiana – 21.2

About Brent Yarina web editor Brent Yarina covers football and men’s basketball for He writes the popular uniform feature “Clothes Call,” which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read all of his work here. You can subscribe to Yarina’s RSS feed and follow him on Twitter @BTNBrentYarina.


Your Opinion?
Show Comments (21 Comments)
Gary on 2/23/2013 @ 12:20pm EDT Said:

There is more to this award than just scoring. 14 points a game especially since he missed over half of one game that I can think of should not prevent him from winning. With everything else he does to alter the opponents ability to score with steals and deflections I think we like to focus way too much sometimes on points per game.

    Brent Yarina, on 2/23/2013 @ 12:38pm EDT Said:

    I’m not saying it will prevent him from winning it, just thinking aloud and providing some historical perspective. It shouldn’t matter with all the ways he impacts the game.

Mark on 2/23/2013 @ 12:38pm EDT Said:

Oladipo doesn’t pad his stats vs the lesser teams. Check stats in the big games. He is off the charts.

jim on 2/23/2013 @ 12:52pm EDT Said:

r u kidding this guy is the best player in the big 10 by far. nobody can bring to the court on both ends what Oladipo can. hes the best player on the best team

Doug on 2/23/2013 @ 1:14pm EDT Said:

Cleaves led his team to the final four in 99, and I believe Oladipo can do the same thing for IU.

Sheldon Chastain on 2/23/2013 @ 3:37pm EDT Said:

Tell me this…How does Oladipo’s efficiency match up to those winners? and how does his efficiency match up to the players this year.

Doreen on 2/23/2013 @ 3:40pm EDT Said:

He is great on offense and defense!!! He plays hard every game!! Wish he wasn’t graduating!! He gets my vote.

Doug on 2/23/2013 @ 4:24pm EDT Said:

Doreen, he is only a junior, did he redshirt one season?

Spencer on 2/24/2013 @ 10:45am EDT Said:

Oladipo is hurt somewhat by minutes played. The last three winners averaged: Green (33), Johnson (35) and Turner (35). Vic is under 28, a function of being on a team that spreads a lot of minutes. At .5 points per minute, Vic would be in the 17+ range playing 33-35 a game. I think it’s also important to recognize nearly every recent winner had the offense running through them (or was one of two “go-to” guys). IU has five guys averaging 9.9+ ppg and does a very good job of capitalizing on what the defense is giving; there are very few “sets” for Oladipo, and many of his scoring chances seem to come from put-backs and fast breaks…breaks usually created by an Oladipo steal or deflection.

Doug – Vic is a Junior but is graduating in three years.

Robert Kimmell on 2/24/2013 @ 10:56am EDT Said:

Victor Oladipo is a third year junior (not redshirt), but is on schedule to earn his degree in May of this year.

Cary Hanni on 2/24/2013 @ 10:57am EDT Said:

Ask the players who they would least like to have guard them and who they would pick. He has not red-shirted. He started at a time that Indiana had to play everyone they had that could walk and chew gum at the same time.

Cary Hanni on 2/24/2013 @ 11:02am EDT Said:

Also, like many other Indiana players, he is graduating in less than four years. Cody will finish at end of next summer (two years), Jordy Hulls is a graduate student now, two guys last year finished with master’s degrees in four years of college, and Derek Elston and Christian Watford are slackers because they are taking the ususal four years to graduate. Another feather in Tom Crean’s hat. These guys are really college students and play basketball very well.

Brandon on 2/24/2013 @ 11:11am EDT Said:

No redshirt, graduAting in 3 yrs. prob top 10 pick so not coming back

bigsutty on 2/24/2013 @ 11:24am EDT Said:

He is a “true” junior … same class as Sheehey (note to Detroit reporter, it’s Will not Ryan Sheehey) … Oladipo’s FG shooting percentages (hope I am not jinxing him) are amazing this season. Something like 50.2 from behind the arc, 67 or 68 percent overall. Five steals vs. MSU AT MSU? I love Cody, but VO is an MVP. Cody was made to look bad by ESPN in highlights … but he had several key plays in that victory. Izzo, by the way, is pure class.

TsaoTsuG on 2/24/2013 @ 3:27pm EDT Said:

The individual who scores the most points per game is given the B1G Scoring Title. Granted, if those handing out the hardware know anything about basketball. The individual who contributes the most to the team and whose team makes great achievements should be given the POY. Do not forget, steals are usually valued at about 3ppg. Why? The two that team may get from the extra possession and the two points against he may have prevented. Isn’t it time that we show some respect for the game in all its facets?

jon m on 2/24/2013 @ 11:25pm EDT Said:

Oladipo is the best player in the country and will be first player taken in the draft.

Al on 2/25/2013 @ 8:53am EDT Said:

In every big game I’ve watched this year, Oladipo was the best player on the floor and he’s a huge part in why IU is 2 games up on everyone else in the league. In my opinion, he’s the only player in the B1G who can single-handedly take over a game on both ends of the floor and win it. MSU found that out last Tuesday.

wordsdomatter on 2/25/2013 @ 9:07am EDT Said:

Same argument was made for Jordan Hulls being Mr Indiana Basketball. He, and Victor have proven there is much more to basketball than scoring. If I were an NBA scout, VO would be #1 on my list.

Justin Plummer on 2/25/2013 @ 11:29pm EDT Said:

Oladipo deserves to be National Player of the year. His 14 points is spectacular considering all the scoring going on around him. Team player! Defensively I take him over anyone in the country. He has the poise to be whatever he wants on the court and the drive to deliver the very best. Someone has been knocking on Air Jordans door…Victor Oladipo

G-Man on 2/26/2013 @ 10:02am EDT Said:

Oladipo is graduating because he is doing all of this on the court the way he functions off the court-only has taken him 3 years to graduate!!!! What NBA team doesn’t want VO? He’s a proven winner by his attitude with all of his life endeavors it seems. No small talk, no trash talk, he walks the walk…
GV in Fishers IN

Liz on 2/28/2013 @ 8:20pm EDT Said:

Victor is definitely my pic for Big Ten Player of the Year! Offense…defense….he is a T.E.A.M. player which is what makes him the best!!!!!!!