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Tuesday, Feb. 20
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's basketball

Oladipo named Sutton semifinalist

Despite posting just seven points in No. 2 IU’s upset loss March 5 to No. 14 Ohio State, junior guard Victor Oladipo was named a semifinalist March 7 for the Eddie Sutton Tustenugee award, according to a press release.

He currently averages 14 points per game, six rebounds and a team-leading 2.3 steals.

The 12 semifinalists were selected by national media members. OSU’s Aaron Craft is the only other Big Ten nominee.

Butler’s Matt Howard was the inaugural recipient of the award in 2011.

In its third year, the award is named for former Arkansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma State Coach Eddie Sutton and honors “the collegiate basketball player who best exhibits the traits of tenacity and unselfishness that Sutton advocated during his Hall of Fame career.” Tustenugee is Muscogee for “warrior.”

IU’s losses have often been chalked up to some combination of poor shooting, a lack of physicality or defensive lapses, but statistically, there are few common threads.

IU has lost games this season even with a rebounding edge, such as against both Illinois and Wisconsin, or a higher shooting percentage than opponents — an above-season average 50 percent mark against Illinois.

The Hoosiers have lost to balanced scoring attacks — five opposing players in double figures for scoring against Butler — and more focused efforts: two players accounting for 59 percent of Illinois’ scoring.

The one consistency is turnovers. IU has committed more in all five losses this season, a contrast to season averages. Across 30 contests this year, IU wins the turnover battle by an average ratio of 12.5 to 14.5.

Tuesday evening was no exception, with Ohio State committing only eight turnovers while swiping eight steals, several late in the second half as the Buckeyes pulled away. IU Coach Tom Crean chalked up the margin to mental errors and ineffective ball movement.

“The good news is all our stuff is correctable,” Crean said. “The bottom line is we have to do that.”

With an absolute minimum of three games left this season, senior forward Christian Watford is within striking distance of launching into the top 10 on the school’s career scoring list.

He currently sits 11th, 34 points behind Brian Evans. If his present average of 12.7 holds for the next three games, he will pass that mark. Six games at that pace and he would eclipse Damon Baily for seventh.

Any rank beyond that is essentially unattainable, with Allan Henderson a full 238 points ahead of Bailey.

Big Ten Network’s “The Journey” filmed at IU both in the days leading up to Senior Night and at the festivities themselves.

Those wishing to relive IU’s senior ceremonies and the stories of the three seniors can catch the result 8 p.m. ET Sunday on Big Ten Network.

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