DAYTON – Victor Oladipo has emerged this year as one of the country’s most dynamic players. What he’s not, apparently, is an expert on James Madison trivia, either the school or the namesake.
Challenged Thursday to name the conference, nickname and state of origin of James Madison, Indiana’s first NCAA opponent, Oladipo got all three (CAA Dukes Virginia). But he ran aground when asked who James Madison the figure was.
He signed the Declaration or something like that, Oladipo said. James Madison, he signed something big, like the Declaration of Independence. I’m right, right? Emancipation Proclamation, something like that.
For the record, Madison – the nation’s fourth president – actually didn’t sign either. What he did was draft the Constitution and write the Bill of Rights.
Oladipo got his revenge, though, by asking his tormentor what an Indiana Hoosier was.
The guy had nothin’.
I think I won that little trivia challenge right there, Oladipo said.
The coaching fraternity really is a small world.
Case in point: James Madison assistant coach Mike Deane, a 36-year veteran whose résumé includes five seasons at Marquette – where he went 100-55 – and immediately preceded Indiana coach Tom Crean, who’ll be on the opposite sideline today.
One of the best coaches in this game, Crean said of Deane. There’s no question about it. I know what kind of character he has, and I know what kind of players and people he recruited and how he coached them because I got to inherit those guys.
I had some fun years early on at Marquette with the young people we had there.
Iona game plan
Not exactly a household name.
But Iona is becoming one in the household where Bishop Luers grad Deshaun Thomas and the Ohio State Buckeyes reside, because Iona is their first NCAA tournament opponent.
They’ve got great scorers, Thomas said Thursday. They’re very active on defense.
So what we need to do is just run our offense with pace and hit the open shots and hit the open man, and just play hard and play with a lot of effort.