The effect of this father-son relationship on Victor is impossible to fully know. He is very close to his mother and three sisters, all of whom text him constantly. He has improved dramatically as a player, and some suggest that this is partly because of his odd relationship with his father. "Victor loves his father," says Crean, "and like anybody else, he wants the respect of his father."
Jones says, "I believe the nature of their relationship has helped. It's given Victor something to prove. Watch the way he defends. The guys he guards aren't even part of the game."
Victor is not so sure. "Maybe it's a blessing in disguise," he says. "I see a lot of dads who are really involved, and sometimes it's aggravating because the dad wants it so much that he just pours it on the kid."
His teammates know him as the same exuberant character that TV audiences see in uniform. "He's got this way about him," says his onetime roommate Will Sheehey, an Indiana junior. "If he walks into a room, he wants people to look at him. He's flamboyant, but he's so nice that it doesn't really matter." Victor is, predictably, among the most voracious consumers of extra practice, wearing out the managers who rebound for shooting practice. The motor that made him a viable college recruit will go with him to the NBA.
First, however, there is a tournament to play. Four games to win for a trip to the Final Four. And if Indiana makes it, Chris Oladipo says he will be there to watch his son. For sure.