INDIANAPOLIS — Fans of the Indiana Hoosiers still adore Orlando Magic rookie Victor Oladipo.
Oladipo received loud applause when public-address announcer Michael Grady announced Oladipo as a starter prior to Monday night's game against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Hoosiers fans — sometimes wearing IU's trademark candy-striped warm-up pants — have turned up at Magic games all season long.
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"It's pretty crazy," Oladipo said. "There's fans in Oklahoma City. It's just all over the place. Wherever we go, there's Hoosiers fans in the stands, wearing candy stripes or wearing IU jerseys. So, it's definitely a blessing to have a fan base like that."
Oladipo played three seasons at Indiana.
The Hoosiers struggled during his freshman season, but IU's resurgence as a basketball program mirrored the growth in Oladipo's game. The team reached the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament his sophomore and junior seasons.
On Sunday, Oladipo had one of his toughest games as a pro. He made just three of his 16 shot attempts, including lots of misses near the hoop, which was defended by Boston's Jared Sullinger.
Sullinger is 6-foot-9.
Pacers center Roy Hibbert is 7-foot-2, and Magic coach Jacque Vaughn was eager to see if Oladipo was going to use his floater more often against Indiana.
Oladipo has been working on his floater with Vaughn and assistant coach for player development, Laron Profit.
"I should just remember to use it sometimes during the course of the game," Oladipo said.
O'Quinn roots on Seattle's Chancellor
Magic center Kyle O'Quinn correctly predicted that the Seattle Seahawks would beat the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. O'Quinn reasoned that defense wins championships, and the Seahawks have the NFL's best defense.
But O'Quinn also felt a measure of loyalty to Seattle because he's friends with Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor. Chancellor hails from Norfolk, Va., and O'Quinn went to college at Norfolk State.
Chancellor played a big role in the Seahawks' 43-8 victory. He delivered a bone-jarring hit in the first quarter and also intercepted a Peyton Manning pass.
"I'm texting him now, actually, and I'm telling him how proud I am for him," O'Quinn said.
"He's pretty pumped. Everybody's happy for him."
Speaking of the Super Bowl, even Nik Vucevic, the Magic's center from Montenegro, was happy Seattle won. Vucevic attended college at Southern Cal, and the Seahawks are coached by former USC coach Pete Carroll. The Super Bowl MVP was former USC linebacker Malcolm Smith.
"Inspired" by Seattle
Pacers coach Frank Vogel watched the first three quarters of the Seahawks' win, and he saw parallels between the Super Bowl champs and his own team.
"I was inspired by it," Vogel said.
"I see a lot of us in the Seattle Seahawks: a dominant defense. I think defense like theirs is something we can attain in terms of being dominant on the defensive end. What struck me and the message I gave our guys today is they won with their defense, but they had no turnovers. They didn't beat themselves on the offensive end, and that's the area we have to get to."
A reminder: Wednesday night's Magic home game against the Detroit Pistons is now scheduled to begin at 7 and will be televised on Fox Sports Florida only. It was originally scheduled to start at 8.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his blog at OrlandoSentinel.com/magicblog and follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.