As Tom Crean built his first Indiana recruiting classes, he sold his future vision of the program. Winning would be scarce to start. But stick with the hard-working culture and the long hours that come with it, and the on-court success would come.
Within that culture is an attention to detail on all aspects of a basketball player. Add it up year over year and Crean has shown a strong suit for player development. It’s been a major foundation for his program building at Marquette and Indiana.
Derek Elston, who played at Indiana from 2009 through 2013 and professionally the last two seasons, has returned to the program as the director of player development, the program announced today.
Elston, a Tipton native, has been in the role for about a week now. The full release from Indiana on his hiring is available below:
The freshman guard play in last season’s Big Ten was exceptional. The conference welcomed three McDonald’s All-Americans and several other players who made instant impacts.
Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell was the second pick in last June’s NBA draft. Maryland’s Melo Trimble led a turnaround season for the Terps in College Park. James Blackmon Jr. scored the third most points ever by an Indiana freshman.
One of the other newcomers who made a strong first impression in the Big Ten but who isn’t talked about as often is Robert Johnson.
Indiana didn’t waste any time getting straight to work Friday, the first day of official practice for college basketball programs across the country.
The Hoosiers, who open the regular season six weeks from today, took the floor in Cook Hall for a pair of practices. The first began at 6:30 a.m. this morning and the day wrapped up with a late afternoon session in which Tom and Dick Van Arsdale, who played for IU from 1962 to 1965, observed and spoke to the team afterward.
The fourth college basketball yearbook published this fall, the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, was released this week.
Indiana officially started its season early Friday morning with a practice at 6:30 a.m. and after weeks of individual workouts, the Hoosiers will finally get a chance to begin working together as a team for 20 hours a week.
It’s an exciting time of year for Tom Crean, who spoke to the media on Thursday afternoon at Cook Hall about his team entering a season in which the Hoosiers should begin ranked in the top 15.
As Indiana prepares for its first practice Friday, Tom Crean met with the media Thursday afternoon at Cook Hall to provide updates on a variety of topics.
You can watch the full video of Crean’s comments here, but we’ve also transcribed some of his more notable comments below: