That’s A Wrap: Derek Elston

  • 03/15/2011 11:03 am in

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our attempt to make some sense of the 2010-11 season. Sit back. Relax. Grab some popcorn. Get your read on. Today: Derek Elston.

Final Stats (31 games): 4.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 0.3 apg, 51.2% FG, 63.6% FT in 15.5 minutes per game

First thing is first: Derek Elston did not take a leap in his sophomore season. In fact, his role even shrunk a bit.

After using enough offensive possessions (20-24 percent) to be listed as a “significant contributor” by KenPom during his freshman campaign, Elston slid back to a “role player” (16-20 percent) this year, according to KenPom.

After shooting 36.0 percent from distance in 2009-10, Elston only shot 17.6 percent (3-of-17) this season. Elston also took less field goals (151 to 125), free throws (46 to 33) and 3-point attempts (25 to 17) year over year, while also registering less rebounds (128 to 114), assists (12 to 8), steals (21 to 14) and blocks (12 to 8).

Oh, and this all came in more minutes on the floor (15.1 as a freshman compared to 15.5 this season).

So what to make of this?

Well, there are a few factors here. As far as his offensive production is concerned, the additions of Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey, as well as Jordan Hulls taking a more active role in the offense marginalized Elston a bit.

But his defense was his Achilles heel this season.

Outside of Bobby Capobianco (a staggering 10.7 fouls per 40 minutes) and Tom Pritchard (6.5 fouls per 40 minutes), Elston (5.7) registered the most fouls per 40 minutes on the team.

He would often enter a game, set an illegal screen (or two), pick up a foul (or two), fail to get into a rhythm on the offensive end, and then eventually get yanked. And it became apparent that coach Tom Crean didn’t fully trust in Elston, either — a trust that dwindled by season’s end.

In the last two games of the season, Elston played just nine minutes against Illinois and three minutes against Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament.

Shining moment: Nineteen points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field in a loss to Northern Iowa on Dec. 22 in Las Vegas.

Bottom line: Elston has a good frame and basketball body, especially on a team lacking size. He also has the talent and ability to start in the Big Ten. And if his pre-game dance routine is any indication, he fits in with his teammates. But until Elston gets more focused on both ends of the floor, it’s going to be hard for him to take the next step in the maturation of his college basketball career.

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  • Anonymous

    Don’t lump Tom Pritchard in with Elston and Capobianco in regards to soft defense. Tom was the only dependable post defender this team had. Did he still pick up too many fouls? Yes, but he cut down significantly (and I’d say by the end of the season nearly eliminated,) the silly fouls he committed with regularity last season. When Pritch got beat it was most likely because he was out of position trying to wipe up a frontcourt player’s mess.

  • Anonymous

    Even Kenneth Faried videos. Think there aren’t about 340 other D-I schools wondering how they missed the boat on that guy?

  • MillaRed

    I’m in agreement here Red. We’re not thinking any different than any other team in our position. Wrong or right? Sure, let’s go ahead and be that one program that is different because we are incredibly great people. Uh, Noooooooo! This is a business. We can pretend it’s not. But it is indeed a billion dollar business and needs to be treated as such until we are back where we need to be.

  • Guest

    Agree that the kids got some issues, but are we really in a position to be calling for frontcourt players to leave? Lets face it, I wouldn’t have minded a little Bawa time this year. We just don’t have enough tools to be telling folks they aren’t good enough to be on our team right now. We should be willing to give Mr. Whipple a frontcourt spot if he’s willing. Hopefully that changes in the near future, but we’re just not there yet. DE suffers from several personal issues, but he also needs some coaching. If you give him the same kind of green light to screw up and continue to play through as CTC gives VJ, maybe some of these issues would already be behind us. DE can’t be our biggest problem for the year, he didn’t play enough. Newsflash, VJ was our biggest problem this year!

  • Kfdchev

    I coached a 5th grade team that played better defense than DE. If you play soft defense you reach and get there late….that leads to fouls. He just doesn’t get it !

  • Andrew

    Couldn’t agree more. Your last sentence says it all. You have to earn the right to smirk out there, as weird as that sounds. I do like that Will plays with an edge, which is something the ’11 Hoosiers sorely lacked. Really excited to see how he looks next season.

  • Anonymous

    I agree on the dancing, though that may just be a personal thing. Every ranked team I played on at both levels came out acting like you assaulted our family and we’re about to do unspeakable things to you in revenge. No laughing, no smiling, no talking with opponents beyond the obligatory “good luck” fist bump before tip-off.

    I can’t understand how guys can get their mentality set on a game by acting like they’re pre-gaming for a frat party.

  • Anonymous

    and would love to see a Jared Jefferies, Newton, Moye, Coverdale, Fife, etc around him…….

  • Anonymous

    Hopefully, he works on his game and stays out of tattoo shops!