Offseason To-Do List: Derek Elston

Derek Elston defends Ohio State's William Buford during the Buckeyes' 82-61 win in Columbus this season.

With the season complete and the offseason officially started for the 2010-11 Indiana Hoosiers, The Hoosier Scoop will have a breakdown of each individual player’s season and what he needs to focus on during the offseason. The fourth player in the series is sophomore forward Derek Elston. PREVIOUSLY: Christian WatfordVerdell JonesJordan HullsMaurice Creek and Tom Pritchard.

2010-11 STATS: 4.9 points (51.2 percent FG, 17.6 percent 3-point, 63.6 percent FT) and 3.7 rebounds a game.  Eight blocks, 68 personal fouls.

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Elston went into last offseason knowing he would have to make a physical transformation to compete in the paint in the Big Ten and he did exactly that. The 6-foot-9 sophomore put on at least 15 pounds of muscle. His listed weight inflating from 220 pounds to 235, though it’s possible he actually weighed less when last season ended. He entered the season looking like a Big Ten power forward and he showed some signs of becoming one early, especially in December when he strung together three straight double-digit games. The athletic Tipton native continues to show range and athleticism that is beyond that of most of his fellow big men.


  • Get it together defensively. Defense has been Elston’s problem since he arrived in Bloomington. There were periods when it seemed like he made strides in that department this season, but the campaign ends with him still not making nearly as much progress as the Hoosiers had hoped. A big part of that is the fact that he had to play center instead of power forward because Guy-Marc Michel was declared ineligible, leaving IU with two other foul-prone options at the five in Tom Pritchard and Bobby Capobianco. But generally, Elston doesn’t appear to have figured out post defense. He’s out of position too often and almost always appears to be scrambling. As it has with Pritchard and Capobianco, that has resulted in a lot of fouls. His average isn’t near Pritchard’s or Capobianco’s, but he still averages 5.6 fouls per 40 minutes. Defense continues to be the biggest reason Elston hasn’t been a fixture in the starting lineup or at the top of the rotation. He started just 10 games, only two after Jan. 4, and played more than 20 minutes in a game just seven times. Pritchard doesn’t appear to be nearly as athletic as Elston and certainly doesn’t have most of the offensive skills Elston has, but he maintained the starting job for most of the season because he had a much better understanding of the basics of post and help defense than Elston showed.
  • (more…)

Borman: Traylor “as athletic as it gets.”

IMG Academy basketball director Andy Borman doesn’t think Jamari Traylor would be a natural fit as a center at the college level, but he does believe the Class of 2011 Indiana target could make an impact anywhere in the frontcourt immediately.

“He’s about as athletic as it gets,” Borman said Monday. “The immediate impact he will bring to a program is he will never be in a game that is above him.  A lot of guys can come in and shoot the ball, but it takes a year to get their frame ready. Because of his size, his frame, his athleticism, his quickness, his leaping ability, his strength, all of his physical tools are prepared right now to compete at the highest level. He has to work on his offensive game, but as far as protecting the rim, rebounding and finishing, he’s ready to go.”

Indiana needs a player that fits that sort of description, and Borman confirmed reports last week that the Hoosiers have offered Traylor a scholarship. Kansas, St. John’s, Oklahoma State, Mississippi State and Virginia Commonwealth have also offered and are in the mix, Borman said. (more…)

Big Ten to add ice hockey as conference sport

File this under the list of things that don’t currently affect Indiana but you might find interesting anyway. The Big Ten could make ice hockey a conference sport. From the conference office:


Park Ridge, Ill. – The directors of athletics of Big Ten institutions which sponsor men’s ice hockey unanimously announce their intention to recommend to the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors in June the establishment of men’s ice hockey as an official conference sport for the 2013-14 academic year with participation by Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin.

The recommendation includes both the establishment of the inaugural Big Ten Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament in March of 2014, with the winner earning the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship, and a 20-game conference schedule with each team playing the other five schools four times (two home games and two away games). In addition, the Big Ten’s men’s ice hockey programs will continue to proactively work to maintain a strong schedule of non-conference competition with the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) and Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA).

In September of 2010, Penn State announced the establishment of men’s and women’s ice hockey programs set to begin competition in the 2012-13 academic year, giving the Big Ten six institutions sponsoring men’s ice hockey. Big Ten rules allow for a conference championship when six institutions sponsor a program in any given sport. (more…)

Ferrell scores 25 in Semi-state victory

Perhaps Forest Park thought it could stop Yogi Ferrell by clogging the middle with a 2-3 zone to take away his driving lanes.

That didn’t go nearly as well as planned.

Ferrell scored 25 points and recorded seven assists to lead Park Tudor to a 57-45 win over Forest Park to advance to the Class 2A state championship game next weekend in Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.


Source: Buckley has interviewed with Northern Illinois

Indiana assistant coach Tim Buckley has interviewed for Northern Illinois’ head coaching position, a source said Saturday.

ESPN Chicago reported earlier Saturday that Buckley was one of four candidates being considered for the job, including Gonzaga assistant coach Ray Giacoletti, Purdue assistant coach Paul Lusk and South Dakota State head coach Scott Nagy.

The position at Northern Illinois opened earlier this month when Ricardo Paton was fired after four seasons. The Huskies finished 9-21 overall, 5-11 in the Mid-American Conference this season.

Buckley has worked under Tom Crean at Indiana for the past three seasons and at Marquette for a year before the staff moved. He was also an assistant at Iowa and the head coach at Ball State for six seasons, posting a 143-139 record. He has been instrumental to the Hoosiers in their in-state recruiting efforts.

Offseason to-do list: Tom Pritchard

Tom Pritchard looks to pass the ball against Minnesota. Chris Howell | Herald-Times

With the season complete and the offseason officially started for the 2010-11 Indiana Hoosiers, The Hoosier Scoop will have a breakdown of each individual player’s season and what he needs to focus on during the offseason. The fourth player in the series is sophomore guard Maurice Creek. PREVIOUSLY: Christian WatfordVerdell JonesJordan Hulls and Maurice Creek.

2010-11 STATS: 2.5 points (59 percent FG, 34.8 percent FT) and 3.8 rebounds a game. Twenty-three blocks, 94 personal fouls.

WHAT WENT RIGHT: There’s a pretty reasonable case to be made that the 2010-11 season was a success for Tom Pritchard, even if his 2.5 points and 3.8 rebounds a game average say “role player” more than “started 22 games.” But Pritchard was the one big man that had the body to bang down low and was also capable of doing things like setting screens — perhaps the most important role of the 5 in Indiana’s dribble penetration offense.


Hollowell: “I’m just ready to get it over with.”

Just got off the phone with Jeremy Hollowell and learned the same things everyone else who has spoken with him in the last 18 hours have learned. He’s narrowed it down to Indiana, Cincinnati, Purdue and Ohio State. But here’s what I got from him and part of the story that will run in tomorrow’s paper.

Jeremy Hollowell is looking to get it over with.

The Lawrence Central junior and Indiana target says he’s going to make his college decision before he begins AAU play with the Eric Gordon All-Stars in April. He said he’s narrowed his choices to Indiana, Purdue, Ohio State and Cincinnati.

“I’m just ready to get it over with, focus on AAU, just focus on playing and not having to worry about it,” Hollowell said. “Not having to rush at the end and come to a final decision. I just want to know where I’m going and just be ready when the time comes.”

Hollowell said that Cincinnati made the final four because he likes the style of play and likes Big East basketball. Purdue made it because he has a good relationship with the staff and the players, including former North Central star Terone Johnson, now a freshman with the Boilermakers. Ohio State, he said, has been one of his favorites all along, though the Buckeyes apparently haven’t been pushing as hard recently.

“That was my first favorite,” he said. “I just love the campus, love the team. I just always wanted to go there growing up.”
But a lot of his friends and fellow top recruits are going to Indiana, and that seems to be a major selling point for the Hoosiers. He’s close with Austin Etherington, Yogi Ferrell and Ron Patterson, who are all from in or near Indianapolis and who are all committed to play for Indiana.

“They’re trying to push me there a lot,” Hollowell said. “They talk about it pretty often. They’re doing a pretty good job of just telling me about it and just trying to get me to go there. (It’s a factor), just being familiar with them, knowing how they play, knowing what we could do for the team.”

Hollowell, a 6-foot-6, 190-pound swingman, is the No. 39 rated player in the Class of 2012.


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