He must be found.
It’s time to utilize all our resources. File a missing persons report. Put out an APB. Call the Bloomington Police, IUPD, The State Highway Patrol, the US Marshall Service, the FBI, heck we can even call the Mounties. Whatever we do, we must find Derek Elston.
Last season, the question was why won’t Elston play more? He finally supplanted Tom Pritchard in the starting lineup this season, and while his defense still left plenty to be desired, at the very least it was refreshing to see a post player who had an offensive move or two. Elston and Christian Watford fed off each other as teams could no longer double team Watford with impunity, and Elston had just enough offense to overcome his defensive deficiencies. Watford was leading the team in scoring,
Then the first semester ended, and then Big Ten play started. And that’s where Derek Elston disappeared. In three Big Ten games, Elston has played 44 minutes, gone 2 for 8 from the field for a total of 4 points, collected 6 rebounds, and 9 personal fouls.
Truly, the entire frontcourt has disappeared from the offense. Even with Watford’s 17 points agains THE Ohio State University last week, the frontcourt of Elston, Watford, Tom Pritchard, and theoretically Bobby Capobianco has contributed 33 points.
What’s been most frustrating watching these last three games is not just the lack of scoring, but the ease with which opponents have been able to deny IU a post presence. Watford has gone to the line 7 times in the last three games combined and didn’t shoot a single free throw against Minnesota, Elston has yet to visit the charity stripe in Big Ten play.
To me this shows a lack of commitment on the part of the coaching staff to get these two in position to attack the rim, and it shows a lack of effort in going toward the basket from those two. And more than the confusing substitution patterns, (hello Sheehey) more than Maurice Creek’s stunted come back and errant three point attempts, more than Verdell Jones taking ill advised shots or Jordan Hulls refusing to take advised shots, it’s the lack of anything from the frontcourt which is keeping IU from winning.
Watford, Elston, Pritchard, Capobianco Combined Production in Wins/Losses/Big Ten Games
Per Game In Wins In Losses In Big Ten
FG% 52% 41% 28%
FTA/ Game 10.56 7.29 3.00
Points/Game 28.00 21.00 10.67
Rebounds/Game 14.78 10.71 8.00
Fouls/Game 8.00 8.86 10.67