Cody Zeller has been terrific in his first year in Bloomington, helping lead Indiana’s resurgence into Big Ten and college basketball relevance. Meanwhile, Christian Watford, Victor Oladipo and Jordan Hulls have all been vital in giving the Hoosiers the necessary balance to stay competitive at a high level.
All four of these players are averaging double figures, with Zeller leading the way at over 15 points a game. The foursome has not lost a step with their other normal starter, Verdell Jones III, out the last two games with a shoulder injury.
With Jones on the sideline, Coach Tom Crean has given Derek Elston a shot in the starting lineup. The change has given Indiana a bit different—and bigger—look than they had before with Zeller being the only true frontcourt player.
Elston, a 6’9” junior, has understood his role on the court well in his three years in Bloomington.
His physical play inside helps Zeller a bit down low, which can help keep him out of foul trouble.
Though not nearly as athletic as Zeller, Elston can get himself in good position to grab rebounds and draw charges. He can also step out and knock down the occasional three, always a nice asset on a Hoosier team.
With Indiana having defeated Purdue and Illinois in back-to-back games—both by double digits—Elston has given the Hoosiers the ability to play well with a little different combination of personnel.