Elliott Eliason started 10 games as a red-shirt freshman, including Minnesota's entire postseason slate. In those postseason games, he got an early start on making Gopher fans forget they had ever heard of the man he replaced, Ralph Sampson III.
Eliason ripped down 39 rebounds in UM's seven games between the Big Ten tournament and the NIT, an average of 5.7 per game. In the NIT quarterfinals against Middle Tennessee State, Eliason had seven of those boards to go with 12 points, the only time all season that he broke double figures. In addition, he helped hold Sun Belt Player of the Year and NBA Summer League invitee LaRon Dendy to 3-of-9 shooting.
The 6'11", 260-pounder only averaged 2.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game on the season, but that was in 15 minutes per game. The rebounds average out to 10.4 per 40 minutes. His offensive and defensive rebound percentages ranked fifth and sixth in the Big Ten, respectively.
He will need to work on his free-throw shooting, which stalled at an ugly 40 percent. Also, his turnover percentage was a staggering 24.5, eighth-worst in the Big Ten.
If Eliason plays 30 minutes per game for Tubby Smith this season, it may not be unreasonable to expect eight points and eight rebounds a night. If he can't avoid the turnovers, though, he risks being chained to the bench.