Thursday, April 24, 2008

Derek Elston- Future Hoosier

Spiece is a program that has a lot of teams at numerous age levels, and recently it has produced players such as Greg Oden and Mike Conley, Jr. One of the Indiana-based AAU organization's biggest names this year is 6'8 junior forward Derek Elston. He is regarded as one of the top players in the class of 2009, and committed to Indiana prior to the recruiting scandal at the university, and before former Head Coach Kelvin Sampson left the school. One may wonder, now that Tom Crean is in at IU, where Elston stands with his commitment to the Hoosiers. That's one of the topics that I discussed with Derek after his team suffered a tough loss in pool play at the Pitt Jam Fest.

NB: So, with the recent coaching changes at [the school you have committed to,] Indiana, what’s your . . . view on . . . that?
DE: Oh, I love it. I love [new Indiana Head Coach] Coach [Tom] Crean, the way he’s been playing the last couple years. . . . If anybody’s going to be a coach, why not Coach Crean? I like . . . the fact that he’s going to be there now.

NB: When Kelvin Sampson left, was there any doubt in your mind [about] you [being] . . . a [future] Hoosier, or was it always “that’s where you’re going”?
DE: Yeah, there was a little doubt that I didn’t want to go there because I got to know him so well, but since Coach Crean [got the job, I’m happy]. . . . He’s one of the coaches on my list of the top five I’d like to [play] for, so it kept me there.

NB: What were some of the other coaches on that list?
DE: Roy Williams, I’d love to play for hi. The coach at Tennessee, Bruce Pearl, I’d love to [play] for him. So, that’s . . . the top four right there, [Sampson, Crean, Williams, and Pearl].

NB: What made Indiana stand out to you? What made it the most appealing school for you to go to?
DE: Just because it’s right there, it’s right there by my house. . . . It’s home to me, practically, . . . and just, Coach Sampson really was a big part of that, too.

NB: Have your grown up as a Hoosiers fan?
DE: No, to be honest, no, I’ve always been a North Carolina fan, so IU and Purdue, . . . [they] never occurred to me [as teams to root for].

NB: Was North Carolina a school that you were considering?
DE: Yeah, but . . . my dad kind of didn’t want me to go there just because . . . his name was out there, so he just told me to stay close.

NB: You still got a senior season left. What are you looking to accomplish during that final year of high school basketball?
DE: What anybody’s trying to accomplish, a state championship, and we got the team to do it, so it should be easy, . . . not easy, but it should be something that everybody should looking forward to.

NB: Do you have any goals for your college career?
DE: Just take it . . . game by game, and see what comes to me, really.

So, there you have it, Elston still plans on attending Indiana. Tom Crean has got to be happy about that, as Derek is a quality baller, and should be a solid contributor at IU. Hoosier fans, you have no need to fear, Derek Elston will be suiting up in Bloomington just two years from now. Although next season may be rough, the 2009-2010 season should be one to look forward to, and Derek Elston will be there to take part in it.

Note- photo is from

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