Stock up/Stock down: Midseason edition

Chris Howell | Herald-Times

With the season nearly at its halfway point, we’re going to change up our weekly feature this week and look at the broader picture a bit more and tell you who’s stock has gone down or risen most since the beginning of the season. This should be fun:

STOCK UP

Christian Watford (Indiana): There’s probably five or six players on Indiana’s roster who could justifiably be named the team’s biggest stock-riser over the last two months, but none of them hit the biggest shot of the entire NCAA basketball season. Watford’s shot against Kentucky will be shown and remembered for years and years to come, and the rest of his season has been no slouch either. He’s found a certain level of intensity on the court that he lacked in previous seasons, and he’s fulfilling a spot at power forward that many people thought he would struggle in. He’s improved on the glass. He’s improved defensively. And he’s gotten more consistent with his offensive output. I didn’t think Watford was a legitimate NBA prospect before the season, but he’s got my eating some serious crow through half the season.

Trey Burke (Michigan): Burke just inches out Michigan State’s Keith Appling, who has been a force to lead the Spartans, but Burke had significantly lower expectations than Appling did coming into the season. The only talk out of Ann Arbor before the season began was whether Burke could even begin to fill Darius Morris’ shoes, and halfway through the season, Burke looks like he might be on a higher trajectory than Morris ever was. The Wolverines are a top four Big Ten team, and Burke is their excellent floor general, making plenty of players around him, including forward Evan Smotrycz, much, much better.

Doug McDermott (Creighton): Playing for his dad’s team in the Valley, not many people knew McDermott’s name when the season began. Now, if you follow college basketball, you certainly know the talented sophomore, as he will routinely pop up on National Player of the Year watches from here on out. Jimmer Fredette proved that a mid-major player can captivate the country and McDermott might even be better than Jimmer when the season is done. If you haven’t watched him play yet, you should try to in the season’s second half.

STOCK DOWN

Derek Elston (Indiana): It’s hard to name anyone on the roster who has slid this season, but after a solid start to the season, Elston has faded away a bit amidst impressive performances from Christian Watford and Cody Zeller. With Will Sheehey out, Elston has also battled some injuries and he struggled mightily from the start wearing his mask. This isn’t to say Elston hasn’t bounced back from an injury-riddled season last year at least somewhat, but with how fast he started and the chances he could’ve received in the past week or two with Sheehey out, Elston hasn’t wowed as many people as so many other players on the roster have. He’s improved, but of the Hoosiers’ contributors, he looks like he’s improved the least.

Jordan Taylor (Wisconsin): Oh how the mighty have fallen. Before the season, Taylor was an All-American and widely considered to be the best guard in the Big Ten. He still leads the Badgers in points, and assists, but both of those numbers are down significantly from last year. He’s shooting just 39 percent from the floor, compared to 47 percent last season, and his Wisconsin team has been seriously affected by his dragging play. He still has time and the talent to get it back on track, but this season has more or less derailed his already shrinking NBA chances.

The Crosstown Punchout Brawlers (Xavier/Cincy): Both teams were on the edge of doing something impressive this season, and both might still have pretty good season but their seasons will forever be tarnished by a terrible brawl a few months ago. Tu Holloway was a top media pick to be an All-American point guard, but that won’t likely happen now. Cincinnati’s Yancy Gates might’ve been one of the more underrated players in the country, and now he’ll fall off some radars. It’s a shame, considering how good both teams could’ve been without this colossal hiccup in the middle of the season.


6 comments

  1. I’d argue your Elston choice. While he did start the year out on fire, shooting-wise, that was always going to cool off. I’ve actually thought he’s been much, much better defensively over the past few games, especially the Ohio State game, when he played very good defense on Sullinger, as well as recording some offensive rebounds/putbacks. If anything, he’s finding a role and filling it nicely.

    VJ3, on the other hand…I know it’s become cliche to criticize him, but the run IU made at the end of the PSU game came without him on the court. He came back in and immediately turned the ball over, leading to a bucket; picked up 2 fouls despite the team having a ten point lead when he entered, and missed at least one front end of a 1-and-1 before that second foul put him out of the game. Of course, by then, PSU was squarely back into the contest.

    The improvement around him has really highlighted his deficiencies this year, in my opinion.

  2. Elston? In all college basketball? Chosen for “stock down”? That’s not fair, or accurate, at all.

  3. HoosiersBB,

    I believe the format he was using for this was Stock Up / Stock Down for 1. Indiana 2. The Big Ten 3. NCAA Men’s Basketball

    At least that is what it looks like.

  4. Elston’s stock is down. I don’t think that anyone can debate that statement. He loses focus too easy; always has and probably always will. I like the kid, but…….

  5. He was doing some good things before his injury/surgery and his time has been limited since. Let’s wait until he can play without a windshield before we make too many judgements.

  6. We’re likely gonna need Elston before all is said and done. He has never really had a chance to settle into a game offensively. He has a great feel for going after the ball off the defensive glass…The lack of PT still makes him rough around the edges.

    He did a nice of a job denying Sullinger the ball when Cody was benched with foul trouble. Might not show up in the stat sheets, but it certainly helped us secure a win.

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