Derek Elston named IU basketball’s director of player development #iubb

Indiana announced Monday that former Hoosier forward Derek Elston is joining the men’s basketball coaching staff in a support role this season.

Elston will be responsible for player mentoring, administrative operations and the program’s support services.

“Derek Elston has been a major part of everything here from walking in when it was at the bottom and helping the program become a champion again,” IU coach Tom Crean said in a statement. “From the day he left Indiana with two degrees, he’s gone out of his way to sustain a level of connectivity to the program by investing his own energy in the program. He is close enough in age to really know what our players deal with and how much improvement is needed on a daily basis.”

The Tipton native committed to then-Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson in 2007, becoming the Hoosiers’ first recruit in their 2009 class. Elston stuck with the program through Sampson’s turbulent departure, playing four years and helping IU to back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances and the 2013 Big Ten championship.

Although he was plagued by injuries during his IU career, Elston scored 498 points, earned Academic All-Big Ten honors and left a lasting impression on the IU community with his affable personality.

Elston, along with classmates Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford, were recognized as the “Indelibles” by Jim Nantz in the 2013 NCAA Tournament for their lasting impact as the cornerstones for the return of IU basketball to national prominence.

After graduating, Elston briefly played two seasons of professional basketball in Portugal and Malta.

“It is an honor to be back with the Indiana basketball program and to have the opportunity to work with Coach Crean,” Elston said in a statement. “I’m excited to be able to help out the program that gave me so much. I cannot thank coach enough for this opportunity.”


  1. He will probably add a valuable perspective to the young players on IU’s squad. This is really good news.

  2. Given the recent spate of questionable personal decisions around the team, having a guy like Derek around can only reinforce an atmosphere of hard work and responsible decision making. Great addition.

  3. Wise move by Crean. There was an obvious disconnect between a middle aged coaching staff and the young players. This should help.

  4. Apparently you four commenters expressing joy over Crean hiring Elston have forgotten the embarrassing headlines from 2011, when Elston deliberately tripped and knocked down a Northwestern player while IU was on a four game losing streak.

    Everyone clearly saw Elston DELIBERATELY trip the opposing player, both on TV and any game film. Despite that, Crean chose to publicly support Elston’s LIE that it was not deliberate. It wasn’t the flagrant foul that got the headlines, it was Crean’s support of an obvious LIE by Elston that got all the attention. Instead of properly disciplining the player, Crean chose to build their relationship by enabling the liar !

    That was one of my earliest indications that Crean is NOT a man of good character and high principles that he pretends to be. It was also an early indication that Crean was choosing to be more of a friend than a parent to his players. And we all have witnessed the consequences of this style of discipline from the coach by all the law breaking, excuse making, and I nability to gel as a team exhibited by subsequent players.

    Building good character and adherence to principles of honesty for integrity does not seem to be one of Crean’s abilities, perhaps because he himself is lacking in those areas, even tho he PRETENDS to be the shining example of those strengths. Hiring Elston to be a “similarly aged role model ” for proper leadership of this team is quite fitting with the general culture of rule and law breaking exhibited by Crean’s charges.

    Can’t wait to see how this brilliant decision works out, lol….

  5. So what a man of great character threw a chair across the floor. Ty Cobb type character. What’s the problem?

  6. Harvard, Talk about digging deep to find the slightest fault, and making a mountain out of molehill, post #5 takes it to a new level. Bashing two men and questioning their “character” and “integrity” for a minor incident that occurred in the heat of competition many years ago, and without knowing the entire story or context, is a far worse offense than the behavior you site in criticizing them. By your standard, very few men that have ever played highly competitive contact sports could meet your standards. And Kent Benson would be doomed to purgatory for many of his actions on the court while playing for Bob Knight.

  7. Podunker,

    How did you manage to twist me, NoMendacity, into being Harvard ? Hope that is not a reflection on the overall veracity of your opinions and comments here……

    For the record, I am NOT now, NOR have I ever been, the great Harvard for Hillbillies.
    Wish I could write like him, though. Your confusion about our identities is quite a compliment, IMHO.

  8. I have spoken on here before about my son with Down’s syndrome and his experience during basketball camp at IU 2 summers ago. Crean was outstanding in supporting him and making sure he had a great experience. As well, Jun had the opportunity to have Derek Elston as a player coach. All through camp he was the most enthusiastic of the player coaches and made sure the kids were having fun. He also made sure than Jun had an incredible experience. On the second day I felt the need to go an personally thank Derek for the way he worked with Jun. It was very impressive. So, say what you will about him, and Crean for that matter, they are both tops in my book when it comes to character.

  9. Ram, #8 You said it all. Like all of us he has learned through lifes tests.

    Pfunk I remember that post clearly. Yes I too, without your 1st hand experience think Coach Crean has chosen a good representative for IU.

  10. I agree with Clarion’s and NoMenacity’s take on Elston. Podunker, not at all surprised you hide in regard’s to NoMenacity’s post. Hiding and cowardice are not a surprise when accountability is correctly expected.

  11. Pfunk, your story in regards to Elston says a lot about what our hopes are for the character of IU coaches, Head and/or Associate and/or Assistant.

  12. I’m missing something. Clarion’s post supports the hiring of Elston. NoMen suggest the hire is a bad choice. ?

Comments are closed.