Elston out for UMBC game with broken nose

Junior forward Derek Elston will miss Indiana’s game against Maryland Baltimore County after having surgery to repair a fracture in his nose.

“He sustained it last week and was able to play on it,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “We decided to get it done yesterday, so he’ll miss tomorrow night, which will give him enough time to be able to get better over Christmas, then be able to play with us as soon as we start playing again, be able to practice with us. he was at practice today, great spirits, shooting around, things like that. We certainly don’t anticipate any more than a couple of games with him.”

Elston is averaging 5.9 points and 2.6 rebounds in 13.6 minutes per game. He’s shooting 58.5 percent from the field.

Sophomore guard Victor Oladipo claimed responsibility for the elbow.

“It was an accident,” Oladipo said. “It was just in practice, in the flow of practice. We were doing a drill. I had gone up, and I got kinda bony elbows. I’m kinda bony all over. Derek had gone up to. I came down with the ball, he kind of swiped. Derek will be fine.”

That could leave the Hoosiers vulnerable against UMBC’s biggest strength — rebounding. The Golden Retrievers are 1-9 and struggling in most other facets of the game, but they rank first in the America East in rebounds (40.4 per game), and second in the conference in rebounding margin (+3.9) and second in offensive rebounds (15.6). That has something to do with the fact that they shoot just 37.4 percent from the field, good for eighth in the conference, but it’s still a strength.

“We’re going against a team that’s an outstanding offensive rebounding team,” Crean said. “They had 31 offensive rebounds in a game already this year. They can really shoot the ball. They have an excellent shooter (Brian Neller). They have a go-to-guy in the post (Chase Plummer). We’ve just gotta establish what we’re gonna do. That’s what the guys did the other night.”

The Hoosiers are coming off a 107-50 victory over Howard in which they pushed themselves to a humiliating blowout of the Bison rather than slogging through an easy double-digit win. Crean said he has seen a heightened focus with this group, which is the first Indiana team to start 11-0 since the 1975-76 season. The week between final exams and Christmas is typically one where players’ focus wanders because school is out and the games are usually easier, but Crean said this team has remained honed in.

“They sure have been, there’s no question about that,” Crean said. “Our thing tomorrow night is, let’s not come out here to get through it and to have a workmanlike attitude. Let’s come out here and be really, really good. It’s going to be hard for them to duplicate what they did the other night. they were really, really good. And they enjoyed it. You want them to enjoy it.”

AUDIO: Tom Crean Part 1

AUDIO: Tom Crean Part 2

AUDIO: Jordan Hulls and Victor Oladipo


  1. I think that your title is a bit misleading. A “broken nose” is completely different from a “fracture in his nose,” which is what he has. All other sources are reporting a fracture.

  2. OK, for the six millionth time in my health care career, ‘fracture’ and ‘break’, in medical terminology, mean EXACTLY THE SAME THING. ‘Fracture’ is what a doctor will put on your chart when your break something. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is wrong.

  3. Chet, I did some research and I’ll admit that my comment was totally ignorant. I stand corrected. I always thought that the difference between “fracture” and “break” was in severity of the injury. Learned something new today – thanks.

  4. On a related topic, another one the bugs me is, “Luckily, it was only sprained and not broken.”
    Okay, I’ll grant you that, usually, that’s good thing, if the sprain isn’t too bad. However…bones are highly vascular (lots of blood gets to them) so they heal relatively fast. Ligaments (a sprain is one or more torn ligaments) are more avascular (not much blood gets to them). They heal very slowly.
    A bad sprain can literally take YEARS to heal. I had a gawdawful sprain that took two years to heal and, 28 years later, still turns blue when I play hoops (my wife refers to my ankle as ‘Old Blue’). Given the choice between a simple fracture of the ankle vs. a really severe sprain, I’ll take the break every time.

  5. Michael,
    As my response indicated, I hear it all the time. Anyone that’s ever worked in an ER has heard it a million times.

    Pass it on.

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