Indiana, in the eyes of many the preseason favorite to win the national title, began practice with a team that could go two-deep at each position on the floor.
But if there’s one thing that can change depth in a hurry it’s injuries, and the Hoosiers lost one of their players on Wednesday as it was reported by Zach Osterman of Inside Indiana that senior forward Derek Elston tore his meniscus in practice.
According to reports Elston could be out up to two months, meaning that he would miss much of Indiana’s non-conference slate if it took the full two months to heal.
Elston averaged 12.3 minutes, 4.2 points and 2.4 rebounds per game for the Hoosiers last season, and was expected to factor into the front court rotation entering the 2012-13 season.
Elston is one of just three upperclassmen in the front court for the Hoosiers, and his absence makes the Hoosiers a younger group in the paint.
Senior Christian Watford and sophomore Cody Zeller will still lead the way; that much won’t change. The question is how head coach Tom Crean will juggle the rotation when in need of minutes inside.
The silver lining in this cloud is that the injury occurred at this point in the season, which means that Elston will be back in time for Big Ten play. Also, the Hoosiers can use this time to give some other players more minutes during the non-conference portion of their schedule.
Indiana opens their regular season on November 9 against Bryant.
Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
Steve Prohm announced on Monday that starting center Jameel McKay will not be in the lineup on Wednesday when the Cyclones take on Texas Tech.
“He’ll practice today because I want him in practice,” Prohm said, “but game-wise, he’s suspended.”
McKay did not make the trip to Stillwater with the team on Saturday, where Iowa State beat Oklahoma State, 64-59. Prohm has not gotten into specifics regarding the cause of McKay’s suspension, but it’s reportedly an issue with the way he has been practicing. McKay is dealing with a nagging knee injury, which may play a role in the situation as well.
“My hope is he’ll be with us on Saturday,” Prohm said.
Like the Coaches Poll, Villanova found themselves No. 1 in the AP Poll during the regular season for the first time in the history of the program.
And like the Coaches Poll, there isn’t much in the way of a consensus when it comes to who is the No. 1 team, as there are six teams that received No. 1 votes in the poll this week.
The biggest shock to me?
The No. 1 team in the NBC Sports Top 25, Iowa, received just 11 first place votes and is ranked fourth in the AP Poll.
They were ranked fifth in the Coaches Poll.
Can we get Fran McCaffery the love they deserve?
Here is the rest of the AP Poll:
1. Villanova (20-3, 32 first-place votes)
2. Maryland (21-3, 13)
3. Oklahoma (19-3, 7)
4. Iowa (19-4, 11)
5. Xavier (21-2)
6. Kansas (19-4, 1)
7. Virginia (19-4, 1)
8. Michigan State (20-4)
9. North Carolina (19-4)
10. West Virginia (19-4)
11. Oregon (18-4)
12. Miami (FL) (18-4)
13. Louisville (19-4)
14. Iowa State (17-6)
15. Texas A&M (18-5)
16. SMU (20-2)
17. Arizona (19-5)
18. Purdue (19-5)
19. Dayton (19-3)
20. Providence (18-6)
21. Baylor (17-6)
22. Kentucky (17-6)
23. USC (18-5)
24. Texas (16-7)
25. Wichita State (17-6)
DROPPED OUT: No. 22 Indiana, No. 25 South Carolina
NEW ADDITIONS: No. 23 USC, No. 24 Texas