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.