2010-2011 Player Profile: Maurice Creek

  • 10/14/2010 12:53 pm in

It’s time for Inside the Hall’s player-by-player breakdown of the 2010-2011 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Mo Creek.

I’ll be honest: It wasn’t until working on my piece for Maple Street Press’ Hoosier Tip-Off 2010-11 — available now! — and chatting with the Big Ten Geeks that I fully appreciated just how stellar Maurice Creek’s cut-short freshman campaign was, and how much the team could have used him during Big Ten play.

Creek appeared in all 12 non-conference games; his season-ending knee injury occurred in the second half against Bryant on Dec. 28, the last game before IU started their conference slate against Michigan on New Year’s Eve.

Now, it’s likely Creek’s numbers would have taken somewhat of a hit had he played all season and competed in the Big Ten against overall tougher competition. But stick with me here: For players with a minimum of 12 games last season, Creek’s effective field-goal percentage of 64.12 percent was good for 26th in the country. Not for freshman. For all of Division I.

Creek shot 52.7 precent from the floor, and nailed an impressive 44.8 percent of his threes. He also averaged 1.4 steals a game, showing he can be an agitator on the defensive end. If kept up for the whole season, he would have led the team. (Jeremiah Rivers finished the year with 1.3 steals per game, the team’s leader otherwise.)

Perhaps nowhere was Creek’s shooting acumen more on display than IU’s Dec. 12 loss to Kentucky, where he poured in 31 points in a losing effort against the Wildcats (9-of-14 from the floor, 5-of-8 from distance, 8-of-8 from the line).

Creek proved to be a highly efficient scorer last season, something IU sorely lacked as they trudged through that 10-game in-conference losing streak. A healthy Mo Creek gets this team more victories last season.

So what to expect from Creek this season? Well, as the Geeks told me, it’s probably too much to expect Creek to match his stellar numbers from a year ago. And really: That’s OK. Even if Creek’s percentages aren’t quite as high, a drop likely still keeps him as IU’s most prolific offensive weapon. And if defenses are showing him more attention, that should open up things for his teammates.

High-usage players who are offensively efficient make those around them better. If the Hoosiers are to push — or perhaps even surpass — the .500 mark, Creek has to be a big part of the equation.

Of course, there still might be the lingering doubt in the back of Hoosier Nation’s mind surrounding his durability after such a long-standing injury. It’s been a long, steady recovery for Creek, but according to the Herald-Times, Tom Crean indicated Wednesday that he’s back scrimmaging fully with his teammates. But Crean is also preaching patience with his recovery — an indication he’s not 100 percent out of the woods just yet.

Bottom line: Creek is IU’s most talented offensive player heading into 2010-11. Even if he doesn’t match what he brought to the table last season, his mere presence on the court will have this team looking more competent on the offensive side of the ball. If Creek stays healthy and plays at a high level, W’s should be easier to come by for the Hoosiers.

Quotable: “The great thing about high-usage players is they generally bring up the efficiency of everyone around them. That’s because, intuitively, the defense is showing them more attention and paying less attention to other guys on the floor. A guy like Maurice Creek can really stretch the defense. Now suddenly you’ve got some lanes, and I think it’s going to help the offense in a lot of ways.” — Josh Reed, Big Ten Geeks, as quoted in Hoosier Tip-Off 2010-11

Previous Player Profiles: Derek ElstonJordan HullsGuy-Marc Michel

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  • stonaroni

    Welcome back Mo. I will guess that he is about 80%. He has a full month to get to 90% by the time season starts and I will bet he is about 100% by Big 10 play.

    I have no worries about him falling off in numbers this year. That means CW, VJIII and DE take on more of a scoring role until he is 100%, thus, the entire team is better. We are not playing for a Big 10 championship yet, but this bodes well for next season and will have the Hoosiers looking to make a Sweet 16 run

  • Anonymous

    Creek Tweets ALL the time about not just putting up but HITTING up to 700 shots at times on his own, and constantly shooting/working out. I am stoked to see him back on the court this season. I feel like there were several games last year where we were up on teams like PUke and pUKe early in the game. I’m not saying were as good as them yet, but with the strength conditioning and added experience from a team that is basically the same as last years, I feel like if we stay healthy (knock on wood) we could have some great upset potential, especially at home….can’t wait.

  • IUGRADUATE

    Creek is my favorite player. Regardless to say, he is one of the most important keys for this upcoming season, especially IU’s offence. I hope he is not just fully recovered from his previous injury but also being healthy for entire season. Go Creek and Go Hoosiers!

  • Luke72

    Mo Creek is the best offensive player at IU since Eric Gordon! No reason to believe that he’s ready to bolt to the NBA. If his healing stays on track there’s every reason to believe he’s all
    Big Ten this year! With his defense and basketball IQ seems to me that the Hoosiers have an All
    american in the making. This year might be a little easier even since IU has some other players that can score as well. Really believe that IU is a sleeper team in the Big Ten race, sixth is not out of the question!

  • IU_Fan_99

    Azur’s best work so far IMO:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52xZYyNITM0

  • GFDave

    I’m going to try to keep my expectations in check, knowing that recovery from an injury like Creek’s can take over a year. But, just because he may not be back to last year’s form, that doesn’t mean he can’t be a big part of what we’re doing. Got my fingers crossed hoping for the best.

  • Outoftheloop

    In a previous post on E Moore of Purdue as a top 5 All Big 10 selection I dug up some statistics comparing Moore to both Verdell Jones and to Maurice Creek: “My questions are: #1 will Moore be better, this season, than Verdell Jones? #2 will he be better, this season, than Maurice Creek? Obviously no one knows! But let’s compare Moore (first) to Jones (second) to Creek (third) based on last season for all games played: Points, 16.4, 14.9, 16.4; Rebounds, 3.8, 3.9, 3.8; FG%, .445, .399, .527; FT%, .730, .758, .763; 3 Pt%, .349, .273, .448; Assists, 2.66, 3.39, 1.83; Steals, 1.46, .90, 1.42; Blocks, .286, .419, .417; Assists/Turn Overs, 1.27, 1.21, 1.22. When you compare the three players you see that Moore was first in 3, Points (tied), Steals and A/TO; Jones was first in 3, Rebounds, Assists and Blocks; and Creek was first in 4, Points (tied), FG%, FT%, 3-Pt%. Based on the numbers, Creek is the better player of the three, but the three are remarkably close in statistical performance. Now this does NOT mean that Creek should be All-Big 10 over Moore and Jones. But it DOES mean that the three are very close to identical statistically based on last season’s play!” To add back your team’s #1 go to guy-Creek- to play with the top 2 go to guys from last season-Jones and Watford; plus having your entire team much stronger, more experienced and comfortable with major college play: plus adding 4 quality players like Guy, Vic, Will and Matt who provide basketball skills that no one could provide last year; all will make this IU team TOTALLY different and MUCH better!

  • Outoftheloop

    WOW! The hits just keep on coming! Can anyone get AD Glass’ attention. IU needs to hire Azur as a full time athletic department employee and let him do these videos for each of the 24 sports, with many for basketball, football, soccer etc. Then play them on the “Big Screen” before each game or contest. Talk about getting the Fans and Players FIRED UP for the game!

  • stonaroni

    Scary to think we may not be far off. I will take our Big “3” against Purdue’s. This year we are a bit overmatched, but we get them all next year. Purdue will have a bare cupboard.

    Also, I think CTC is protecting Creek and trying to keep expectations off of him. CTC is trying to air caution in relation to Mo’s recovery, but no one knows how he is truly doing except CTC and Mo. Why come out and say that Mo is 100% even if he was? It is better to left the unknown just that, unknown.

    I guess we will see tomorrow night. But one things is for sure, Mo’s knee is stronger than ever. He has the best doctors and training staffs working him out and rehabbing his knee.

    I like what CTC is doing with Mo’s injury, but I bet we will be gladly suprised this season with his recovery.

  • stonaroni

    Scary to think we may not be far off. I will take our Big “3” against Purdue’s. This year we are a bit overmatched, but we get them all next year. Purdue will have a bare cupboard.

    Also, I think CTC is protecting Creek and trying to keep expectations off of him. CTC is trying to air caution in relation to Mo’s recovery, but no one knows how he is truly doing except CTC and Mo. Why come out and say that Mo is 100% even if he was? It is better to left the unknown just that, unknown.

    I guess we will see tomorrow night. But one things is for sure, Mo’s knee is stronger than ever. He has the best doctors and training staffs working him out and rehabbing his knee.

    I like what CTC is doing with Mo’s injury, but I bet we will be gladly suprised this season with his recovery.

  • GFDave

    Nice!

  • Krkinkea

    I think Creek will come back better than last year, also alot ppl tend to forget that Creek was one of the top SG high school talent coming out, he’s not just good he’s an elite college player in my opinion.

  • Anonymous

    haha i wish…but thanks man!

  • stonaroni

    Man, everyone must be busy, poor Mo only gets 12 comments.

  • ufo3

    A healthy Mo Creek makes IU a much better team.

  • Anonymous

    One of the biggest things that may be getting overlooked in all of this is that, according to all reports that I have heard, he did all the right things during his down time which will greatly benefit him in the long run and may be his silver lining in all of this.

    He made good use of his down time to be able to observe and learn the game from basically an assistant coach’s perspective. He can’t but help be more of a student of the game now which is never a bad thing. A lot of players that have suffered a bad injury either don’t, won’t or don’t to the extent that Mo did. Crean basically making him an assistant coach was a very smart thing to do I think. It kept him involved team wise and his spirits up as much as possible.

    He used the time that he could not be working his legs to strengthen his upper body. This will make him even more of an all round threat.

    Going through something like this has most certainly made him tougher from a mental aspect in more ways than one.

    A stronger, tougher, smarter and more determined Mo than last year ? I’m sure glad he’s on our team and I’m sure as hell glad I’m not on the other team having to think about trying to guard him. By the time the B10 games roll around that may be how most defenders will look at it…. trying….to guard him.

    and with somewhat of a halloween theme, if you’re on one of the other teams on our schedule and you think you might be the one trying to guard him, it has to be verrrry scaaarrrryy.

  • Anonymous

    Off topic I know but thought I would share this on the Kanter eligibility thing for anybody interested.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/13/sports/ncaabasketball/13kentucky.html?src=un&feedurl=http%3A%

    Not a whole lot new but still a good enough read to pass the time till the season starts plus it’s always fun reading about something bad happening to pUKe. One of the things I found interesting was his old Turkey team says his own dad did the negotiating on Kanter’s “contract” himself.

  • Anonymous

    Crean said on the the JMV show tonight that Creek can’t practice back-to-back and that he’s still behind physically. Creek’s been 85% since March. I think we need to lower our expectations of his contribution to this year’s team and wish him well.

  • Gustin

    Sure would be outstanding for Mo to have another on fire game against the stinky CATS in KY. He can lead us to a victory in sin city.

  • Gustin

    I think the Illini will also be weaker next year. Yes, they have three good seniors but they are lacking in the Junior class.

  • HoosierNshaker

    While I don’t think Creek will return to 100% stellar form right away like the first 12 games of last season I do believe this knee injury made him an even stronger player in the LR. While some may argue that he may be more timid with his attack this year and that he may not be as explosive from this injury, I disagree. My father said he heard through the grape vine Mo has been working on his shooting and hit 26 – 3 pointers in a row in practice. Look for him to be an even more dangerous player from everywhere on the court this season…and I wouldn’t be surprised if this injury motivates him to be an even better Hoosier this season.

  • IUMike04

    Hey all- I’m up in Grand Rapids, MI and want to make the trip back down to Bloomington for Hoosier Hysteria. But what are the chance of it being sold out by 8 PM (the earliest I could make it)? Let me know what yours thoughts are, because I haven’t made it to HH/Midnight Madness in a decade and would love to visit. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    I thought he got hurt in the Bryant game, not the Howard game.

  • Anonymous

    Crean has a link on his twitter page to a story in SI about his football coaching brother-in-laws that is a pretty good article IMHO. After reading it I feel like I can safely say his intensity and competitiveness makes him fit right in with them. May have been the main reason his father-in-law let his daughter marry him.

    If both Crean and one of his two brother-in-laws give a pregame speech to the team this year and we lose it won’t be because they weren’t fired up when they took the floor.

  • hoosierfan2

    Mo creek is a dog on the court. Theres nothing he cant do and he nrings so much swagger when hes on the court. Even if his knee isnt fully healed i still expect him to stretch defenses with his sweet jumper.

  • Anonymous

    You are correct.

  • Yogi Kelin Zeller

    Bro getting their at 8 you are in good shape…I doubt highly it is sold out…at least this year. Next year is another story but at 8 you will be good and you probably will miss some of the girls squad….

  • IU needs to give him the funds and equip to do this in high def – great video azur

  • Mo is the closest thing we have to a go to guy. The patellar injury takes a long time to heal but unlike micro fracture surgery or an ACL he should be back to 100% by mid season. Loved Azurs work. Mo excells under pressure and can drive and shoot the three quickly and accurately. Teams will have double team him and that should open it up for the others. Special player and a stud on the court.

  • Anonymous

    The events kick off at 7:30 right?!?!

  • Anonymous

    Sold out, technically not; the term would be “canned out” I think

  • millzy32

    I’m pretty sure one of the Harbaugh brothers gave the pregame speech last year before the Pittsburgh game. I’m almost positive.

  • That’s correct. I’ll make the fix.

  • Anonymous

    iubase’s idea about them giving you the funds and the HI DEF equipment works for me. You could pitch it to Crean by saying that it was probably worth at least one more win this coming season by itself.

    Had already seen the welcome back Mo one but had to watch it again and then watched the one Crean showed at his talk the other day too while I was at it. Looking forward to your next endeavor.

  • Anonymous

    That makes sense seeing as how that was a win for us and a very big one at that. After Mo got hurt we seen the result of his mom’s pregame speech so we might want to dial her up for a few also. I don’t know who gives the best one Harbaugh or her. Maybe they should take turns this year and each time try and one up the other one.

  • JerryCT

    Yes Creek is potentially a great player and we wish him an All B10 season. Realistically however I the risks I see are :

    1) He shot only 27% from 3pt land against Miss, Pitt, GMU, MD …. in other words tough games and good teams when the game was in doubt

    2) He does not get his own shot much but relied heavily on the open court largely created by JR

    3) His D is also found mostly in the open court. I still cringe at the site of Miss guards finding him and beating him regularly

    4) Does he have a passing game ???

    I love the kid but soon we will have to deal in reality and I pray that the entire team including Creek are much better than last year in all respects

  • Anonymous

    The last thing I am worried about with MO is his shooting this year. Yes he had a few off games but overall his shooting percentage was stellar. More importantly is that he has been shooting 1000 shots a day for almost the last year. When you’re injured and have the competitive spirit he has you find ways to work on your game and overcome the obstacles. As a result, better shooting and a stronger upper body should not be a concern. Will he have his legs back in condition is what I am eager to see tonight.

  • Anonymous

    that would be my dream if they did that. i tried pitching it to them once…maybe if we had a few people help me pitch it could be that extra push? you down?

  • Jerry – last year his shooting was about as good or better than anyone and beside Jordy he was the best 3 point shooter. His TO ratio was low. He is not the most athletic player in the big ten but he has the highest bball IQ IMO. I think he will be better than last year because the supporting cast will be better. You are an x and o guy, with JR creating and Elston and Guy setting picks he should be able to create his own shot off picks or at least create easier shots all around. I can see him scoring 20 pts a game with few turnovers (a key for us to win) and 2nd in the assist categ.

  • JerryCT

    iubase – I too share your optimism for Creek, Hulls and the entire team……. so much that I have begun a process of replaying each of my recorded B10 games in slow motion …………… racking my brain to figure out how the X’s and O’s worked and failed last year………… praying that we are not the same product on the floor this year.

  • Anonymous

    Harbaugh could bring Ray Lewis—of course Elston and Guy might kill someone with their bare hands after that.

  • Anonymous

    He reads the response from marcusgresham and laughs out loud, then rereads it and laughs out loud again.

  • Anonymous

    If there is something within my control that I could do to help I would be happy to.

  • Jwund

    Moore averages what he does because 2 other players on his team often put up 20 pt nights. Do you not watch basketball? I know you qualified with “statistically” but your whole point is meaningless. By your logic David Lee is in the same conversation as Dwight Howard. I also noticed elsehwere you claimed D Elston is as skilled and athletic as Hummel. What are you talking about?