That’s a Wrap: Maurice Creek

  • 03/21/2011 11:30 am in

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our attempt to make some sense of the 2010-11 season. Sit back. Relax. Grab some popcorn. Get your read on. Today: Maurice Creek.

Final Stats (18 games): 8.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.2 apg, 38.9% FG, 80.8% FT in 28.2 minutes per game

The  player about which almost everyone has an opinion is the same one most Indiana fans would probably rather not talk about.

Maurice Creek was, at one time, the next great Indiana basketball player. What unfortunately remains to be seen is if he’ll ever match that potential again.

By now, I’m assuming I don’t need to tell you about his freshman scoring average, or his 31 points against Kentucky in 2009. On potential ability alone, Creek will always remain a prodigious talent.

A few things ought be noted about Creek’s newest knee injury setback:

  • It wasn’t the same knee.
  • It wasn’t a full fracture, according to Tom Crean, but rather a stress fracture that simply required too much time off for Creek to finish out what was already a pretty old season.
  • Assuming this injury is not so severe as the last, rehabilitation might not be as arduous a process, but obviously that’s not something we would say with too much certainty.
  • This is a bit less than objective, but Creek hasn’t seemed to be cutting the forlorn figure of a player for whom things just won’t ever work out. Actually sort of the opposite. That’s really, really, ridiculously opinionated and shouldn’t be lent full force of merit, but it’s an observation nonetheless.

Not long after Creek’s later injury, I spoke with the father of a good friend, who happens to be an orthopedic surgeon. He suggested that it was possible Creek might have a condition whereby his kneecap, for whatever reason, had not developed as one piece, but rather two, increasing the danger of fractures.

“It should be compatible with him coming back,” said Dr. Joseph F. Schwartz, who works in Merrillville. “If that’s the condition he had, then once he heals bone to bone, he should be good.”

Obviously this was just conjecture. HIPAA regulations prevent schools from releasing this kind of medical information, and Dr. Schwartz was basing his hypothesis on what we knew publicly.

But he reiterated that, with proper rehab and training, Creek would likely be able to eventually fully regain his playing fitness.

Which brings us to the other important point about Creek: If he can regain that health, he also needs to regain his strength.

What was readily apparent before his injury this season was that his leg strength — or lackthereof — was hampering his game. The lack of lift in his legs prevented Creek from being confident enough to even dunk the ball, it seemed, and his shooting motion looked affected as well.

The only thing paramount to getting that strength back has to be getting the overall health back in his knees.

Bottom line: Creek still has the potential to be a star at Indiana University. There’s a trusted, if tired, maxim in English soccer: Form is temporary, class is permanent. If Creek’s injuries can be overcome, his incredible talent will remain. But again, as with last offseason, the road back to full health and full strength will be a long one.

Filed to:

  • Kfdchev

    Here is to wishing Mo a great recovery. Would have liked to have been able to see him compete all 4 years at full strength but things happen. Get well and next season GIVEM’ HELL ! GO HOOSIERS !

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Get well MO!!!

  • Anonymous

    As great as it was to watch Purdue’s season go down in flames yesterday, seeing Hummel crying on the bench definitely made me think of how much it would mean to have “our Hummel” avoid the same fate. Speedy recovery, Mo.

  • MillaRed

    I really wished we would have red shirted Mo last year. I said that from day one. However, I do believe everything happens for a reason so I hope this was a blessing in disguise.

    Someone mentioned the “snake bitten” Hoosiers in a post last month and Mo is Snake Bite Numero Uno.

    A healthy Creek completely changes our outlook in 2011. Can I donate my knee caps? Not sure I need them any more.

  • JerryCT

    Personally I would be hard pressed to play him if there is the slightest hint of a limp. Even then I think he should come off the bench for 12 min/gm until B10 season and we know what we have

  • marcusgresham

    If hard work is the necessity for recovery, I’m supremely confident that Mo’s going to be just fine.

    I agree with Milla that I wish he’d have redshirted, but that’s easy to say right now. I suppose that the only way to take it is to look at the silver lining being the fact that many of the minutes logged by the freshmen late this season would have belonged to Creek.

    I want this kid healthy so badly, and at some point he will be—I just hope it’s by November. I just don’t see a lot of teams with enough defensive speed to cover a healthy Creek, Oladipo, and Sheehey if they’re all on the floor together.

  • Anonymous

    I have held true to my self induced vow of noncomment for the most part as of late but with this subject I cannot and will not let it go by without jumping back on the commenting train.

    Mo I know you will do whatever it takes to get back to where you know you can be and should be cause that’s just the kind of guy you are and no one deserves to be back there more than you. You can concentrate 110 % on getting back to that point without worry cause WE, the Hoosier Nation have always had your back and we will continue to have your back covered just as long as you need for us to.

  • IUJeff

    A healthy Mo will be a huge for IU in the fall and will greatly compliment the exceptional kids we have coming in. Mo is a great representative of IU and deserves to play at his best once again. Go IU.

  • Plane1972

    Milla, that’s hindsight, dude. Put yourself in Crean’s shoes watching the kid bust his arse to rehab. The same kid who followed you to Bloomington sight unseen. Then look him in the eye and tell him he can’t go for another year. I feel where you’re coming from, and had it been the same knee that got hurt, I’d be right there with you. I think the medical and coaching staffs made the right decision to play him this year. It was just really terrible luck. Mo still has the game experience of a Freshman. A really talented frosh, but a frosh, nonetheless. He’s got to be on the court as quickly as the docs say it is okay.

  • Plane1972

    Sorry, Gresh. You said what I just said, except an hour earlier.

  • Anonymous

    We have a handful of guys who can stick a 3 with regularity. We have a handful of guys who can take it to the basket. We have at least one guy (VJ III) who can pull up. Mo, when healthy, is the only one who is deadly in all three aspects; furthermore, he plays defense.

  • As a friend of mine said recently, we didn’t have any starters on this year’s team that were good at both ends of the court. Jones and Watford were the major pieces of our offense, but they couldn’t muster the same production on D. Hulls improved his defense, but I don’t know if I’d say that he was above average on the defensive end. Rivers and Pritch were defensive pillars, but we couldn’t count on them for offensive production. Oladipo and Sheehey were probably closest to being good at both ends, but I don’t think that point arrived until midway through the B1G season (and neither have the ability to take over a game like Creek did for us offensively his frosh year).

  • hgdownunder

    I’m pretty sure he played too much to redshirt.

  • hgdownunder

    Yeah, we have an incomplete set of pieces. No center, no true PG. Yes, I know Hulls is a PG, but why don’t we completely give the reins to him? (Oh, oh, it has to be Verdell.)

    Although I do shake my head at all the substituting, maybe Crean just thinks that all our players are liabilities and he can chessmaster them. Which of course sacrifices continuity and ah, dare I suggest, learning. Maybe the revolving door is the reason why our sophomores haven’t shown the improvement they should have.

  • Anonymous

    pretty sure this article is about Mo Creek.
    get well Maurice and see ya in the fall.

  • MillaRed

    I really don’t feel that strongly about it. I thought he needed more time but I agree, if he is cleared and says he’s ready you have to play him. It was very difficult to watch him hobble around, however. And as it stands today, I still feel redshirting was the best for all parties. We were going to be terrible anyway.

  • MillaRed

    Maybe that’s why we subbed out 50 times a game. He was going offense/defense every other possession? J/K

  • ldiu

    1. The wish Maurice the best health wise……..that is most important.
    2.. He should have been red shirted this past year. I said it back in November and I say it today.
    3. If he can come back full strength, I think he can still become the player we once saw.
    4,, If not, please do not do anything that will hurt him for life.

  • Kelin Blab

    I redshirt Creek for 2011 if you ask me. He plays ONLY if he is 100% and nothing less. The kid has too much game to flirt with another injury limping around on the court. We are going to the final 4 in 2012 anyhow so just play at that point….

    Hear that Gary and Jeremy?

  • oldred1976

    MO your still our guy! Here’s wishes for a speedy recovery (not too speedy please).
    Attention IU med staff and BB coaches if anyone and I mean anyone lets MO out on the court without the proper knee protective equipment, your gonna have a Bad day. I’ll bet I can get five ITHers and a rope! Don’t make me come down there.

    Love ya Mo

  • Anonymous

    I completely agree. If you add Creek to the 2012 class as a junior and the 2013 class as a senior, the sky is the limit. If he is not completely 100%, redshirt him. If redshirted, he will have a whole year of practice to get better. I think this would be the best scenario for Mo and the basketball program.

  • cooper

    i really hope they consider redshirting him next year. it was painful watching him limp around and try to play this year.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I felt bad for Hummel as well, genuinely bad!

    That being said, does PUke have an end of the season chant? I know they stole and use “Boiler Up” during the season but do they have a “Boiler Upchuck” or “Boiler Uh-Huk” or something similar to represent the perennial late season CHOKE!!!???

    I’ve never seen a program choke more towards the end of the season than the PUkies!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    HA!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    See where JH might be leaning towards IU!

    That would make anything else gravy when it comes to recruiting. A nice 2011 addition or Gary Harris in 2012 would be icing on the cake.

    I’m with Kelin . . . If we land JH and/or GH the year after Zeller then we have Final Four potential in 2012 with JH, Yogi, HP, RP as freshman, CZ and AE as sophomores, VO and WS as juniors, and MO (either jr. or sr.), CW, Jordy as seniors!

    The year after that would make for a B10 favorite if all those underclassmen came back!

    Add GH to that mix and it’s looking probably, not possible!

  • MillaRed

    If he is anything like he was at the start of last season he’s gotta sit. He was cleared by the doctors, he said he was OK, but I just don’t understand why he gets out there with that limp. It never looked right. In fact, it looked wrong.

    For his own sake if he’s not 100% don’t put another season (and your career) in jeopardy.

  • MillaRed

    I’m hearing this is a done deal. But let’s (not us personally) not muck it up like they did to Yogi eh? That just wasn’t right!

  • Kelin Blab

    Yeah when is limping around on the court ok…unless you are on the north side of 35 like like me, then it is “I am glad the old guy is still out there”. It never looked like he was comfortable this year.

  • NotAndIdiotFan

    Anyone else notice that Tennessee was one of the other two big major teams to offer Jamari Taylor. Looks like that might narrow his interest down. Still not sure what he will bring us that someone like McGary won’t? McGary is two inchs taller and rated higher, of course 2012.

  • sjudge

    He basically has to transfer. IU won’t redshirt him because it cuts into their already overcrowded classes coming in, and, more important, he needs the extra time of both heal and regain his confidence all over again. We have a tendency to remember kids who were injured early on as being a lot better than they were. Mo was pretty much a stand still jump shooter his first year. He played way too vertical. The game this year when he injured the knee was pretty much the first time we’d seen him trying to drive the ball hard. Getting back to that won’t happen next year.

  • MillaRed

    By the way Kelin, I DVR’s the 1984 IU-UNC Sweet 16 game where Blab went off. The best game of his career?

    All of the stories about how Dakich “shut down” MJ. I didn’t see that at all. Jordan played 8 minutes in the 1st half and that had nothing to do with Dandy Dan. Most of his shots rimmed out and they were totally out of sync. Dakich played well but shut down? I don’t think so.

    I didn’t realize Alford was that good as a freshman. Alford was the story of that game. Not Dakich.

    This also was the worst officiated game of all-time in any sport. My wife and I were laughing at how terrible that game was called on both ends. Truly a disaster! Ya know, sort of like this year’s tournament.

  • millzy32

    I think next year we should be allowed to have 10 players on the court at all times. 5 stay on the O side and 5 on the D side. If any of them cross half court we would get penalized but why would they? Most of them only belong on their strong side of the court anyway. Sound like a plan?

  • millzy32

    I don’t care if they muck it up and steal his thunder as long as he says IU. I’m a little scared with this one after this past season. My own personal pessimism is showing through. I’m hoping that it’s my problem not his and he says yes to the Hoosiers.

  • millzy32

    Alford had to be pretty good he did play for the winning Olympic Team as a High School Senior/College Freshman. It couldn’t all be because our coach was the Olympic Coach.

  • MillaRed

    I like this. I think Bruce Pearl would agree.