On Wednesday, Inside the Hall took a trip to Arcadia (IN) for a look at 2011 guard and IU commit Austin Etherington. We’ll have video from Etherington’s 17-point performance in a 76-51 Hamilton Heights win over University in the next few days.
Here’s a video Q & A we did with Etherington following the win:
It’s official: Maurice Creek, barring an unforeseen miracle, is done for the season. It’s a shame, it’s tragic, it came against a team in a game Creek could have sat out, and IU still would have crushed by 30 or more. We can play the what-if game all we want, but the sooner we get over the loss, the better it will be.
This will be a two-parter. Part 1 will dive into win expectations now that Creek is done for the season. Part 2 will look at some potential new starting lineups.
After IU beat Pitt and lost to Kentucky, I wrote the Hoosiers were on track for 10-14 wins this season. Is this still possible? I’m not so sure anymore. Besides Iowa at home on Feb. 4, there’s no game on the schedule where IU looks like a favorite. But did anyone expect the Hoosiers to go into the Garden and win? No. And I think unlike last year, home-court advantage is going to mean a little more, and IU can still steal a couple wins at Assembly Hall. Thursday’s game against Michigan is one of these games, but it just would have been easier with Creek on the court.
So if we’re going to re-adjust for the absence of Creek, we’re likely going to have to bring down the win-total range. As much as it pains me to put single digits up on the board, IU is now probably looking at an 8-12 win season. Other guys can step up, sure. But a team like this — one without a lot of margin for error to begin with — losing their leading scorer is a big blow. It just is. And it’s not just for the team, but for Creek himself. He loses out on the valuable experience of traversing through a Big Ten season as a freshman, and really only has Maryland, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Pitt as big games to speak of.
IU Media Relations released the following statement late last night:
Indiana University men’s basketball coach Tom Crean has announced that freshman guard Maurice Creek (Oxon Hill, Maryland/Hargrave Military Academy) underwent surgery today to repair damage to his left knee, which was injured Monday night in a game against Bryant.
“In visiting with Dr. Steve Ahlfeld, the surgery went very well and we expect a full recovery,” said Crean. “His rehabilitation will start as soon as possible.”
Creek, who leads the Hoosiers averaging 16.4 points, is not expected to return to the lineup this season.
“After spending time with Maurice and his family tonight, it is clear they are very touched by all the support they have received from fans and friends across the country,” Crean added.
Ryan will chime in later today with his thoughts on how the loss of Creek will affect the rest of Indiana’s season and I’ll be heading to Hamilton Heights this morning to check out a member of IU’s 2011 recruiting class, guard Austin Etherington.
Rather than the traditional Know Thy Opponent format, where I attempt to sound intelligent discussing a team besides Indiana, today we’ve reached out to Dylan over at the excellent Michigan hoops blog, UMHoops, for the scoop on the Wolverines. Our e-mail Q & A exchange is posted below for your reading pleasure. (I answered questions over at UMHoops at this link.)
Michigan was ranked No. 15 in the preseason in both the AP and Coaches’ Poll. Looking back on that, was the ranking too high or has this team just not lived up to its capabilities?
It sounds like a cop out, but it’s almost certainly a mix of both. Michigan wasn’t the 15th best team in the country. They were a 2nd round NCAA tournament team that finished .500 in conference play and snuck into the NCAA tournament. However, their youth last year coupled with John Beilein’s coaching pedigree gave folks reason to overestimate their abilities.
That being said, this team wasn’t supposed to be this bad. The biggest problem is that they just can’t hit shots. They are shooting 28.3 percent from three-point range which ranks last among all major-conference teams. It’s tough to win with any offense when you can’t hit shots but when you are undersized and running John Beilein’s offense, it’s almost impossible.