ITH Super Happy Fun Time Player Profile: Maurice Creek

  • 10/01/2009 5:30 am in

creek09309Hoosier Hysteria is on the horizon and it’s time for Inside the Hall’s player-by-player breakdown of the 2009-2010 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Maurice Creek.

To get a good idea of the impact Tom Crean expects Maurice Creek to have on the IU program, you only need to go back in the archives to August 31, 2009.

That’s the date when the NCAA clearinghouse passed along word that Creek, who used the summer to finish up core classes needed to qualify, would be eligible for the upcoming season.

Upon hearing of the green light from the NCAA for Creek to begin working out with the team, Crean tweeted that grown men were hugging each other all over Assembly Hall. (To be fair, I hugged Ryan and Eamonn upon hearing the news.) But yeah, Creek is a special enough talent to produce man hugs out of the IU coaching staff. Powerful stuff.

Creek brings a trait to Bloomington that last year’s team sorely lacked: a polished offensive game capable of consistently putting points on the board. A soft spoken kid from Oxon Hill (MD), the 6-5 Creek switched schools a couple of times before landing at Hargrave Military Academy for his senior season. He averaged 18.4 ppg for a team that finished 27-2.

The bread and butter of Creek’s offensive prowess is his ability to knock down jump shots. His release is quick, smooth and doesn’t require much room to get off. His ball handling needs some tightening up, but he’s more than capable of scoring in the lane off the dribble using his right or left hand. On the other side of the ball, he embraces and takes pride in playing defense. He’s probably at his best defending on the ball and his athleticism allows him to play the passing lanes well.

Bottom Line: Creek comes off as a quiet and humble kid off the court, but between the lines his competitiveness and desire to get better should make him an All-Big Ten caliber player down the line. With his eligibility questions behind him, he’ll battle for a starting position in the backcourt and should quickly become a mainstay in the IU rotation.

Quotable: “With Maurice Creek we were very fortunate to get on him at an early age. (Assistant Coach) Bennie Seltzer was the first one to see him back when we were at Marquette and we offered him a scholarship as a 10th grader. We recruited him like he was a senior the last few years. He was someone that, when we got to Indiana, he showed great faith in us as coaches and in our style of play. He chose to commit to Indiana with us before he had ever seen the campus. He’s a prolific shooter and he can get to the rim. He’s developing a pull-up game and as his ball-handling catches up with his ability to shoot the basketball, he will be an outstanding guard. He’s a long and athletic guard and we feel he will be able to create a lot of havoc defensively. He is someone that loves the game and has been well schooled and well taught and we feel excited to have him.” – Crean on Creek.

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  • JerryCT

    I have heard that he lets the game come to him and fits well into team schemes, not forcing his opportunities. That is good news for a team that was near last in TO's last year.

  • psvirsky

    As exciting as it is to follow all the recruiting battles, sometimes I start to forget how pumped I am about the guys we already have, especially Creek. I am already getting my hopes up too high for this kid – he just seems like he's able to do a lot of really important stuff, like, scoring.

    How about some guesses on his scoring average this year and the highest scoring average while at IU?

    My guess is he averages somewhere around 15-17 points this year, starting off slowly and as he gets comfortable coming up with a few big 25 and 30 point games. Overall, by his junior or senior year, he could be averaging somewhere in the low 20's, especially as he develops his overall game. It sounds like he can shoot and he's decent at driving – after working on the in-between game he can become really dangerous.

  • GFDave

    Not many of us have Mo in the starting five, at least at the start of the season. I think if we're wrong that's a good thing. It means he's becoming the player we hope and that we're be a much deeper, more flexible and dangerous team.

  • stevealford

    I am not sure how you can keep him out of the starting lineup. He may be the big ten freshman of the year. He is twice the player of Dumes and Dumes should not start ahead of him just because he is older. It is not like he makes good decisions.

  • joelpa

    Like what i hear about Hulls. 18 wins this year

  • BGleas

    I'm with you Dave. I brought this up in another thread, but I think it means great things if Creek can beat out Dumes early on. We know Dumes is a decent player, can score and play pretty good D, so if Creek can beat him out it means Creek is as advertised and makes IU a much deeper team IMO.

  • msdiu81

    I hope Creek gets the nod over Dumes. I'm not a Dumes fan. He's a loose cannon. Yes he gave us some points last season, but I'd rather have Creek once he learns the ropes.

  • DJ5

    Not to nitpick, but I believe Creek is from Oxon Hill, MD, which is just across the river from DC.

  • Good catch.

  • CreamandCrimson

    This team needed a lot so I hesitate to say that Creek is exactly what IU needed. However, his scoring ability will be a huge asset. Creek can shoot and attack the basket. He is, by all accounts, a very good competitor that strives to improve. He played for a high school team that is used to winning and he scored a lot of points against good competition.

    As I said in a post a couple of days ago, I think Creek will start from day one. His presence will allow for Dumes to be an explosive force off the bench. By the end of this season, teams are going to have to guard two, possibly three scoring threats. The addition of a big-time scorer like Creek should drastically help the play of Dumes, VJIII, Rivers and anyone else who gets open looks because the opposition focuses on Creek.

    My prediction, he averages 17 points a game this season (leading IU in that category). The key for Creek will be developing on defense. If he can become a solid defender, he will be the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

  • JerryCT

    I donot think he starts day1 but might start 5 games during the season. The reasons will be defense and learning how to react in our system on both ends.We are not yet a good enough team for him NOT to get defensive focus when he is in the game. I project about 11 pts/gm which would be phenomenal off the bench considering VJ3 averaged that last year with lots of minutes. He is NOT beating out our leading scorer and backcourt defender from last year.

    I fear we are putting too much faith in freshmen because that is all we have to put faith in. I too look forward to seeing the team develop and feel confident we will be satisifed with the results

  • MillaRed

    How many times did we fold late in the second half last year? Didn't we give up a 20 point lead? I like the idea of Rivers, Dumes and Creek closing out the last 5 minutes of the game defensively when we are clinging to a 5 point lead.

    At any rate, we HAVE to be fresher this year. We pulled so many minutes out of so many young guys and although we're not Sweet 16 material, it's refreshing to know we have more depth across the board.

  • MillaRed

    I think your view is more realistic Jerry. Maybe even 10 games into the season so we're not throwing him to the wolves.

    We really do have to give Dumes some credit for donning an IU uniform folks. How much uglier would the team have been under the circumstances last year? The guy put up 20 plus point games and that will be the difference in 5 of our games this season.

    I give the guy credit for diving into a very, very ugly situation when he could have went to Ohio State.

  • Kelin Blab

    Milla I agree, I am a Dumes fan. Did have some problems last year but I think the kid has a lot of game in him and I am glad we have him and Mo Creek, but Dumes will start as a Senior….

  • MarcusGresham

    Sounds great, but I just have a feeling if he's nearly as good as advertised there won't be a senior (or maybe even junior) season in Bloomington for him.

  • Indman4life

    Mo Creek will start from day 1, become fressman of the year and average 20 ppg this year.
    Mark my words. I seen this kid play against pros this summer and he scorched them. He was the best gaurd at the Kenner leauge this summer (Washington, DC pro/college leauge). No one in the leauge could gaurd him. If he didn't have shoot first guard Cris Wright from GT he would have killed even more. So while Chris jacked up shots Mo Creek let the game come to him and still killed. Wright got hurt a few games and Mo Creek went off for 37 points. The next game he played the point and scored about 27 while dishing the ball like a pro. He is the real deal. He also check the pro guards from the small 5'9″ guard (fogot his name) to the 6'5″ guards. He checked them from base line to base line. How many freshman can do this? He shook Jeff Green out of his shoes (from the Thunder). Jeff stayed away from him after that. He would not check him period. You know how everyone pick up a player at the begining of the game when playing man to man, Green said ” I'm not checking him”. This is a Pro player talking about a kid. Think about that! Look up the tapes of Mo Creek playing against the #1 point gaurd John Wall in Las Vagas; locked him down. Look at him playing aganist Brandon Jennings in Las Vagas the year before; Locked him down. The other team was so mad they started a fight. Tom Crean and Benny was at that game. Asked them about it.

  • psvirsky

    definitely. Perimeter defense needs to be an area where we take it up a step and where we have the players to do it

  • I can't wait to see some mo…mo creek

  • I can't wait to see some mo…mo creek