Crean says Maurice Creek not 100 percent, team needs to cut down on fouling
Q: How is Maurice Creek coming along after last year’s season-ending knee injury?
A: “He’s not 100 percent. He’s not ready to practice. He’s done some one-on-one in limited settings but it hasn’t been with his teammates, unless he’s sneaking in here late at night and doing that along with his shooting drills, which I don’t think he is. He’s smarter than that. We’re not in a rush with him. His rehabilitation has been fantastic. He’s getting stronger. Right now he’s doing things in controlled settings with managers and coaches. We haven’t put him into live action drills yet. There’s not a time period on that just yet. He was evaluated at length again [on Friday]. He’s definitely doing the right things. The mental part was the biggest hurdle for him last year, as far as overcoming that injury. As a coach I’m more concerned with that than the physical aspect, because we’re certainly not going to put him out there and ask him to do things that the doctors and trainers tell him he can’t do.”
Q: You lost the final nine games of the 2010-11 season. What was the most frustrating aspect of that streak?
A: “l look at those losses and say, “What’s the common denominator in those games?” That’s what we’re focused on more than anything. We’ve got to cut down our fouling in a big way. We averaged 22 fouls a game last season and finished last. Ohio State averaged 15 fouls a game and won the league. Right there, that statistic alone, you put a bright light on that, because that’s a big deal. You know injuries play into it and you know that not having enough scoring threats plays into it. But when the new year comes, you don’t focus on any of that. You just focus on what you can do to get better and what you can eliminate that has been getting you beat. It’s time for us to string some successes together, not just one here and there.”