When times were hard and things were down at Assembly Hall there was hope in the form of Maurice Creek. He was a member of the same class as Christian Watford, Jordan Hulls, and Derek Elison and arguably was the first of all of those players to help Hoosiers basketball begin it's upward climb. Unlike the others he won't finish out his eligibility at IU, instead opting to graduate and transfer for his final year in search of better playing time.
Life can be brutal at times and no one on the Hoosiers exemplifies this more than Creek, who started as a freshman and averaged 16.4 points per game. No one could forget his 31 points against rival Kentucky that season either. However, it would be all downhill following that as he failed to finish out a season until this past year.
In that freshman campaign he played just 14 games before suffering a stress fracture to his left knee, shutting his season down. Fast forward to the next year and it's 18 games played before a stress fracture to his right knee, shutting his season down once again. Finally, in 2011, just as he was coming back healthy for his junior season Creek suffers a ruptured Achilles tendon in a preseason workout in October and is shut down for a full season.
To say his career possessed potential, being one of the top 50 or 60 players in his high school recruiting class and all, isn't that big of a stretch. Luckily it appears at least coach Tom Crean understands what Creek meant to this program.
“In all my time as a coach, I have never witnessed someone overcoming the adversity that Maurice had sustained during his time,” Crean said via a university statement. “His attitude, ability to continue to work and his passion for the game of basketball have never wavered. He has been an integral part of our basketball family and will always remain that in our eyes and should also in the eyes of Hoosier Nation.”
Creek could end up somewhere closer to home, which is in Maryland, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see a CAA school like James Madison or Towson become his home next season.
Back at IU, that means there's now a scholarship available, which is a real shame for a guy like Remy Abell. You know, the guy that was forced out of his scholarship and forced to transfer because of "over signing" players? Ya, if I'm him I'm a bit pissed right now. But hey, that's life with Tom Crean as your head coach.