Chris Howell, Bloomington Herald-Times
With the season complete and the offseason officially started for the 2010-11 Indiana Hoosiers, The Hoosier Scoop will have a breakdown of each individual player’s season and what he needs to focus on during the offseason. The fourth player in the series is sophomore guard Maurice Creek. PREVIOUSLY: Christian Watford, Verdell Jones and Jordan Hulls.
2010-11 STATS: 8.3 points per game (38.9 percent FG, 31.0 3pt), 2.4 rebounds, 21 assists, 26 turnovers, 4 steals in 18 games.
WHAT WENT RIGHT: Creek at least got back on the floor, even if it wasn’t for long and even if he wasn’t as effective when he was there. Tom Crean said repeatedly that Creek’s shattered left knee had been healed, and it was just leg strength that was holding him back. He said after Creek suffered a stress fracture in the right knee that the Oxon Hill, Md. native was very, very close to being his old self. As it was, he was a serviceable role player who could score from the outside, even if he didn’t do it with nearly the efficiency that he did as a freshman.
THE TO-DO LIST:
- Get healthy. Of course, this is everything. Creek never looked like himself this year. He never had the explosion that he showed as a freshman. Never seemed comfortable making cuts or changing direction. That hurt him on defense. It hurt him attacking off the dribble, and it messed with his jumper. He didn’t have the lift he was used to, so he never seemed able to correctly calibrate it. Nature seems determined to prevent him from ever having huge quadriceps muscles, but he needs to get the leg strength back in his left leg and for his right knee to heal. Once he is healthy, the to-do list will get much longer, but right now it’s tough to tell where he improved from last year because his health has held him back.
- Get his confidence back. Even throughout the offseason, whenever Creek made any sort of public appearance, statement on Twitter or anything else the public could see, he appeared to be beginning to take ownership of the team. He was crucial in the recruitment of Victor Oladipo and has served as a mentor to the fellow D.C. area native. He participated heavily in what turned out to be the fruitless recruitment of Moses Abraham, and told anyone who would listen that IU was on its way back. But once he got back on the court and recognized he wouldn’t be as empowered to make that happen as he hoped, he retracted to some degree and appeared to defer leadership responsibilities to Verdell Jones and others. Creek appears to be viewed by consensus as the most talented Hoosier, and if he comes back healthy he could also solve Indiana’s leadership issues.