Creek: “I have no doubt I can get to the professional level”

Maurice Creek still believes there is a lot more good basketball left in him than anyone else realizes. And he believes if he can just get the chance to prove that this year, he can continue to show that for years to come.

The generally accepted narrative of Creek’s four years at Indiana is that his three season-ending injuries destroyed what would have been an NBA career and stole from the guard any opportunity to make money playing the game.

But Creek isn’t ready to accept the consensus. Not when he still has one year of college eligibility left to show the basketball world that he isn’t as hobbled as advertised. That’s one of the primary reasons Creek decided earlier this week to transfer from Indiana, using the graduate student transfer exemption to play his fifth year elsewhere. He believes his future is still in basketball, whether in the United States or elsewhere.

“I have no doubt that I can get to the professional level,” Creek said by phone Saturday in his first interview since Indiana announced the transfer on Wednesday. “I just need to showcase to everybody that I still have it in me to play this game. That’s one of the reasons I think I need this new start.”

Creek said he believes he’ll have attractive options for that new start. He said that since getting his release, he’s already been contacted by Texas, Marshall and George Washington. He will earn his degree in general studies next week, and because of the NCAA’s graduate student transfer exemption, he will not have to sit out a season for transfer rules.

“They’re just telling me what their situations are and what they need from me,” said Creek, who is hoping to get closer to his parents in Temple Hills, Md., but said he is not basing his decision entirely on geography. “The schools that I’m talking to say they need a veteran guard. Some of the schools are very young. They said I can come in right away and play, and those are obviously things that I like to hear. But I’m going to keep my options open and take my visits and at that time, I’ll figure out what I’m going to do next.”

The key for Creek, of course, is the possibility for immediate playing time. Creek didn’t believe he would get that at Indiana even though the Hoosiers lost most of their backcourt with senior Jordan Hulls out of eligibility, junior Victor Oladipo declaring for the NBA Draft and sophomore Remy Abell also transferring.

“I talked to Coach (Tom) Crean to figure out what his expectations were for me,” Creek said. “… He was saying a lot of key parts were leaving and I could have a better shot. But I just went off this year.”

Creek said he believes he was capable of much more in 2012-13 than he was able to show. He appeared in just 24 of the Hoosiers’ 36 games and averaged 7.8 minutes in those appearances, scoring 1.8 points per game. The one-time sharpshooter made just 28.8 percent of his field goals (15-for-52) and 32.3 percent of his 3-pointers (10-for-31).

Most of his work came in blowouts. He saw more than 10 minutes in just nine games. The Hoosiers won all nine of those by 20 points or more.

Creek said he understood Crean’s reasoning for that. The Hoosiers were gunning for a national championship and they were loaded in the backcourt with Oladipo, Hulls and Big Ten All-Freshman team point guard Yogi Ferrell. But he still believed he could have done more.

“I just felt like it was really hard to get in the flow of things,” Creek said. “I was wondering what could I do to get more playing time. He’s got to win games. I understand that. He went with the guys he had, that’s understandable. But from the other aspect, he has to understand, I really didn’t play as much this year, and I really thought I could play.”

Creek said he doesn’t think he’s that far physically from what he was as a freshman when he averaged 16.4 points per game and blew up for 31 points against then No. 1 Kentucky.  He fractured the patella in both of his knees and tore his Achilles tendon in his career at Indiana, ending the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons early and redshirting the 2011-12 campaign, but he battled back to playing shape after all three of those injuries.

“I feel like I can play how I played my freshman year,” Creek said. I am healthy. I am feeling really good … I can still contribute in the scoring part and contribute on the defensive end. I can bring a lot of elements to the game that we didn’t get to see much.”

Creek said he’s anxious to show that, but that the decision was a very bittersweet moment. Whatever concerns he had about playing time, he still said in a press release that Crean has done as much as anyone else to help him develop from a boy to a man. He said Saturday that he’ll always consider Indiana home.

“This is always going to be family to me,” Creek said. “It’s kind of sad that I’ll be going to a new spot. The Hoosier Nation has been with me through thick and thin, through all of my injuries. … I’ll always know wherever I go, this is my first home and this is my family.”

 

40 comments

  1. Creek’s freshman season start will always be a double edge in my opinion. Was he good for a frosh? Sure. Was he as good as everyone is trying to ‘remember’? Not even close. So he averaged 16 ppg as a frosh…so what. IU was terrible at that time. There are tons of bad teams that have guys averaging 16ppg. IU got destroyed by Kentucky. I remember the game well. They overachieved and held their own early and then UK went off and shut the crowd up, scoring almost 50 in the 2nd half to win by 17. 1 game does not define or predict a career. Creek scored 31 that game, (everyone thinks he was dominant) he was an athletic shooter, he hit shots, shooters will do that from time to time, UK controlled the game. Matt Roth for example scored 29 his freshman year against OSU, again in a big loss. Does that mean Roth would’ve been JJ Reddick had he not been injured…absolutely not. I don’t think Creek is a bad player but he was certainly not a lock to be a pro like people think. IU was 6-6 Creek’s first 12 healthy games as a pro. Not 11-1. He was good but not great. Obviously no one will ever know truly what would’ve happened without injuries but life isn’t really a ‘what if’ event. He thinks he can be a player no one else thinks he can be anymore. I’m glad he has confidence. I did notice that last summer Crean called him out specifically about needing to be in Cook more and he was never included in Crean’s list of 365ers. He always mentioned Jordan, Vic, Will, Yogi…never Creek. I’m not saying Crean ever degraded him either but he was never mentioned as someone who just lived in the gym these past 1.5 years. Anyway, I have no problem with Creek wanting to go somewhere else but I will be shockkkked if he ever gets a ‘perfect situation’ in which to drop 31 on UK or play pro ball or anything else. His frosh hype got in his own way a bit here I believe.

  2. NO GO For Creek in NBA……..At most this would be a long shot….Maybe overseas…..Get your degree and get a job….when waking up from the dream.

  3. Good luck, but doubt he will be NBA material. Tell you what. If Creek makes it too the NBA, I’ll buy Chet a gift certificate to his favorite restaurant. Don’t get too excited Chet. Won’t happen.

  4. Creek may have a chance to play overseas, but he’s got a long way to go in rehabbing his legs and proving that he can play a full season without injury. Keep the dream alive Mo!

  5. Good luck, but doubt he will be NBA material. Tell you what. If Creek makes it too the NBA, I’ll buy Chet a gift certificate to his favorite restaurant. Don’t get too excited Chet. Won’t happen.

    Spoken like a true cynical Christian. The rapture coming and sucking up to the clouds those accepting Jesus Christ as their personal savior? Now that’s a done deal!

    Seems so fatalistic to make an outright claim that something “won’t happen.” If the powers of Jesus can heal through faith by the hand of a deliverer, then why can’t the same powers of the eternal spirit our lord and savior place Mo Creek within the bosom of a miracle to play in the NBA? Never doubt the spirit of God and the power of belief when it flows into the humble and generous his ultimate creation.

  6. ^ Your a funny man Harvard. Can you say insecure? New lows. All be because I disagree, makes me a cynical Christian. Mingle with people Harvard. I’ll hold your hand…

  7. Your too much of a puss Harvard to even tell me what you believe. I swear if I had kids, I would forbid them going close to your home. Probably an abuser, which is why you live here. CAUSE YOU HAVE NOBODY. Not even a false God to worship!

  8. Relax Ben… I love taking my little shots at Harvard too, but we should try not to get that demeaning and personal. This is early-stage Laffy-v-Harvard stuff… Nobody wants that again.

    I actually think Harvard has a bit of a point in post #6… With the exception of calling you cynical and the linked article. Other than that he raises a great question. Why would someone of so much faith in God have so little faith in Creek?

  9. Unfortunately for Maurice, he is an actual person with an actual record on which to base projections. God, if he existed, would surely hit for better than 28% of his 3’s.

  10. Sure, Weatherman… There is no inherent dilemma for you or I. We can look at the situation logically and critically and come to a reasonable conclusion… However, if you live a faith-based life, where all things in God are possible, and by all accounts Creek is a Christian, then why would you be betting against him?

    (But I did enjoy your comment)

  11. I guess when you put it that way, Geoff, I probably shouldn’t bet against Creek. Happily, that also leaves open the possibility of MY someday playing in the NBA. I hereby enter my name in the 2013 NBA draft, and await further instruction from on high.

  12. Geoff-

    Thanks for the support, but I beg to differ. Ben’s post was totally cynical in nature. Telling Chet he’ll bet him a gift certificate to his favorite restaurant if Creek makes it to the NBA? And where is Chet’s post on this thread? Why is he even bringing up Chet? Why is he telling Chet to not get too excited? And then to top it off with the fatalistic “Won’t happen”…?

    Yeah, I think that’s all pretty damn cynical and certainly doesn’t sound like someone of faith.

  13. Ben is probably Laffy. He makes the same “your” instead of “you’re” mistakes, and loves the capital letters. And he’s probably presenting himself as a “man of faith” to hide his identity (if we remember correctly Laffy was very anti-religion in his posts, so he’s now trying to overcompensate by pretending to be religious).

  14. I’m in too. I know 3 teams that have a need for a 37 year old, 5’11”, rookie PG, with a marginal handle and terrible defense, but unlimited range, and court savvy that is of the rarest quality for any player in the draft. I’ll make sure that by the draft I’m only slightly overweight. I will get several more tattoos if it will help me.

    I’m also available for a shoe contract… No current obligations… Let the bidding war begin.

  15. It was a joke Harvard. Relax. I bring up Chet, cause I respect him. He did nothing. Look Harvard, I don’t think Creek will make it. It has nothing to do with religion. It’s an opinion. Think of it this way.. Will it rain or not? Weatherman says it will, but looks clear to me…

    I’m sorry about everything. Considering I respect Geoff, I will cool it off. I’m sorry Harvard… Care for a truce?

  16. So you have a pet Chet…? I’m good with that.

    I cringe every time I watch Creek’s fragile looking ‘jenga’ knees take to the floor.

  17. Geoff, as far as the shoe contract goes, I’m 100% certain you can get one; you’d have to settle for the right type of shoe though…

  18. Why has things in this country got to the point where even a discussion about Basketball turns into Christian bashing?

  19. Where was the Christian bashing? If you think you found some in this thread you’re REEEEAALY trying hard to find something to be offended by.

    You’d never make it as a non-Christian. Now, THOSE people actually have something to complain about. They really take a beating.

    Seventy-seven percent of Americans identify themselves as Christians. Are you gonna tell me you’re feeling oppressed?

  20. Chet – 77% percent is an all-time historical low for them, and they are nervous. We are talking about a people who, since 1492, have ruled all the major intellectual and industrial centers of the modern world, and who virtually exterminated entire populations of “uncivilized” brown and black skinned peoples. They are so used to 99% domination, that when it slips from a “total majority” (99%) to an “almost total” majority (77%), they act like the world is slipping out of their control.

    “Christian oppression” is right up there with the “my white daughter with a 4.0 couldn’t get into Berkeley because of affirmative action and all those blacks they are admitting” as the most pathetic and laughable privileged person sob-stories the world will ever know.

  21. Yikes. Stepped away for a couple of days and the Scoop just got real. Entertaining reads here, but I think I’ll be a conscientious objector for this thread.

  22. Hey Ben, you’ve always been up front on here. You don’t have anything to apologize for. Certainly not to the likes of me. I’ve always thought you were fair and reasonable and didn’t expect everyone to fall into line behind you.

    I grew up steeped in the church. My brother and uncle were both high ranking clergy in the Episcopal Church and I knew every bishop east of the Mississippi.

    I’ve got nothing against any of them.

    It’s got nothing to do with God. I’m a big fan. Not that I think I have any particular insights into the mysteries of the universe. I’m just not a big believer in organized religion. History of the world and all that.

    My belief system falls more into the whole karma thing. Do the best you can to other people and you’ll probably get the same in return. One way or another. Golden Rule and all that.

    I really respect that you recognize that Christians are playing with house money in the US. When I hear somebody referencing “Christian bashing” in the US…well..you already know what I think.

    Think you’re getting bashed? Walk into a truck stop in Jackson, Mississippi and announce that you’re a Muslim.

    But, hey, I’m a white, married, middle class, heterosexual guy living in the South. WTF do I know about oppression?

  23. I’m sure this won’t shock you Rico, but I’m confused… I don’t have to go over to ITH and start snooping around do I? Luckily I don’t care too much about my rep over there.

    Giraffe – I’m pretty sure coachv copped to being Rico Chet a couple weeks back. Alas, I am only Geoff. I respect Chet and have no reason to chase him around the Scoop.

  24. Did anyone see the White House Correspondents Dinner?

    There is nothing like good ol’ humor to bridge differences…Say what you want about Barack Obama as leader of the free nation, it is hard to deny the impeccable timing in his comedic delivery. Very funny material too..Highly recommended chance to have some good chuckles. We all need more laughter. And what a joy when the cameras cut to Michael J. Fox at one of the guest tables unable to contain his laughter. I don’t know if he is a devout anything, but what a great spirit and example to never give up the fight. Isn’t that what it’s all about at the end of the day? Doing the best you can do with whatever hand you’ve been dealt? Is their really any better way to honor any ‘God’ of choice? Kindness…Pride…Indelible Spirit..Compassion…Fight….and to never shy away nor ever undervalue the chance to appreciate the beauty of every life.

    Anyway..Apology accepted, Ben. Need to also learn to forgive. Can’t forgive and your damned to misery. I will also take heed your advice, Ben, and attempt to get out of my self-confinement and do a bit more mingling and “blending” in with my fellow citizens…It’s healthy to get out and get some sun..Good for brightening my skin color.

    Lastly, I know I go way over-the-top on here. Somewhere underneath all the charades is a relatively harmless guy that is still searching for hope to somehow be a better man.

  25. Harvard – Maybe next time you’ll take me up on that lunch offer…

    Rico… Was #22 not you? Don’t worry. I will never steal your name, nor anyone else’s.

  26. No H4H I missed it, on purpose and used the time for something meaningful like cleaning the grease trap.

  27. Steven Colbert’s appearance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner remains one of the funniest routines I’ve ever seen.

    They replaced him the following year with Rich Little. That was just sad.

Comments are closed.