The latest on Mo Creek

Creek is wheeled off the floor, a towel covering his knee.

[12:25 p.m. UPDATE, from Chris Korman]

Sorry to be late with this. Been getting some things done. Mostly, watching the college basketball. Which, when you are a college basketball writer, can be considered “getting some things done.” My parents are so impressed with how much I work.

Anywhere, here’s the latest, via IU news release:

Indiana University men’s basketball coach Tom Crean has announced that freshman guard Maurice Creek (Oxon Hill, Maryland/Hargrave Military Academy) underwent surgery today to repair damage to his left knee, which was injured Monday night in a game against Bryant.

“In visiting with Dr. Steve Ahlfeld, the surgery went very well and we expect a full recovery,” said Crean. “His rehabilitation will start as soon as possible.”

Creek, who leads the Hoosiers averaging 16.4 points, is not expected to return to the lineup this season.

“After spending time with Maurice and his family tonight, it is clear they are very touched by all the support they have received from fans and friends across the country,” Crean added.

[5:45 p.m.UPDATE, from Dustin Dopirak]

Indiana has provided no update on Maurice Creek’s surgery yet, but we managed to get a hold of a few doctors who specialize in this sort of thing. They obviously aren’t directly connected to Indiana so none of them have seen x-rays or MRI’s of Creek’s knee but they were able to provide some insight. We’ll hit the general points here and discuss them more in detail in tomorrow’s Herald-Times.

A knee fracture, they said, is a vague diagnosis that could mean a fracture of any of the four bones that make up the knee: the fibula, femur, patella and tibia. Because Creek had surgery, they deduced that it had to be one of the latter three bones because if it was the fibula, Creek would have just been put in a cast and there would be no operation. One doctor said that from seeing the pictures in the newspaper he deduced that it was a broken patella, which is the knee cap. That, however, doesn’t make it any more or less of a problem than the femur or tibia.

The general recovery time, they said, is three to four months. It requires about six to eight weeks of healing before an athlete can begin full-scale therapy, then another six to eight weeks of recovery time before someone can get back to running and jumping and playing basketball. Creek will eventually have a full recovery, they said, but there is a question about whether or not he will return to pre-injury strength next season.

“With any kind of knee injury, whether it’s an ACL tear or a knee fracture or anything, that first season back, you can tell they’re just not their old self,” said Dr. Greg Estes, an orthopedic surgeon at Indiana Orthopedic Center in Indianapolis. “It’s usually not until their second season that they’re back to what they used to be. That’s not a hard and fast rule, but it’s a pretty common thing.”


Maurice Creek, who suffered a fractured knee in Indiana’s win against Bryant last night, will probably not have surgery until later today. His mother was being flown into town so that she could be with him at the time of the procedure.

Meanwhile, we’re trying to figure out what exactly a fractured knee might involve. Yes, we’ve visited all the same Web sites you have. But we’re also trying to employ the ancient journalistic technique of interviewing people. So far, we’ve had little luck getting a doctor on the phone. Turns out people like to take this week off from work.

We’ll bring you whatever update we can in the coming hours.


  1. If it’s a kneecap the next question is how many pieces? Sometimes they just remove the broken pieces, of the kneecap, and tie the tendons/ligaments in a knot. This would be an extreme case.
    That’s just a guess.

  2. I have finally come to the realization that he is done for the year.

    Now my thoughts:

    Does this mean a starting lineup of: (my prediction on the end)

    Hulls, Rivers, Jones, Watford, pritch 60%
    River or Hulls, jones, watford, pritch 30%
    Rivers or hulls, jones, dumes, pritch 10%

    I like the idea of having elston come off the bench to rest either pritchard or watford, with all of them getting plenty of minutes.

    At the guard spot, I think we’ll have to see increased roles by dumes and jones to fill the void. It is almost impossible to fill this void, but I believe if Dumes can get his shooting stroke back like last year, he at least has a chance to cushion this blow.

  3. I think IU needs Elston to start, for rebounding purposes. The team can’t rebound as is, going smaller isn’t going to help. Start Rivers over Hulls.

    Hulls has improved but I still don’t think he is ready for the speed and strength of B10 play. Lets not forget how he played against faster teams, Ole Miss, Pitt, UK

  4. Hulls played a whopping 12 minutes against Ole Miss..14 minutes against Pitt(in the first half against Pitt, Crean put him in @12:00 minute mark and let him play a whopping 4 minutes…he substituted him back into the game with 19 seconds to go in the half)and 17 minutes against Kentucky..He was put in @11:33 of first half…taken out of game @10:45 mark…..Second half: entered @ 16:26 and taken out @13:45…for the game he went 2-4(both 3-point shots..50%)

    You honestly feel those three games are fair evaluation of his readiness to lead this team? Extremely sporadic insertion into the lineup with a 3-game total of 43 minutes(averaged 14 out of 40 minutes per game) against top quality D-1 opponents is not what I consider to be a very fair assessment. Give the kid a few games to start and play for extended stretches and then evaluate his performance. Very few freshman could shine with such little confidence extended from the head guy on the bench and limited minutes offered to work into the flow of a game.

  5. Hulls is very strong mentally and he’s been extremely well coached throughout his career (up until now anyway.) 😉 He’s going to figure out the Big Ten and by the end of the season everybody will be astonished with his progress and overall contribution to the team.

  6. cooper has a point. hulls minutes were limited because he was physically overmatched. you can spout all the numbers you want but i know what i see. but hulls high basketball iq will improve his learning curve over the average player.

    he will struggle early in big 10 but he’ll dazzle on occasion as well. when he’s a junior, watch out. reminds me a bit of john stockton. now if he will just let me fix his shooting form.

  7. Cooper does have a point..and his point could easily be extended through our entire lineup..Outside of Rivers, you can use the “physically overmatched” argument for nearly every member of the Hoosier squad….Players can also be overmatched in other relevant facets on a basketball court….Given some more time to run the offense, Hulls would quickly prove his basketball IQ, court awareness, ability to find the most opportune areas to distribute the ball, leadership qualities, and composure under pressure would increase his stature immensely in the eyes of all Hoosier fans…I believe he could achieve this without any need to change his pesky little runt-sized body that would just about out-hustle every guy on the court..even those monster guards of the Big 10 that could devour Jordan like a side tray of sweet corn in their Swanson Hungry-Man dinners.

    Though he was always considered a solid point guard, efficient with the ball and a good shooter, Hulls’ stock improved greatly at an AAU tournament in Pittsburgh last April. Holding his own against the top players in the country, he went from having offers from a handful of mid-major programs to getting recruited by some of the elites.

    And the early doubts about his size or quickness have kept him motivated.

    “It makes me work that much harder,” he said.

    I don’t think messing with his shot would be a good idea…I think you might want to teach Rivers to hit the rim on a free throw shot and dribble less than twenty times per possession before teaching Jordan how to miss the basket.

  8. you can’t deny hulls releases from his shoulder. probably hasn’t changed since the sixth grade. while he’ll get away with it, it isn’t optimum.

  9. coachv,

    In baseball there are hundreds of different batting stances. It doesn’t matter which you choose, so long as you’re hitting the ball well.

    There are side-arm quarterbacks and traditional ones. It doesn’t matter as long as they throw touchdowns.

    In hockey, there are butterfly goalies and standup goalies. As long as they stop the puck, I don’t think their coach will complain.

    Likewise, it’s obvious that Hulls has an unconventional shooting form, but does it really matter as long as he shoots well? Whether he shoots well consistently over a long period of time remains to be seen, but if he does, I doubt his form will be a concern of Crean’s.

  10. coachv-

    I agree his shot appears to start from a lower than optimal point….I mentioned it in one of my earlier posts..

    Hulls can definitely hit the long ball, but his setup time on his jumper could be a problem with his lack of size…Have you noticed how he brings the ball down low before his release?..It’s a bit like a struggling 8th grader with underdeveloped biceps shoots the ball for added push..When I was in junior high school I forced myself to change my shot because of continually being fed my lunch(the same push problem)…I actually decided to bring the ball behind my head and catapult it toward the basket with both arms…Amazingly awkward and ugly form, but after hours and hours on the court, I began to have accuracy with the unorthodox style.. Eventually I learned to bring the ball down and shoot comfortably with truer form and a release point near top of forehead..No more getting fed my lunch from guys a couple inches taller) Sorry for that diversion from topic to bring up my personal failings at hoops …Unfortunately, Hull’s effectiveness will be challenged by the absence of Creek’s complimentary deep threat..Having a respected scorer like Creek on the court was the main factor allowing Hulls to get the needed spacing to deliver his own deep daggers…I still believe he is the best choice for starting point guard…He’s not selfish with the ball and is the best fit for the position/role of team leader on the court…GAME, GUMPTION, GUTS, and GLORY written all over his GRUMPY face.

    I called it a “push problem”…You call it releasing from the shoulders…I doubt it’s worth messing with at this point in his season progression. Maybe they can employ you during the summer to tinker with it…Still think the kid is ready to play with the big boys…GAME, GUMPTION, GUTS, and GLORY written all over his GRUMPY face….though, as I also said in the same previous post, I think his deep threat scoring contributions will be harder to come by with Creek out of the lineup(not to mention Dumes and Rivers have a tendency to make the ball stay in their own hands a bit too much).

  11. People have a clouded view of Hulls both ways. Some people think he is the 2nd coming and others are down on him. I think most of the people down on him are because others on this site and other sites have hyped him up so much. I’m not down on him as much as I don’t believe he is the Bloomington Jesus others do. People talk about him like they talk about Tim Tebow.

    He like the rest of the team struggles to get their own shot and he really relies on a guy to drive and kick to get his shot.I’ve never said he won’t be a good player and even a starter someday, but some people need to get some perspective, he isn’t ready for that yet.

  12. It’s a shame about Creek. He had a legitimate chance to be big ten freshman of the year.
    Hulls and Elston have got to get more minutes. Each one of them plays less than half the game.
    Hulls is now our best shooter and passer and Elston is our best rebounder. Why are they playing less than half the game? Congratulations to Steve Alford for knocking off another ranked opponent last night to move to 13-1.

  13. I think hulls will be good but to the people that think he should be playing minutes over rivers, I still haven’t seen him be able to take his man off the dribble and get into the lane. For him to take the next step, I think he is going to need to prove that he can do that consistently.

  14. hey downing,

    when you talked about catapulting the ball when you were a kid i think of watford. that’s what he does. easy enough to be fairly accurate but hard to be consistent with distance. also a really slow release as you mention. watford will have to fix that to play at the next level. the only pro i can think of who shoots like hulls is john stockton. can anyone think of anyone else since i stopped watching the nba about 5 years ago.

    rivers and the iu staff had a year to fix rivers’ shooting form which would be very easy to do. i’d love to hear crean explain why it hasn’t been done. or even if he thinks its fine. the only other hoosier with a technique issue is creek, albiet a very small one. his release point from the perimeter is too low. an easy fix and as he gets stronger he can easily get the ball a little higher.

    by the way, i love hulls, and iu, and people here shouldn’t get there panties in a bunch if i want to discuss the game from a more technical viewpoint. i’m not attacking anyone. it’s just a fun forum. happy new year!

  15. coachv-

    Happy New Year to you, too. Other than keeping up with the progression of Eric Gordon, I also don’t watch/follow a lot of NBA ball…Have you ever seen a sweeter looking jump shot than the form exhibited by Eric Gordon? Jerry West had a beautiful shot with an unbelievable quick release…One can only imagine the points he would have amassed during his career with a 3-point line.

    I just have a gut feeling about Hulls…I think the kid will lead us to the NCAA Final Four one day.

  16. Just thought of something, coachv…Do you think Pritchard’s problem with free throw shooting(especially short-arming his shots)is from straightening his legs too quickly before his release? I think if he made a conscious effort to make his lower body come up less abruptly(slow down his knees)it would result in much smoother and fluid form….A lot of shooting problems are in balance and mechanics in the legs..Creek has great mechanics in getting the feet set and squaring to the basket..Just some random ideas/perceptions..

    WOW!! 5:30!! I’ve got to get some sleep…Later.

  17. downing’s insomnia,

    haven’t really watched pritchard’s lower body on his free throws. will check it out today. go iu!

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