Crean: Creek definitely returning, not so sure on Roth

Any time he’s faced questions about the status of Maurice Creek or Matt Roth this season, Tom Crean has mostly stayed within the same lines. In regard to Creek, he’s always spoke about the junior guard’s return from his third season-ending injury as something that would take a long time, but would eventually happen. And when speak of Roth — who has a fifth year of eligibility remaining after breaking his foot two games into his sophomore year but would put IU two scholarships over the limit if he stayed on his grant-in-aid — he has been unapologetically non-committal.

Crean was asked about both again during his radio show and stayed on message in both cases. As much as he had been asked about Creek’s rehabilitation from the torn Achilles tendon he suffered before the season, he hadn’t yet been asked point blank if Creek would return. He was Monday and answered in the affirmative.

“I have no doubt that he’ll be able to (return),” Crean said. “Based on everything that he’s done to this point. Based on the recovery. Based on the rehab. Certainly, we’re nowhere near that right now. When that time comes, there will be no rush. We’ll just continue to help him get back to where he needs to be. The way I look at it, he’s gonna be that much smarter. He really is. He’s gonna be that much more well-versed in the game. He’s always been a hard worker. He’s shooting the ball in our drills right now and he’s doing a little bit of running, but there’s certainly no scrimmaging or anything like that. I don’t think that will come this year. We fully anticipate having him back and having him be really, really good.”

Crean was asked if Roth would take advantage of his fifth year.

“We’re not sure yet,” Crean said, not elaborating as to why.

Other notes from the radio show.

— Crean was asked what was more important to him, a higher seed in the NCAA Tournament or an early-round site close to home.

“I think the way that everything has changed, where they’re trying to keep higher seeded teams close to home, I think the way our fanbase travels, we would be good in a lot of places,” Crean said. “But the bottom line is I think the closer to home the better. As a coach you always want matchups, but there’s nothing you can do about it. There’s a group of people in a room that are gonna make that determination. So you just have to deal with that the way that it comes. In a perfect world, you’d be close to home and you’d have a first and second round opponent that you’d feel real good about, but it just doesn’t work that way and that’s why it’s such a thrilling tournament.”

— Crean was asked what he looks for first in a recruit. His response to that was relatively close to what it usually is.

“I think there’s different things,” Crean said. “I don’t think you can just look at it and say there’s just this one thing. Certainly talent has gotta be apparent. Certainly for me, as young as we recruit them, you’ve got to be able to look and project upside. you’ve gotta be able to project it with their body.  You’ve got to be able to project it with their game. So to me, once you get a chance to spend some time with them, then you’re trying to check that intelligence level. Not just book smart and things of that nature, but that intelligence level of how do they communicate? Do they look you in the eye? How do they communicate with other people. You’re looking for those character intelligence parts, and it kind of goes from there.”

26 comments

  1. “He’s shooting the ball in our drills right now and he’s doing a little bit of running, but there’s certainly no scrimmaging or anything like that. I don’t think that will come this year.”

    By “this year” does Crean mean 2012, or this basketball season? I gotta say, if coach doesn’t think Maurice Creek will be scrimmaging in 2012, that doesn’t sound good. Here’s hoping for the best though.

  2. I take the Roth comment to mean he is not coming back on scholarship barring strange happenings but he might be back if other aid (post grad scholarship maybe) comes available…I think I would rather have Roth back than Creek as not sure he will ever be able to really play. You can not play 13+ players. Roth can fill a specific role…Creek either has to really be able to play or I think he will not play much

  3. Raphael – I would guess he means this school year, since they work off a school calendar… Ya know.

    I think it’s 50/50 that Roth comes back, but 0% that he comes back on a scholly…

  4. Hillbilly will proclaim me the #1 IU fan in the country before Roth gets a scholly next year.

    We’re already one over and there is NO WAY he gets a ride and TWO other people are sent packing.

    Maybe he plays as a grad student or something.

    Still think it’s Austin that leaves.

  5. Geoff, No doubt it would be a good thing to have Roth back next year but a bad thing if he is back on a ride. I too think AE stays. MC’s roster spot is solid because a transfer causes him another lost year(3 in a row). I also see him as the viable intangible on this teams asset sheet much like we had in Zeller this year who held great expectations but still needed to produce results.

  6. The scholarship situation is what it is, and is better left to much more creative and clever minds than mine, but…. I would love to see Roth around somehow another year. With so much of our talent so young next year, a guy like Roth who works his a** off, has lent blood, sweat and tears to rebuilding this program, and knows what it takes to win would be a very, very valuable asset.

  7. I bet Jurkin does another year of prep school and if Roth stays it won’t be on scholarship. Situation under control.

  8. Chet, I too don’t think it is a problem but as a fan it is a topic for a blog and an important enough Q for Coach Crean to at least wade in to just above his ankles. Much like figuring out what is your next new car and how each of 2-3 choices fit the needs.

  9. “I bet Jurkin does another year of prep school and if Roth stays it won’t be on scholarship. Situation under control.”

    This is what I think too.

  10. I hope that Matt Roth walks on for his 5th year at IU and gets to go to a Final Four as a Hoosier. I just love Mo Creek and hope that he is the SG starter on next year’s Final Four team. Peter Jurkin will be the #1 backup for Cody next year and Hanner will play alongside Cody for much of next year.

  11. As much as I love this year’s team, I really miss the ‘pure shooter’ guy who will willingly take (and can consistently hit) the mid to longer range jumper. Creek gives us that kind of guy and automatically adds another layer to the offense.

    On a different note, I can’t believe “Aveously” is picking MSU by 7 points tonight. Is there anyone out there besides me who feels confident about tonight?

  12. Well, I’m not super confident Austin is leaving, it was just a guess since SOMEBODY has to go, so I’ll have to decline.

    Plus, my stalker’s head will explode if he can’t chase me for a week, and I don’t want that on my conscience. He might knife someone.

    HT….I think we get killed tonight. Hope I’m wrong.

  13. HT, I am leaning toward your thoughts on the MSU game. Our inside players have to be prominent and Appling can’t be allowed to own the back court. In fact our back court has to outperform theirs. The D and rebounding wins this game and the 6th man in the stands should be raucous.

  14. Getting killed at home is simply not an option. MSU is great, but they struggled against Minny somewhat and even lost to NW on the road. We can keep it close, no doubt.

  15. If Austin goes, which I don’t think will happen, then a lot of the ‘Movement’ players are going to be pi- -ed because he was the one pushing IU to them. I really like Remy and would hate see him go but for, team harmony, don’t think Remy would go before Austin?

  16. I think it’s a joke saying the other players will be OUTRAGED if Austin isn’t there and acting like they NEVER would have gone to IU if he weren’t there.

    IU isn’t a po-dunk school and Crean has a good reputation. Give him, and IU, some credit.

    Not saying they won;t be disappointed, but I’ll doubt they’ll be “pi**ed.”

  17. Laffy, I won’t dispute that State has more horses than we do, but this IU team has obviously shown a knack for playing very good teams very well in the Hall (dare I say we play over our heads) . On paper, State wins by 8 – 15, but that’s how KY, OSU, and Michigan looked too. I predict a 5-point win

  18. Cody is running the floor like nothing familiar a center I’ve seen in the past 25 years of Hoosier basketball. He looks to be having a ton of fun and getting more confident in his offensive skills with every game. Watford and Hulls watched the ball rip through the nets again at Minnesota. Oladipo is proving to be one of the best surprises this turnaround season. He fills much of the athleticism void in our sharpshooting point guard and is beginning to show his value beyond a great defensive player..Our offense would often be stymied without his burst of quickness to get past his defender, drive to the rim, and pull concentration away from Zeller.

    I like the Hoosiers tonight. The men in candy stripes will feed off the energy of a home crowd pumped by a team that didn’t wilt down the stretch, won two important road games(@ Purdue & @ Minnesota), and silenced the whiners of the fan base that still preferred fueling negativism on individual players, and doubt upon the team’s mental fortitude, only a few weeks ago. “The Movement” was this year. The upward movement from the bottom of the standings…The movement back into the top 20 a team with storied tradition…The movement back onto ESPN and nationally televised games…The movement of deserved recognition that finds our fine young men back onto a road of deserved pride for a unique program that still believes in achievement through adherence to sportsmanship and the core values often absent intercollegiate programs where athletes first be students. The movement of mystique and prowess is settling back into the heartland of hoops; back where it belongs growing out of the rich basketball roots that flow through the capillaries every city and rural town this wonderfully rich basketball state.

    We win by double digits. I’ll go with 84-74.

  19. ^Nice. I like the confidence.

    Regarding Zeller, I generally don’t commenting on a player’s demeanor since it is so subjective and beyond factual interpretation. I must say, though, that I love the look on Zeller’s face. He always looks so darn relaxed and calm – his big, friendly, droopy eyes make him look like the coolest dude on the floor. They never seem to close or open wide – they just stay there.

  20. LOL!!

    So, when I predict at the start of the year we’ll make the Dance, I’m called an “idiot fake fan with too high of expectations”, yet when the Board Clown predicts we’ll beat a team that kicked our butts last time, and we’ll win by double digits, people slobber all over him for his “confidence” and he brags he’s a “real fan who has faith in the team.”?

    Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

    That is PRICELESS.

  21. You should try to settle down, Laffy. I once shared HT’s spit. Our spit goes back a long way. We actually spent years completely naked on an island together. Ask him if you don’t believe me.

    You have plenty of fans on Scoop. Not very long ago I remember Geoff oiling you up with heartfelt claims of your sincerity. I also sense that Chet may even want a wrestling match or two..I think he said something about mud and pigs. You surely must recall. You can get here done without Harvard.

    Just think of Harvard as the sister you always wanted.

    Let’s take down these Spartans!

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