Maurice Creek leaving Indiana basketball program
By Andy Proffet Post-Tribune correspondent April 24, 2013 11:10PM
Wisconsin guard Ben Brust bulls through a Hoosier double team of Maurice Creek (L) and Kevin Ferrell on his way to the basket in the first half of the Badger's 68-56 win over the Hoosiers in a semi-final game of the Big ten Tournament March 16, 2013 at the United Center. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: May 29, 2013 6:43AM
Indiana’s basketball program has another roster spot open for next season after Maurice Creek chose to not play for the Hoosiers next year.
IU announced on Wednesday that Creek will graduate next week and hopes to play his final season of college eligibility at another school next season.
“Maurice and his family have decided to pursue an opportunity where he can find the type of role that would provide him the minutes he desires and is accustomed to,” IU coach Tom Crean said in the school’s press release.
“I feel like I would have a better opportunity for more playing time at another school where I can be eligible right away,” Creek said in the release.
Creek’s departure leaves the Hoosiers with 12 scholarship players for next season, one under the limit allowed by the NCAA. He joins NBA early entrants Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller and transfer Remy Abell in departing an Indiana team that went 29-7 but fell short of preseason expectations.
The Hoosiers were ranked No. 1 in the preseason and held the top ranking more weeks last season than any other team, but lost in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row. Oladipo and Zeller announced they were going pro two weeks ago, and Abell announced his decision to transfer to seek more playing time just a few days later.
The roster shuffling means the Hoosiers will be a very young team next season, with just one scholarship senior, Will Sheehey, and one scholarship junior, Austin Etherington, on the roster.
The rest of Indiana’s upperclassmen will include seniors Jeff Howard and Taylor Wayer, redshirt junior Raphael Smith and junior Jonny Marlin, a transfer from IPFW who sat out last season.
Creek exploded onto the scene as a freshman in 2009 with a 31-point performance in a 93-70 loss to Kentucky. But he broke his kneecap later that month in a win over Bryant and missed the rest of the season.
His injury woes continued, with his sophomore season ending with a stress fracture in his knee after 18 games in the 2010-11 season. He sat out the 2011-12 season after rupturing his Achilles’ heel before the season, then played a career-high 24 games this season.
In 54 games at IU, Creek averaged 7.2 points.
“In all my time as a coach, I have never witnessed someone overcoming the adversity that Maurice had sustained during his time,” Crean said. “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.”