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Maurice Creek felt pretty special when he entered Indiana's exhibition game against Indiana Wesleyan on Thursday night. How could he not?
The crowd of 17,186 gave him a standing ovation with 10:57 left in the first half, recognizing his return after missing last season because of a torn Achilles tendon. The redshirt junior guard responded by scoring a team-high 12 points in No. 1 IU's 86-57 victory over the Wildcats.
"It was a great reaction,'' said Creek, who has been beset by injuries throughout his college career and has played in just 30 games in his three years at IU. "A standing ovation is big time. That's love. I appreciate everyone that stood up for me."
IU coach Tom Crean was impressed, too.
"It was very emotional watching the crowd react to him," Crean said.
Crean said Creek appeared to be most effective off the dribble.
"When he shows that burst, it shows the legs are getting a little stronger," Crean said. "He's still a ways away in that sense. It's still hard from him to put day after day together."