Monday, January 17, 2011
Maurice Creek out indefinitely
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana's Maurice Creek spent more than a year trying to recover from one fractured kneecap.
Now he'll be starting all over on the other knee.
Coach Tom Crean told radio listeners Monday night that the sophomore guard will be out indefinitely after being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his right kneecap.
"You can't imagine how big a blow it is to him," Crean said. "It's a tough, tough situation, and I hope everyone will think about him and say a prayer for Mo and his family."
The Hoosiers (10-8, 1-4 Big Ten) thought Creek would walk away unscathed from Saturday's night's scare, which looked almost like a replay of the season-ending injury he sustained in December 2009.
With less than 2 minutes to go in Indiana's 80-61 victory over Michigan, Creek caught a long inbound pass, scored on a layup and then crashed to the floor -- in almost the exact same spot he had in December 2009 when he fractured his left kneecap.
Trainers immediately went to help Creek, who clutched the right knee in front of the hushed crowd. Creek eventually limped off the floor and re-entered the game a few minutes later.
Afterward, teammates acknowledged they were worried initially about Creek's health, but Crean indicated the Maryland native would be all right.
Less than 48 hours later, that diagnosis changed.
Creek still was trying to get back to being his old self.
Before last season's injury, he was Indiana's top scorer at 16.4 points per game and was their most explosive leaper. He struggled early this season and though he started 13 of 18 games, he was averaging only 8.3 points and never really demonstrated the same kind of jumping ability.
Still, it is a big blow to Crean's rebuilding project.
Creek was one of the headliners in Crean's second recruiting class and was expected, along with sophomore forward Christian Watford, to be the foundation for Indiana's resurgence.
But this season, at least, Indiana might have an easier time overcoming Creek's absence.
Three Hoosiers -- Watford (16.4 points), Verdell Jones (12.8) and Jordan Hulls (10.0) -- are all scoring in double figures and freshman Victor Oladipo had matched Creek's 8.3 points per game. And Crean's regular rotation has steadily increased to nine or 10 players per game.