Sadly, it's beginning to look like Indiana Hoosiers junior guard Maurice Creek is one of those guys who just cannot stay healthy. Earlier on Monday we learned that Creek has undergone surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon in his left leg. As of now, there's no word on whether the once promising young guard will be able to play this season.
Back in 2009, Creek's exciting freshman campaign was cut short when he fractured his left patella (knee) in a late December game vs. Bryant. That first injury was especially upsetting because Creek was one of the lone bright spots on an otherwise dismal Indiana team. His 31 points on 5 of 8 3-point shooting vs. Kentucky that winter is still a career high.
Creek came back in the 2010-11 season and wasn't as effective as he was in his freshman year, but he was still a good source of shooting off the bench. Unfortunately, Creek was never able to regain the glory of his breakout freshman year because he suffered a stress fracture in his right knee midway through January and had to end his season early once again.
Now Creek looks like he will miss a lot of games this season as well. Said head coach Tom Crean: "This is a devastating blow for someone who has worked so hard to get himself in a position to help this program again... I think the most important thing that we can do is to make Maurice know that despite his injury, he can serve a very vital role in helping our program and we will actively keep him involved every day."
Indiana will certainly miss Creek's ability to shoot the 3-pointer, but it's been a long time since he has been a vital member of the team. While Jordan Hulls is the only proven long range shooter returning for Indiana, they are pretty much set at the other guard spots with Verdell Jones handling the point and Victor Oladipo as the athletic swing man. There will also of course be the added thrill of McDonald's All-American Cody Zeller's freshman year that will help distract fans from Creek's absence.
There is no doubt that Indiana is a better team with Maurice Creek. Any squad would be fortunate to have such a potentially electrifying scorer. However, the truth is that Indiana is used to playing without Creek and even without him, they will field their most talented team since Eric Gordan and D.J. White rocked Assembly Hall. Get well soon Maurice. We hope to see you in action in (hopefully early) 2012.