BLOOMINGTON — Indiana fans have gotten glimpses of Maurice Creek’s abilities.
One of the guard’s highlight performances came Dec. 12, 2009, when the then-freshman scored 31 against Kentucky. Creek made 9 of 14 shots from the field in the game, including five three-pointers.
The 6-foot-5 junior has suffered three serious injuries since. But Creek promises he still has that shooting touch.
“The shot is good, man,” Creek said with a smile last week at Indiana’s media challenge. “My legs were broke, not my arms.”
Creek has had to bounce back from a broken left patella, a stress fracture in his right patella and a torn Achilles tendon. He said he is “full go” for the upcoming season. The Hoosiers’ first practice will be televised Friday on ESPNU. The event, which is closed to the public, begins at 5 p.m.
“I remember the dark days and now I see the guys bringing the program back and I get to join with that, it’s a great feeling,” Creek said. “I’m glad that I’m with the team and hopefully I do what I need to do to contribute to this team.”
His teammates are just as excited for Creek’s return.
“Finally seeing this man come back and play is an amazing thing,” guard Victor Oladipo said. “… He’s been through so much. A lot more than a lot of people I know have been through. I’m just glad he’s back to where he needs to be.”
Creek has played in 30 games for IU. He is averaging 11.5 points and shooting 37.1 percent from three-point territory.
“Mo’s been sitting on the sideline watching, but he’s still been a part of our program,” Oladipo said. “He’s going to help us a lot. He still can shoot the ball, nothing’s changed.
“He’s going to help us a lot – defending, shooting the ball and just being a leader.”
Creek averaged 16.4 points as a freshman in 2009-10. He shot 44.8 percent from three-point territory. But Creek was limited to just 12 games. His season ended after suffering a broken left patella in a Dec. 28, 2009, game against Bryant.
Creek appeared in 18 games in 2010-11. He averaged 8.3 points. He suffered a stress fracture in his right patella on Jan. 15, 2011, against Michigan. The injury ended his season.
Creek underwent surgery Oct. 10, 2011, to repair a torn Achilles tendon in his left leg he suffered in an injury away from basketball court. He missed the entire season.
“I feel like myself,” Creek said of the comeback. “There are some things I need to improve on, but that’s an everyday thing. I take it day by day and do what I need to do.”
Creek said his teammates have helped along the way.
“The guys have encouraged me,” Creek said, “the coaching staff has encouraged me every day to keep my head squared away and that my time will come.
“And I think this will be my time.”