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BLOOMINGTON -- Maurice Creek is moving on.
That will work itself out.
The often-injured guard, who will graduate from Indiana next week, will play his final college basketball season at another school after deciding to transfer. Because he will be a college graduate, he is eligible to play right away while working on a graduate degree. Indications are he'll seek a school closer to his Maryland home.
The reason, he said in a Wednesday university release, is simple:
More playing time.
“I want to thank Hoosier Nation for their support during my four years at IU,” Creek said. “I am grateful that Coach (Tom) Crean gave me the opportunity to come to Indiana University. As much as anyone, he has helped me turn from a boy into a man. I feel like I would have a better opportunity for more playing time at another school where I can be eligible right away.”
The 6-5 Creek endured two severe knee injuries, plus a torn Achilles tendon, that stripped him of much of his athleticism and explosiveness during his four years at IU. He averaged 7.2 points in 54 career games. He was the nation's leading freshman scorer at 16.4 points a game, including a 31-point effort against Kentucky.
But then he hurt his knee and was never the same. He averaged 8.3 points the next season before getting hurt again, then missed the entire 2011-12 season with the Achilles injury.
Creek played in 24 games this season and averaged 1.8 points in 7.8 minutes. He played in just one minute in IU's Sweet 16 loss to Syracuse and didn't play at all in the NCAA tourney game against Temple.
Creek scored a season-high nine points against Ball State in late November. He didn't play more than seven minutes in any of his final nine games.
Creek would have had to battle incoming freshman guards Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson for playing time next year in addition to veterans Yogi Ferrell and Will Sheehey.
“With his graduation coming up next week, 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,” Crean said. “In all my time as a coach, I have never witnessed someone overcoming the adversity that Maurice had sustained during his time. 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 and and should also in the eyes of Hoosier Nation.”
Creek's transfer, plus the transfer of guard Remy Abell and the decision of Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo to leave early for the NBA, means the Hoosiers are now one below the 13-scholarship limit.
Travel teams from all over the Midwest will gather this weekend in Indianapolis for the adidas Spring Classic.
The three-day event will be held at multiple sites throughout Indianapolis, including North Central High School, the Fishers Fieldhouse, Fishers High School and Lawrence Central High School. Action begins Friday night.
The Eric Gordan All-Star teams and Indiana Elite squads are among the participating teams.
Ages range from fourth graders to players about to enter their high school senior seasons.