IU Coach Tom Crean announced Wednesday in a press release that rising-senior guard Maurice Creek will not return to IU and instead seek a transfer to a school where he can get more playing time.
“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 the press release.
Creek, with a 7.2 career scoring average in 54 games with IU, will graduate in May and be immediately eligible for a final season with his new team.
With Creek’s departure, there are now no remaining members of the six-man 2009 IU recruiting class still on the team. Two transferred within the first two seasons while three exhausted their eligibility as seniors this year.
Creek has a remaining season of eligibility after earning a medical redshirt due to injuries.
The Oxon Hill, Md. native was among the most ballyhooed of the group when they arrived as freshmen, and perhaps first to emerge as a significant contributor.
He led the team with a 17.6 scoring average through 12 games including 31 against then-No. 4 Kentucky. Three games later, however, in a 90-42 trouncing of Bryant, Creek suffered a season-ending left knee injury.
He would again suffer a season-ending injury the next season. In 2011-12, he was injured before the season began and missed the entire year, resulting in his medical redshirt.
Creek returned this season, though, playing through the season and reaching the postseason. He averaged 1.8 points in 7.8 minutes per game — highlighted by nine points against Ball State Nov. 25.
He also became a father that month with the birth of his daughter Nyla Marie Creek.
“In all my time as a coach, I have never witnessed someone overcoming the adversity that Maurice had sustained during his time,” Crean said in the release. “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 should also in the eyes of Hoosier Nation.”
Creek’s exodus leaves IU with just six of the 13 scholarship players it began the 2012-13 season with. In addition to three graduating seniors, guard Remy Abell is also transferring, while forward Cody Zeller and guard Victor Oladipo have declared for the NBA Draft. Senior forward Will Sheehey and junior forward Austin Etherington are the only upperclassmen slated to return.
That leaves IU with more than enough scholarships for its six-player 2013 recruiting class.
While a walk-on player could be elevated to scholarship status as guard Daniel Moore was for the 2011-12 season, the potential now exists for IU to add a seventh member to the 2013 class.
The Hoosiers were heavily linked to New Jersey point guard Jaren Sina before the one-time Northwestern commit recently pledged to Seton Hall.
Another possibility would be a one-year transfer player who has graduated with eligibility remaining and is seeking a new home for a final season.
It is the same scenario Creek finds himself in.
“I want to thank Hoosier Nation for their support during my four years at IU,” Creek said in the press release. “I am grateful that Coach 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.”
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