Two weeks ago, freshman guard Maurice Creek was made available to the media for the first time since his season ending injury in December. Apologies for the delay, but here is what he had to say:
On the rehab and healing: It's going really good. It's going really good. I'm doing exercises on it and I've been pushing it as hard as I can push it. At times, it got sore but I just started icing down and it's getting better every day.
On shedding the crutches quickly: I think that's a great sign because they actually said I was ahead of the schedule by a long period of time and I really wasn't even supposed to be walking now. But I'm walking now (and) I actually can get off the floor and jump, so I'm way ahead of the schedule.
On when he'll be able to fully participate in offseason workouts and open gyms: It's probably going to be July; between July and August.
On overcoming both mental and physical aspects of injury: It's going to be tough because you really don't want to mess it up again, you're thinking about it a lot. But you've just got to go out there and play next time you can play... I'm just trying to get over the mental and physical (aspects) right now, so next time I go out there and play I should be 100 percent and won't be thinking about that no more.
On sitting at the top of the bench with the coaches: Just keeping in contact with the guys with what we really need to do and what we haven't done. I take stats for where we have got three stops in a row. Or I take stats for where we didn't run this play or didn't run this play, or which play we need to run. Just simple stuff like that, that keeps you in touch with the game and keeps you affiliated with the guys.
On watching his teammates from the bench: Watching the game, you also watch what people love to do. I know what all these guys love to do and that's a chemistry builder when you can do something like that. We should be even better next year because of the fact that we've been with each other already and we know each other really well.
On what actually happened: I stole the ball and I (spun) going left, I was on my left-hand side. When I went for the layup, they said my muscle didn't contract how it's supposed to contract. So as I was going up, my knee cap was coming out of place and when I fell down I looked at it and I had seen a gap - but I ain't really think it was that bad. When I tried to get up and I put pressure on it, I went right back down. So that's when I knew my season was done. It was tough, but that's just part of the game.
On his personal goal: Just trying to get 100 percent for next year. I'm ready; I've always been ready to get 100 percent. But we'll take it one step at a time; try to be smart and responsible with it and when the time is there, I'll be ready.
On his shot looking good in warm-ups: That won't change. I shoot every day, with crutches or without. You always try to keep contact with the game. If you can do that really well, why not?
On watching the team struggle: It's been pretty tough, I think for me especially because of the fact that I'm not on the floor anymore. I see things that other people don't see. It's been pretty tough for everybody, but I think it's been pretty tough for me because I really want to be out there helping these guys.
On the support from his teammates: My teammates have been on that really well. We never go apart from each other. We always stay in contact with each other and we stay attached because we're trying to build up goals. We come as a team; we go down as a team. When one person goes down with an injury, we always stay in contact with that person because we don't ever want to go away from that person just because he's hurt. They've been doing really well with me with that and I thank those guys.