Monday, January 17, 2011
Bad Indiana Basketball Break; Sherrill Has Faith; Brewer Goes Bowling
The word came and it sounded like a bad joke. Maybe British bad boy comedian Ricky Gervais had somehow wandered his way into Hoosier Nation trying to spoil the positive vibes from Indiana’s first Big Ten victory as he had the Golden Globes show.
Sadly, it was no joke. Coach Tom Crean announced on his Monday night radio show that Creek, a sophomore guard, was out “indefinitely” with a stress fracture on his right patella (kneecap). He’d missed the entire Big Ten season last year with a fractured left patella.
Creek was hurt near the end of Saturday’s victory over Michigan. He went up for a fast-break layup and landed awkwardly. At the time it didn’t seem serious.
By Monday night, that had all changed.
“You can’t imagine how big a blow it is to him,” Crean said on his radio show. “It’s a tough, tough situation and I hope everyone will think about him and say a prayer for Mo and his family.”
Creek had spent the last 13 months trying to regain the form that made him one of the most explosive players in the country. He’d led all freshmen with a 16.4-point scoring average when he hurt his knee. The injury required surgery and total immobilization of his leg, which caused major muscle atrophy. He likely wouldn’t have regained his explosiveness until next season, and perhaps longer than that.
Now, however, all bets are off. It’s uncertain if Creek will need surgery again or if the knee will heal with rest and rehabilitation.
Creek was averaging 8.3 points. He’d started the first 13 games of the season, but had become a reserve in Big Ten play. Victor Oladipo and Jeremiah Rivers had supplanted him in the starting lineup.
Still, he had scored 12 points at Minnesota while grabbing five rebounds in 24 minutes. He had scored in double figures six times, with a high of 19 against Evansville in December.
But it was obvious he had lost some quickness and explosiveness. Crean had repeatedly said that it would take time for Creek to regain his form.
That was reflected in his accuracy. He was shooting 38.9 percent from the floor and 31.7 percent from three-point range. Those were the worst numbers of any Hoosier seeing significant action. Last year he shot 52.7 percent from the field and 44.8 percent from three-point range.
Still, there were signs that he was getting close to last year’s form.
“This is our guy, and he’s right there,” Crean said during the radio show. “It just felt like it was really, really close to breaking for him.”
Something did break, only it wasn’t what the Hoosiers wanted or expected. In time, this will pass. Perhaps he will still become the player he’d hoped he’d be. It’s just going to take patience and, perhaps, better luck.
Is Indiana’s Faith Sherrill the best shot putter in the world?
The junior is if you look at the early track and field numbers. Sherrill has the top two throws in the world this season. Yes, that season is less than three weeks old, but it’s still impressive. So impressive, in fact, that she’s been named Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week for the second straight week.
Sherrill set a Lambert Fieldhouse record with a shotput of 17.92 meters (58-9.5 foot) to lead the Hoosiers over Purdue last Saturday. It’s the second best throw in the world this season behind her throw from the previous week to win the Indiana Open. That throw of 59-0.75 shattered the Big Ten record by 2 ½ feet.
IU track coach Ron Helmer said more records could be in Sherrill’s future.
“Faith has shown that she is a great athlete,” Helmer said in a university release. “It was great to see her respond to raised expectations after her first big throw. If she can continue competing at a high level consistently this season, she has the ability to do special things.”
Indiana, by the way, routed Purdue.
Indiana offensive tackle James Brewer will participate in the 2011 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., on Jan. 29. Brewer was an honorable mention All-Big Ten choice this past season. He started nine games at right tackle and allowed two sacks.
Brewer earlier received IU’s Don Howell Outstanding Offensive Lineman Award, given annually to the team’s top offensive lineman. He started his last 21 games.
Brewer will be one of 12 Big Ten players to play in this annual bowl.