Maryland gives Creek the VIP treatment

Maurice Creek's name was virtually unknown barely a month ago, but in recruiting circles, news spreads like fire. There's no better illustration of this than Creek's recent ascent up the charts, one that had him receiving the VIP treatment at Comcast Center when Maryland hosted Clemson last weekend.

Maurice Creek's name was virtually unknown barely a month ago, but in recruiting circles, news spreads like fire. There's no better illustration of this than Creek's recent ascent up the charts, one that had him receiving the VIP treatment at Comcast Center when Maryland hosted Clemson last weekend.

Creek, a high-scoring 6-foot-4 sophomore shooting guard from nearby Oxon Hill High School, received the grand tour from Terps assistant coach and lead recruiter Chuck Driesell, sat a few rows behind the Terps bench and then spent time hanging out in the locker room after Maryland handed Clemson its first loss.

But the topper came when Driesell told Creek, a lifelong Terps fan, where he stands on Maryland's wishlist.

"He was telling me about the recruiting process, saying that the recruiting is basically the biggest process of the game. And he was saying was that I was their highest priority [guard] of the year for 2009," Creek said, a note of giddy disbelief in his voice.

Hearing that from Driesell overwhelmed Creek a bit.

"It did, because I know a lot of good players who are sophomores right now, and that really made me feel good about myself that they wanted me to go there," he said.

Creek, who spent last year at Mt. Zion (N.C.) Academy, is averaging almost 28 points per game despite being the defensive focus of every team Oxon Hill (5-4) plays. He's got a 6-foot-7 wingspan and can score off the dribble as well as shoot it from deep – the latter of which he showed off by hitting a school-record nine 3-pointers in a win this week.

Creek, who was a freshman at Oxon Hill two years ago but re-classified when he went to Mt. Zion, is also very good rebounder for a guard and is developing on the defensive end.

Driesell "basically liked how I'm always aggressive on the offensive end, and he liked how I could score the ball and play point guard or shooting guard – that's a big part," Creek said.

Since it's still so early in the process, Creek said he and Driesell did not talk about scholarship offers or commitments. But it's safe to speculate an offer might not be too far off, as Creek is receiving interest from other schools as well, and that interest will only multiply as time passes. Texas and Syracuse have inquired about him recently with his AAU coach, while Georgetown had him out as a visitor for its game against Villanova last week.

But the Maryland visit was the most eye-opening experience, he said. Creek was ecstatic to be hanging out in the locker room afterward.

"That's the first time I had ever been back in the locker room. [The players] were huge! he said. "I respect all of them. They were all very friendly."

Creek grew up watching the Terps, idolizing Steve Blake and Juan Dixon.

"They were, like, my dream. They just knew each other so well," he said.

Again, though, it's early, and Creek is unlikely to rush into any major decisions, but it's safe to say he has the Terps at the top of his list. And the feeling seems to be mutual.

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