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Nigel Johnson

Then-freshmen Maurice Creek went up for a layout against North Carolina Central in 2009. Injuries have slowed down the guard’s career, but he is looking to revive it at GW. Photo courtesy of the Indiana Daily Student

Updated at 1:26 p.m. on June 7, 2013.

The Colonials got a big boost to their roster Friday when Indiana guard Maurice Creek announced he would transfer to GW.

Creek, who is trying to rebound from his latest injury-prone years, posted a photo Friday morning of himself decked out in GW gear, announcing that he would be playing as a Colonial next season.

In a phone interview Friday, Creek said he was excited to become a veteran presence on the Colonials’ roster, adding that he had already gelled with some GW players during the offseason.

“I’ve been playing with the guys for a while, and basically they started treating me like family before I was even going to GW,” Creek said. “I’m just glad they found me.”

Maurice Creek announced Friday that he would head to GW. Photo via Twitter

Because of a ruptured achilles in 2011, Creek missed the entire 2011-12 campaign for the Hoosiers and chose to redshirt his junior year. He now has one season of eligibility left to play at GW and will be apart of the Class of 2014.

Despite his history of injuries, Creek brings a high level of experience to the still young Colonials’ backcourt that will include sophomore starters Joe McDonald and Kethan Savage, as well as recruits Miguel Cartagena and Nick Griffin.

“They got bigs that can play and they got guards that can play and they just needed a little bit of help,” Creek said. “They can help me just as I can help them.”

The announcement comes as great news to head coach Mike Lonergan and his staff, after their somewhat low-key recruiting class was overshadowed by the transfers of seniors Lasan Kromah, David Pellom and sophomore Jonathan Davis. This, in addition to the de-commitment of the team’s top offseason recruit Nigel Johnson, and the move on Wednesday of assistant head coach Kevin Sutton to Georgetown.

“[Lonergan’s] been watching me since my freshman year and he was recruiting me throughout my years in high school, and I decided on Indiana, but he knew what I could do,” Creek said. “And he just said this is what we need on our team to be successful, and they only needed one more piece, and having me could be that piece.”

Creek, a 6-foot-5 guard was once a top-50 recruit coming out of high school and a Prep-School All-American after his senior year at the Hargrave Military Academy. He put up large numbers in limited time for the Hoosiers during his freshman campaign,  averaging 16.4 points per game and shooting 44.8 percent from three-point range before his season was cut short after 12 games due to a season-ending fractured knee cap.

Returning as a sophomore, Creek put up a respectable 8.3 points per game, but again saw injuries limit his playing time to only 18 games. After the achilles injury in 2011, Creek served as breakout-star Victor Oladipo’s backup, averaging only 1.8 points and 7.8 minutes per game.

Fans will likely have to wait until the beginning of the season to see if Lonergan chooses to continue the youth movement in Foggy Bottom and use Creek as a sixth man off the bench, or if he will trust Creek’s leadership to start over one of his sophomore guards.

He said he would be “just doing what’s required of you. And basically when you get recommended as a high level player you have to play at the highest level at all times, and that’s what I learned at Indiana which is gonna be good when I go to George Washington,” Creek said.

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Kevin Sutton, right, will leave head coach Mike Lonergan's coaching staff to head to Georgetown. Hatchet File Photo

Kevin Sutton, right, will leave head coach Mike Lonergan’s coaching staff to head to Georgetown. Hatchet File Photo

Assistant men’s basketball coach Kevin Sutton will leave the program to take a position at Georgetown – more bad news as the Colonials endure a rough offseason full of departures.

Sutton leaves GW after just two seasons under head coach Mike Lonergan, upgrading to the perennially top 25 Hoya squad led by head coach John Thompson III. Sutton brings with him his 27 years of coaching experience and reputation as a very strong recruiter.

It is unknown at this time what role Sutton will have on Georgetown’s coaching staff, and who will replace him on GW’s bench.

The news was tweeted by former Colonials star Aaron Ware and reported by several Georgetown fan sites. The athletics department did not immediately return a request for comment.

Talk of Sutton leaving the Colonials emerged earlier this year, when he personally submitted his name for the open head coaching position at Florida Gulf Coast University.

His departure leaves Lonergan and his coaching staff in continued recruiting disarray as it has watched three players – David Pellom, Lasan Kromah and Jonathan Davis – transfer from the program, as well as Nigel Johnson decommit from GW in favor of Kansas State.

In his two seasons with coach Lonergan, the Colonials amassed a 23-38 record and ended both seasons with first round losses in the Atlantic 10 tournament. Comparatively, Thompson and the Hoyas finished last season with a 25-7 record and earned a No.2 seed for the NCAA Tournament before being upset in the first round by Florida Gulf Coast.

Previously, Sutton served as an assistant coach at James Madison University and Old Dominion University. Notably at GW, Sutton helped recruit two of the team’s current starters – forwards Patricio Garino and Kevin Larsen – both of whom played at two of Sutton’s former schools, Montrose Christian (1999) and Montverde Academy (2004-11).

Immediately prior to coaching at GW, Sutton served as the athletic director and head coach of the boys’ basketball team at Montverde Academy for eight years. He helped lead the Eagles to a 2007 National Title and a 2010 National High School Invitational Runners-Up nod.

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Friday, March 29, 2013 3:42 p.m.

Nigel Johnson decommits from GW

Updated 5:16 p.m.

Incoming recruit Nigel Johnson is decommiting from GW.

“He just thinks that everything was going so fast for him that he wanted to take a step back and re-assess his decision,” Louis Wilson, the head coach at Riverdale Baptist, where Johnson is a senior, said.

Johnson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The guard was slated to be a member of the Colonials’ 2013-14 recruiting class, where he would have joined recruits Nick Griffin and Skyler White. But unlike Griffin, Johnson had yet to sign his National Letter of Intent, giving rise to speculation that he was considering cutting ties with GW.

He’s had an explosive senior year at Riverdale Baptist, which Wilson said may factor into Johnson’s desire to explore other options and potentially higher-level programs

“I’m sure, in the back of his mind, that’s a thought. I think that he just thought that he rushed into his situation early on and now he wants to take a step back and re-evaluate what he has,” Wilson said. “He only took, I believe he took two official visits, and I think he wants to find three more official visits so he can feel like he has completed the recruiting process.”

Wilson said he is unaware of any other schools Johnson may be considering.

“Not at this point,” Wilson said. “He just decommitted as I understand, last night.”

Johnson’s departure is a blow for head coach Mike Lonergan and the Colonials, who were already looking to incoming recruits as desperately needed boosters for the team’s shooting performance.

Wilson said that Johnson’s decision to decommit should not cast a negative light on the GW coaching staff, adding that the Colonials were always an attractive option for the senior guard.

“I don’t think it has anything to do with the coaching staff at GW. They’ve been fantastic, they’ve been awesome,” Wilson said. “I’m sure it has nothing to do with the coaching staff.”

Johnson’s exit leaves two open slots in the Colonials’ roster, with the potential for a third to come, after the news that sophomore forward Jonathan Davis will transfer from the program and senior forward David Pellom has been given a release.

The late signing period for 2013-14 recruits begins April 17.

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Six-foot-8 forward Skyler White committed to the men’s basketball team for the 2013-14 season late last night, becoming the third high school senior to verbally commit to the Colonials.

Head coach Mike Lonergan, clad in a Buff blazer for the occasion, calls to his team from the sidelines earlier this season. Hatchet File Photo by Samuel Klein | Contributing Photo Editor

White joins Nick Griffin, who signed his letter of intent to join GW in November, and Nigel Johnson, who has yet to sign a National Letter of Intent despite verbally committing in September.

The New England Basketball Recruiting Report wrote that White will join the Colonials as a recruited walk-on, meaning he will likely not take up a scholarship slot for GW. White currently plays for Northfield Mount Hermon High School in Gill, Mass., where NERR said he “has been playing some of his best basketball so far during his senior season.” He’s also competed on England’s U-18 junior national team.

White, who is best known as a three-point specialist, told NERR that the University’s overall academic and athletic profile was a key selling point.

“The academics were a big part of it,” White said, “and the basketball, the A10 is a great conference.  You don’t really find that mix of great academics and great basketball.  When I got on campus it just felt like the right place for me.”

He is unranked in his recruiting profile.

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Nick Griffin signed his National Letter of Intent to join the men’s basketball program Wednesday, marking the first Colonial recruit to officially confirm his intention to be a member of the 2013-14 rookie class.

The news was announced by the basketball team’s official Twitter.

The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 17 points per game for Magruder High School last season, en route to a 26-1 record and the Class 4A state championship. He joins Nigel Johnson in head coach Mike Lonergan’s second recruiting class.

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Mike Longergan

Head coach Mike Lonergan, seen here at his introductory press conference. Hatchet File Photo

Nigel Johnson, a 6-foot-1 point guard from Riverdale Baptist High School and a Washington Post second team All-Met player for 2011-12, committed to GW for the 2013-14 season this weekend.

Johnson is unranked by ESPN, which says he also received offers from American and Cornell. He transferred to Riverdale this year, after spending his junior season at Broad Run, averaging 29.5 points per game and helping his team to the Northwest Region playoffs. He also set a Virginia AAA single-season assist record, with 211.

Johnson also made a name for himself with the AAU team D.C. Assault, where his coach, former Washington Wizards head coach Eddie Jordan, told ESPN that Johnson is “just an assassin, and he reminds me of Gilbert Arenas.”

He’s the second recruit for head coach Mike Lonergan’s 2013-14 class, joining fellow local guard Nick Griffin.

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