Perea: 'It's always been mental problems'

Sophomore Hanner Mosquera-Perea has changed his mindset and is ready to improve in his second season at Indiana.

He was part of "The Movement," the class that was supposed to be so good it would help the Indiana basketball program return to greatness.

Hanner Mosquera-Perea was a big reason why the 2013 Indiana recruiting class got so much hype. One of the more athletically gifted players to choose Indiana in recent history, Mosquera-Perea was the 10th-ranked power forward in the class.

It only took a couple minutes of watching Mosquera-Perea in AAU ball to be impressed. He was seemingly everywhere at once, finishing alley-oops, grabbing every rebound, and blocking any shot near the rim.

Mosquera-Perea had Hoosier fans salivating. Every time he entered the game, the Indiana faithful expected a dunk, and a thunderous one.

But those kind of plays were few and far between for Mosquera-Perea a year ago. He struggled to do even the simplest of things, like catching the ball in the post or running an offensive set.

Mosquera-Perea's averages for the season: 0.9 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.3 blocks in 5.7 minutes per game.

"I didn't have patience, I was nervous," Mosquera-Perea told at last Thursday's media day. "I was overthinking every move I made."

For Mosquera-Perea, the physical things were never a challenge. It was the mental games he was constantly losing.

Mosquera-Perea missed the first 10 games of the season after an NCAA investigation, and he was never part of the Hoosiers' regular rotation.

Mosquera-Perea worked on a variety of things during the offseason -- he said his shot is much better now -- but his biggest upgrade has nothing to do with anything he can practice at Cook Hall. It's all in his head.

"It has always been mental problems," Mosquera-Perea said. "If I set my mind on doing something, I'm sure I can do it.

"Just going through that last year, I've been thinking about a lot of things. I've been working on my mindset and that's gonna help me a lot. I'm at the point where I can go out there and just do me and play."

If Indiana is to remain one of the top teams in the Big Ten this season, it will need Mosquera-Perea to play a much bigger role. The Hoosiers lost a significant amount of production, including that of star center Cody Zeller.

"It's really different," Mosquera-Perea said. "That's a big presence that we're missing right now. I'm gonna miss that presence because I got to learn a lot from him. You would never want to stop going against a player like that because he gets you better every day."

What kind of role could Mosquera-Perea play in his sophomore season?

"Hanner's got to become the best rebounder in the country," said assistant coach Tim Buckley. "He has the body to do that, he's got the athleticism to do that, now he needs to have the mentality to do that. He is incrementally getting better in that regard on a daily basis."

Mosquera-Perea believes he has what it takes to become one of the nation's top rebounders.

"Yes I got the ability to do that," he said. "It's just all mental. I've been working on that hard too." Top Stories