Mosquera-Perea shows off improvements

Hanner Mosquera-Perea was heralded to have improved during the offseason. Saturday night was a glimpse into how much that actually happened.

During the 2012-2013 season, Hanner Mosquera-Perea was part of the freshman class nicknamed, "The Movement". Due to a 9-game ban by the NCAA and a nagging foot injury, Mosquera-Perea didn't contribute much on the floor last year for the Indiana Hoosiers.

All through the summer, reports were made by head coach Tom Crean hailing Mosquera-Perea for his advances. Some took him on his word, others doubted the coach's praise.

Opening the new season on Saturday night against the University of Southern Indiana, Mosquera-Perea put the doubters on mute as he played with the intensity Hoosier Nation had anticipated when he arrived on campus last season.

Recording five rebounds in 15 minutes may seem like a small number, but Mosquera-Perea ended the game tied for third most on the team with that number. It also didn't show the athleticism he exhibited during those rebounds, which came over other players' outstretched hands.

He put in nine points as well, including a baseline jumper that was shot with the utmost confidence.

"I've been working on my shot a lot," Mosquera-Perea said. "I've been working on my shot, my post moves, my defense. So I feel like all of those things have gotten better."

On a night when Indiana couldn't seem to make its free throws, it was again Mosquera-Perea stepping up, going a team best 5-of-5 from the stripe. He only made seven total last season.

Looking forward, Mosquera-Perea knows how he will be called upon to play, and recognizes where he needs to improve.

"I know that I will be playing a lot of players who will be bigger than me," Mosquera-Perea noted. "So I need to learn how to be quicker than them, move around them, and I have been working on that a lot."

His coach understands where the sophomore is in his development as well.

"I think he is on the front of the poster for a guy who doesn't know how long he is," Crean stated. "He and Noah [Vonleh], neither of them realize they have wingspans that are the size of two people. It's gonna take a while for him to get to that.

"He is gaining confidence. We were really looking forward to him going against Luke [Fischer] for so long, and when Luke was out, it really gave Hanner more of an opportunity. When I say he has some of the most improved footwork on the team, I think you can see why.

"But he has to be a guy that opponents are afraid to bring the ball down on. It was too easy for Southern Indiana to go through us. Our one-on-one defense needed to be better in the post, and he is right with the rest of them on that."

Mosquera-Perea and the Hoosiers will be in action again on Nov. 4th, when they take on Hillsdale in Bloomington.

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