Some hope in IU's search for a big man

The sky is falling, the sky is falling! Well, maybe not. A different way to look at IU's lack of depth on the front line.

It has become the story of the young offseason: Indiana's search for a big man.

Noah Vonleh left school after one season for the NBA, and the Hoosiers are left with a very thin front line. Here's how it looks:

Hanner Mosquera-Perea (6-9, 225 pounds): 2.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg last season
Devin Davis (6-7, 221 pounds): 2.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg last season
Peter Jurkin (7-0, 230 pounds): 0.3 ppg, 0.5 rpg last season

OK, so it's not exactly the greatest depth chart you've ever seen, but there's another way to look at this whole situation. Sure, none of the three guys I just mentioned are going to light the world on fire. Jurkin is still unlikely to ever play.

But a big man on a successful team doesn't have to set the world on fire. If he can rebound and defend at a high level, that's all the team needs, as long as it has great guard play and plenty of scoring at the other four (maybe three) positions.

Example: This year's Michigan team. Jordan Morgan and Jon Horford are not strong scorers. Plays are never drawn up for them. But both are solid players, both rebound and defend. That was good enough to get Michigan to the Elite Eight, and almost the Final Four this year.

Indiana's guard play should be strong next season with Yogi Ferrell and Stanford Robinson returning and James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson coming in. The perimeter shooting of Blackmon and Johnson should provide enough additional scoring that Indiana's starting center doesn't have to contribute a whole lot offensively.

The situation is not ideal, but if Tom Crean can craft Mosquera-Perea and Davis into solid players focused mainly on defense and rebounding, the situation may not be as bad as many people assume. Top Stories