Mosquera-Perea 'gaining more of a voice'

Junior forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea will have to be a more consistent presence for the Hoosiers if they are to compete in the Big Ten this season. Tom Crean says he's on his way.

It's no secret: Indiana's front line will be very thin this season.

Gone is Noah Vonleh, the 9th-overall pick in June's NBA Draft. So, too, is Will Sheehey, Jeremy Hollowell and Austin Etherington.

What remains is a host of unknowns. Hanner Mosquera-Perea, a junior forward, figures to be Indiana's starter at center when the season begins, but he has had a very difficult time staying on the court in his first two seasons because of a lack of consistency.

Mosquera-Perea averaged only 2.8 points and 2.1 rebounds in 7.7 minutes per game last season and just 0.9 points and 1.5 boards in 5.7 minutes as a freshman.

He had some bright moments as a sophomore -- especially in a late-season game against Ohio State -- but Mosquera-Perea didn't make the jump the Hoosiers needed to contend in the competitive Big Ten.

This season, he has no choice: He must be better. Other than Mosquera-Perea, the only returning option Tom Crean has is the 6-foot-7 Devin Davis. Indiana also brought in a raw 7-footer in Jeremiah April.

"The big thing with us last year with Hanner is, 'You need to win,'" Crean said Tuesday. "'You need to win drills. You need to win competitions. You need to win as many pickup games as you can.' I don't think he understood that. He's starting to understand how important that is.

"His body looks extremely good. He's gaining confidence. He's gaining stature around his teammates. He's gaining more of a voice. He's becoming a better worker, but it's July 15. He's got to keep it up. He's got to keep it up."

The frustrating part for Indiana fans over the last two years has been the fact that Mosquera-Perea has the physical tools necessary to be a solid inside player. He's incredibly athletic and physically dominant.

Now, it's about mastering the mental part of the game. He can't set illegal screens. He's got to be in the right places on offense and defense. And he's got to play without thinking so much.

"There's no more inconsistency that can be there with Hanner," Crean said. "Because if he gets consistent, he's going to play in the NBA and there's no question about that. With that athleticism, that length, that talent ... but he's got to become consistent because he epitomizes what we need in play harder, longer. That's a big, big thing for us." Top Stories