Indiana's foreign trip to Canada is now over, and the Hoosiers finished 4-1 on the week. Their lone loss came to Ottawa in the second game.
One area I was really watching during this six-day venture was Indiana's front line. We knew IU would be thin up front this season, so I was curious to see how'd they'd handle this trip. And while some questions were answered, many were not.
Hanner Mosquera-Perea, a junior forward who many expect to start inside for IU when the season begins, was unable to make the trip to Canada due to a visa-related issue. Indiana was hopeful it would have him by the end of the trip, but the issue was never resolved.
If there was a player who needed this trip the most, it was probably Mosquera-Perea. He needs to improve his role by a wide margin this season, so playing five games over six days would have been a huge benefit to him.
We did get to see heavy minutes inside from sophomore forward Devin Davis, and he's clearly made strides since last season. Davis had double-figure rebounds in IU's first game on the trip, and looks much more comfortable playing with this team. That's a positive.
“He has worked hard at it but there’s a lot of room for him to work even harder and to develop,’’ Tom Crean said Tuesday night. “I thought tonight was his best offensively, though last night was his best game effort wise. What he wants to erase is having 16 rebounds in 19 minutes the first night to have three rebounds in 22 minutes the next night. That’s the inconsistency that he wants to erase."
Other than that, though, we didn't really learn a ton about the front line. Troy Williams had a great trip and played inside a good amount, and he will have to do some of the same during the regular season. But who else will help up there? We didn't get to see freshman Jeremiah April due to an ankle injury. Crean said he will be re-evaluated when the team gets back home.
Could Ray Kasongo help if he chooses IU over LSU? Sure. He's 6-foot-9 and provides another big body. But heading into the trip to Canada, I thought we'd learn a lot about IU's front line, and that simply did not happen due to Mosquera-Perea and April's absences.