Change in the starting lineup?

Indiana coach Tom Crean talks about the possibility of Emmitt Holt joining the starting five.

Could Emmitt Holt replace Hanner Mosquera-Perea in the starting lineup?

Indiana coach Tom Crean was asked that exact question on the Big Ten teleconference Monday morning.

"So much is made of starting," Crean said. "That’s another thing that, it’s important, but it’s not at the top of the list of how you plan and prepare for a game. Matchups sometimes are and that can play into the starting and certainly you have to look at what’s best for your team at that given moment, but Emmitt has done a fantastic job of becoming a game player for us.

"He’s not just a rotation player, he’s not just a situational player, he’s not just a spot filler. He’s a player. And that’s what you want to be. And for him, the key thing is bringing a lot of effort on the glass. He’s got very good short space quickness and movement and mobility and now when his awareness, especially with what’s going on behind him."

Crean is right. So much is made of who starts the game, and it's not the most important thing. But it is important. And a change should be made now, in my opinion. Here's why:

1. Holt has accomplished in a half a season what Mosquera-Perea has failed to accomplish in two and a half seasons: He's been consistent. And that's what IU needs. Mosquera-Perea's ceiling is higher than Holt's, but his floor is much lower, and you can't have a wildly inconsistent guy in your starting lineup. You simply cannot.

Holt does the same things well every game. He rebounds, he defends, and he finishes around the rim. Mosquera-Perea does those things well half the time, at most. It's time to see what Holt could do in 20 or 25 minutes per game.

2. Think about Indiana's three Big Ten games to this point. Mosquera-Perea has picked up two quick fouls in all three. IU got off to terrible starts in two of the three, and Holt was responsible for helping the Hoosiers build a lead in the other (Nebraska). Holt provides the positive energy IU seeks to start games. Mosquera-Perea has grown accustomed to giving the other team momentum right from the tip with poor decision making.

3. A change should be made to send Mosquera-Perea a message. I don't know how hard he works behind closed doors. And this isn't about any of that. It's about the fact that a player must learn that if he doesn't perform consistently, his minutes will be cut and his starting spot will be taken away. Holt has outperformed Mosquera-Perea, and he should be rewarded for that.

Now, Crean is probably weary of losing Mosquera-Perea mentally if he makes a move. A strong-minded player would take it as a challenge, but there's a chance Mosquera-Perea's confidence would be crushed and he'd lose all of the progress he'd made. I get that, and I'm sure Crean does too. But moving Holt to the starting lineup is the right move at the right time for this team, and it should happen. Top Stories