Notebook: Indiana preparing to blend in Mosquera-Perea, Jurkin

Indiana’s front line could receive a significant boost in Saturday’s game with Butler when freshmen Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin will be eligible to play for the first time after serving a nine-game suspension from the NCAA.

With the Hoosiers sitting at 9-0 and No. 1 in the country while playing at a high level, it sounds as if both guys could be worked slowly into the rotation.

“We’ve been very cautious with them coming back because there’s been no pressing need for them to have to play in the games,” Crean said Monday on the Big Ten coaches teleconference. “So you want to make sure you’re doing a good job of letting guys get adjusted, be in the mix, not rush them and try to help build their confidence. The bottom line is you don’t want to put anybody in a situation they’re not ready for, especially in a situation like this where we’re already nine games in, going into game ten.”

Mosquera-Perea, who has battled a left foot injury for most of the fall that’s forced him to wear a walking boot at times, was healthy enough to play in recent weeks, but Indiana has remained cautious as he works his way back.

Crean wouldn’t say whether or not Mosquera-Perea is back to full strength.

“Full strength is a relative term. I don’t know if I would call it full strength, but he’s in a situation where he’s getting better all of the time,” he said. “He certainly would have been able to play, but as to what level and how long remains to be seen because we didn’t bring him back that way in the sense when this became the situation that it was with them having to sit out.”

The Hoosiers have yet to win a game by fewer than ten points despite having a relatively thin front court which has forced Will Sheehey and Jeremy Hollowell to log minutes at the four.

Getting Mosquera-Perea and Jurkin integrated should provide a major boost to IU’s athleticism and depth in the front court.

“I think the length that they bring is tremendous,” Crean said. “I think the fact that there’s a toughness around the rim, defensively, without question. Rebounding, without question. I think the scoring will come through the course of the offense, through the course of the game and then they’ll get integrated more and more into what we’re trying to do as far as plays and concepts and things of that nature. I think just the overall attack and aggressiveness on the defensive end and the rebounding is what will start it.”

Strength of schedule not much of a concern

Through nine games, Indiana’s strength of schedule sits at 269th in the country, but Crean said Monday that when putting together a non-conference slate, projecting strength of schedule isn’t top of mind.

“We don’t spend a lot of time on the strength of schedule part of it as much as projecting where we think somebody is going to be inside of that year,” he said. “You try to look at the statistics, you try to look at the past, who they have coming back.”

Continuing to play in-state opponents will be a priority for Indiana as next year’s schedule includes a neutral court game with Notre Dame and Evansville will return to Assembly Hall to complete a 3-game series.

IU is also expected to play on the road in next year’s Big Ten/Challenge, which will be a major consideration when completing the rest of the non-conference schedule.

“We want to make sure we’re trying to counter-balance the Big Ten/ACC Challenge with playing a home game when we’re going to be on the road and vice versa,” Crean said. “And then trying to find the best situation for us that year when it comes to the exempt tournament.”

Etc.

· Crean on Illinois: The Illini are the league’s surprise team at 10-0 and are coming off a win at Gonzaga on Saturday night. Crean was very complimentary of the start for Illinois under new coach John Groce.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that they have great energy,” Crean said. “They’re really moving the ball. They’re playing extremely fast and I think that Illinois is a little bit more like how Michigan has been in the sense that the break is ongoing.”

· Big Ten player, freshman of the week: Illinois guard Brandon Paul was named the Big Ten’s player of the week on Monday morning and Michigan State guard Gary Harris was the league’s freshman of the week. It’s the second freshman of the week honor for Harris this season.

  • townielove

    cannot wait to see what these two, along with Elston, will contribute to an already explosive team. saying the sky is the limit for this team, might be an understatement…

  • Evansville Hoosier

    could not be more excited to see Perea and Jurkin in uniform and contributing. If we simply continue our offensive and defensive efficiency for the first few games it will be quite a step in their integration into the rotation. Eventually I think they will help those ranks.
    Next on the calendar; when do we expect Elston back?

  • Kris

    I love that Crean is characterizing the return of Hanner and Peter with terms such as:

    Toughness, Rebounding, Defense and Aggressiveness

    Hard to complain with that approach.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I am ready for a HP tomahawk and also some high flying follow up jams.

  • Benhyoung14

    Can’t wait to see Hanner. I wonder if he was one of Crean’s ‘8 starters.’

  • hardcore_hoosier

    Really pumped for some Peter Jurkin! And Hanner too!

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregory.spera.3 Gregory Spera

    “We don’t spend a lot of time on the strength of schedule part of it as much as projecting where we think somebody is going to be inside of that year”

    I’m sorry, but maybe they SHOULD spend more time on strength of schedule. I mean, don’t tell me Crean couldn’t “project” that this non-conference schedule sucked. Has it really gotten to the point where a home game against Evansville is a highlight on next year’s schedule?

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    In all fairness Gregory Spera he did mention the exempt tournament as well.

    Looks like Louisville has a good chance of being on the schedule as a neutral site game next year in Indy, but as far as home games I would love to see some regional teams added. Here is my short list of teams or programs to play:

    Indiana State –2 out of 3 at home like Evansville
    Valparaiso– 2 out of 3 at home like Evansville
    Renew Evansville 2 out of 3.

    This would keep 2 in state teams coming in to Assembly and a decent road game each year. Say what you want about trap games but I would rather see these 3 added to the schedule instead of playing some of the lesser opponents we have had on the schedule. At least there is state interests on the line, and would be a good lead up to Crossroads Classic.

    Put Kentucky back on the schedule. Campus’ preferred but who cares where we play. I just want to own Kentucky.

    1 Home and Home Series on the schedule
    (You pick lets hear the responses)
    Cincinnati, or Xavier?
    Dayton, Toledo, Kent St, or Akron?
    Western Kentucky, Murray State, or Morehead State?
    Vanderbilt, Tennessee or Memphis?

    Pick any of the remaining smaller Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee schools and give them 1 year deals to play at Assembly.

    This allows us to add more quality opponents, generate regional interest, have better tie ins at home, still respect B1G/ACC Challenge, still respect Crossroads Classic, still consider exempt tourney like Maui etc etc, and play more quality opponents.

  • Benhyoung14

    I think it has something to do with the fact that if they don’t plat at Bloomington then they’re not on TV. I wouldn’t care if we played the bottom tier of BCS conference teams. It’s got to be better than CCSU. At least schedule a series with UL, KU, or UK. We need 2 more teams that were in the NCAA tournament last year on this years schedule.

  • jpniles

    I really don’t understand the hubbubb about the scheduling. Our schedule this year has allowed many players to see some significant minutes which might be necessary in acclimating freshmen before “throwing them to the dogs”.

    Are people concerned about rankings? Why? The coach and teams don’t seem to care much. I know its a pride thing but the ranking at the end of the year is what is important. It is all about preparation for the tournament. It is about being challenged. If you are worried about being challenged, take another look at the B1G. We will have plenty of opportunity to play “quality opponents”.

    Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see a game that we don’t lead by 20 at half. But that will come. In all reality, this is our first year back. I have to believe that CTC knows what he is doing. He seems to have faired pretty well so far. He is scheduling opponents for a reason. Each of the opponents have offered a specific opportunity for the team to single out and work on aspects of the game before they approach a team that “has it all together”.

    Like I said, I would love to see us play a couple top-tier teams but this is why Crean is paid to do this and we are not.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    I will say I’d prefer games against cupcakes in the 100-200 range over the 200-347 range.
    There’s 13 non-conference games in a season so:
    1 crossroad
    1 elite home and home (Kansas?)
    1 B1G/ACC challenge
    4 non-exempt tourney games; we’ll say 2 or 3 are good teams

    1 more middle ranking power conference (or higher mid-major; like Wichita State) game, think this year’s Marquette or Clemson

    That’s 6 or 7 solid games out of 13, which is a lot to ask in today’s college landscape, but doable. Throw in some lower level cupcakes (none below 300, regional is fine) and that’s a pretty good schedule.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    won’t need to imagine anymore come Saturday….

  • MillaRed

    I wonder how much it would have “sucked” if we would have lost to Georgetown and UNC?

  • Evansville Hoosier

    I think Crean is currently trying to work out a home and home with a Kansas type team; the kinks will work out next year. It’s our first year back on top.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    A future schedule could look like this:

    Home vs Evansville 2013 (Home 2014, Away 2015)
    Away vs Indiana State 2013 (Home 2015, Home 2015)
    Home vs Valparaiso 2013 (Away 2014, Home 2015)

    Exempt Tourney Game 1
    Exempt Tourney Game 2
    Exempt Tourney Game 3

    Home and Away vs ( Pick Memphis, Cincy, Vandy, Murray, or Western)
    This would be a road game during home years for B1G/ACC Challenge

    B1G/ACC Challenge
    Away vs ACC (in 2013)

    Home only vs(Akron, Kent St, Toledo on a one year basis)

    Home vs Kentucky 2013 (2014 Neutral, 2015 at Rupp)

    Crossroads Classic in Indy
    Notre Dame 2013, Butler 2014

    Home only annually vs Xavier or other regional 2nd tier to mid major on a 1 year basis

    Neutral Site in Indy vs Louisville 2013 (2014 at Lou, 2015 at Home)

    Home only annually vs Morehead State or any other smaller regional team on a 1 yr basis

  • Evansville Hoosier

    Calipari won’t budge at all. He will not play IU on campuses. They tried to offer the compromise you suggested.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I know, I know and it sucks because it would work. For some reason he thinks Brooklyn and Atlanta are home games for he and Kentucky. I think he might have been trying to get up the skirt of Lucas Oil and they told him to get the hel* out of there.

    But that scenario I laid out between Indiana, Louisville, and Kentucky would not give any of the 3 schools 2 road games in the same year against the other 2.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Let’s all also remember that IU may have made some of the schedule’s commitments more than a year ago, with others (like Kentucky) being up in the air till the last refusal. And everyone’s also got to remember that scheduling is not always a matter of just choosing an opponent; it’s finding mutually agreeable dates. So jpniles is right: No one should really be worried about scheduling and how it supposedly indicts rankings. I fully agree with the “end of the year” statement, and I couldn’t care less if IU was 1 or 10 or 20, just as long as they’ve got a legitimate shot. Rankings are partially subjective anyway; just knowing your team’s considered a top tier one is good enough for me.

  • http://twitter.com/squink15 Simon Quinkert

    Watching IU playing so many inferior opponents defeats the purpose of watching games for entertainment.

  • stroot

    I hope they blend into the team better than Jonny Marlin blends into that picture.

  • b_side

    I doubt the business operations folks at Lucas Oil said any such thing to Calipari – embellishing or not. Regardless of where their collegiate allegiance lies, if they are in the money making business, they want IU-UK like the good ol’ days at the Hoosier Dome.

  • b_side

    As long as the B1G/ACC Challenge is on the books, I doubt we’ll see a regular series with the Dukies. It helps nobody to play a team twice during the non-conference schedule. That’s part of the reason why Louisville is unlikely to get scheduled as well. Agree with others who have mentioned Kansas as the perfect candidate in place of “Cantucky.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Fischer/691470077 Steve Fischer

    I disagree that strength of schedule is not important. We want recruits to know about us like they know Kentucky. Coppin State and Central Southwest Connecticut or whatever its called will get us no attention nor any national tv. Recruits will see Crean and his recruits on TV and that makes for stature.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    good call. we’ve no doubt had plenty of cream puff games. and to be perfectly honest, a couple were borderline boring if you can call a game with 25 dunk shots (i really gotta stop saying that) boring. at the same time, we rose to the two challenges you mentioned, and did it seriously undermanned.

    what we’ve got going for us right now is the midwest is so darn strong, we can schedule some challenging non-conference games very close to home. i don’t know about you, but i’m ready to rekindle the louisville rivalry. remember when cheaney and dwayne morton got into it? great stuff! i miss it!

  • Benhyoung14

    It definitely would have hurt our confidence. I wouldn’t want to schedule these more difficult opponents right after a tournament then you end up with that possibility. It would be best right before the B1G season starts.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    You are obviously correct but I was just portraying some down home humor.

  • Miamihoosier

    It’s easy with how good we are now, to say we should of scheduled Lousville, UK, and Xavier in the preconference, mainly bc we would of beaten all of them. We aren’t going to be coming in to future seasons as the best team in the country. We already play in the toughest conference, where over the last 15 years, the champion has averaged 3 losses. If our goal is to win banners, then we want #1 seeds. You don’t get those by piling up early losses (MSU was an exception last yr). Going forward, you can see we will face ranked opponents in an exempt tourney, acc challenge, and a louisville/kansas type home and home. That is plenty. Past that, we don’t need to have an off shooting night where Northern Iowa comes in and beats us with a team of nine 5th yr seniors…..coach Knight used to do that at the end, (anyone remember losing to Charlotte and the buzzer?). ………….bring on Little Sisters of the Poor U. Like Jpnile said, it gets the subs much needed experince… a 30-4 Big Ten Champ gets a #1 seed guaranteed no matter who they played preconference. A 27-7 one (MSU lst yr) only gets it if the Pac 12 is historically bad, and the ACC is at a 10 yr low…..wouldnt bet on that going forward

  • Jp

    I don’t see what all this talk about strength of schedule is about. Yes, IU doesn’t have the strongest non-conference schedule, but isn’t it nice to have a non-conference schedule a bit mundane to find your grove? Duke may have had a hard schedule to start the season, but lets consider the season as a whole. Look at the end of the Big Ten season with IU’s Gauntlet based on the current poll. 7 of the final 10 games against a currently ranked opponent, with the 5 remaining Road games against ranked # 3 Michigan, # 7 Ohio State, # 10 Illinois, # 13 Minnesota, and # 19 Michigan St. This isn’t even including who IU will have to face in the Big 10 Tourney. Duke currently only has 4 ranked games on their remaining schedule, two each with NC State at #25 and UNC at #21.

    So let’s stop debating on wanting a harder non-conference schedule, because consider this, do you want your top guys playing max minutes for the entire season? Players bodies get beaten up through the course of the season, why add to a brutal big ten schedule by making the non-conference so difficult?

    For those of you who are complaining right now about the non-conference schedule, would you have complaints if IU were to draw Duke, Louisville, Kentucky, and Michigan in their section of the NCAA tournament bracket in March? You don’t want to see IU beating up on cupcake teams now, but what would be coming out of your mouths the moment if you saw IU’s region with all these teams? Joy because you would be seeing some great games or an IU got screwed by the tournament committee expletive out of your mouths?

  • cheeseman18

    From what I’ve heard, the projection for Elston is a couple more weeks, might even get a game in before conference.

  • HostileHoosier

    VonSnickle I have to disagree Look at what KY has done this year. They have played teams and have been beat and who knows it the wil regroup and gell as a team with the defeats they have suffered.Back on topic tho I thought that Cody Zeller said all that needed to be said in his last interview as what to expect from our 2 retuning freshmen. He said and I quote “have you seen the arms on thos guys? I have to practice against that” that says alot coming from MR. Zeller IMO i would say that he has much faith in the defensive play of these 2 guys. I for 1 cant wait to see these 2 guys on the court!BTW any world on Elston coming back? When we get all 3 of these guys back there is no accuse for a defensive slack at anytime on the court!

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregory.spera.3 Gregory Spera

    I didn’t mean to start something, I’m just saying, what’s the point of beating teams like Sam Houston State by 50? I actually thought they were kinda sloppy against Central Connecticut State, but they still won by 30, so who can even tell. Would number one ranked IU have to beat poor little Mount St. Mary’s or Florida Atlantic by 100 to actually impress anyone? It just seems pointless. They’ll have more competition, in this week off, just scrimmaging amongst themselves.

  • Jake

    With IU’s depth this year and the upcoming years, we should just split IU’s team into 2 and have them scrimmage each other and just have that on our schedule. Definitely be more competition than who IU is playing now.

  • dbmcubs21

    Our Out of Conference schedule is irrelevant for IU. The Big Ten is far and away the best conference which will raise our strength of schedule considerably. Kentucky must schedule these “high-profile” games (is Baylor really high profile?) because they play in the sad SEC. They will play Florida and then a bunch of teams we would make look like coppin St.

    Our OOC is really not even as bad as people think. We have played 2 top 25 teams and will play a top 10 rpi team on Saturday.

  • Luke72

    Guess there is no basis fr the rumor that IU will be going to the ACC since Coach Crean is talking about the ACC/Big Ten challange , or was he talking about playing a Big ten team?

  • hardcore_hoosier

    But seriously, I’ve had a chance to see Hanner play several HS and AAU games for the past 2 years. He is going to help in the middle immediately and be a big time crowd favorite. And yes I agree he has the same lift as VO just taller and with a longer reach. Highlights galore!

  • MillaRed

    I wonder how many coaches would love to have this dilemma. “Eh coach, your top 40 recruit and your 7 footer are ready to play. Try to find a way to make it work.”

    “Um, I will do my best.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/sally.isom.35 Sally Isom

    the guys should start their own fraternity “Fly slam-ma Jam-ma!”

  • marcusgresham

    He didn’t say “Get Coach K on the schedule,” just “get a Coach K schedule.” I think he’s meaning that IU should play tougher teams like Duke has.

  • marcusgresham

    I personally love reading how Illinois is “playing extremely fast,” because I think IU has a massive advantage on any team that tries to get in a track meet. It’s teams that want to muck up the game (Georgetown,) and kill the flow that have a shot of finding a way to knock us off.

  • SCHoosier

    Yea but next year..Jonny will be hiding among those trees..poppin out for 3 pointers..kid is deadly.!!

  • SCHoosier

    I think a stronger schedule would have helped the team long term. The only thing I worry about is come tournament time..if there are 4-6 teams competing for top seeds (and that’s possible I think) not sure how a weak RPI
    iniour pre-conference schedule might impact IU’s ability to get one of the top four seeds. Guess IU will just have to win big enuff to make sure that happens!:)

  • HoosierGrad07

    I obviously could be wrong but don’t all the “non-exempt” tourney games actually just count as 1 game towards our non-conference allotment? I thought I read that on here before the season started.

  • HoosierGrad07

    If you look at KY’s non-conference schedule this year (especially at home) it isn’t much. Let’s not fool ourselves, top 25-50 recruits don’t care if KY is playing Notre Dame and Baylor. Sure it’s fun to watch them play Duke but it’s also a lot of fun to see Dicky V going nuts on the sideline as we streamroll the Tarheels.

    The non-conference schedule does need to get better, but not that much better. If we add Kansas or Louisville and maybe get a Xavier-type team then I think that’ll be enough. You’ll have Butler/Notre Dame, an elite-level ACC team for the challenge, and whatever top teams we run into in our non-exempt tourney. When we are gonna play about 10-12 premiere teams during conference play it puts a lot less pressure on the non-conference schedule.

  • Drewp1

    I think IU being invited to more preseason tourneys in the future will help the nonconference schedule. I would like to see IU play on an aircraft carrier or army base sometimes.

  • Abellham Lincoln

    All IU Alumni and fans living in Louisville: We are watching the Butler game Saturday at Buffalo Wild WIngs. 4600 Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY, located in the Shelbyville Rd.Plaza. Please come out and join us.

  • Kenneth234

    I do not dislike any suggestion for a stronger non-conference schedule. I have mentioned it on other threads but I think that CTC should contact Gonzaga and set up a home and home with them. It would be good to get out on the west coast every year, so perhaps also adding a home and home that offsets with that game against another pretty good team such as a UNLV, Nevada, New Mexico, N.Mexico St., St. Mary’s, San Diego St., or BYU would be acceptable competition.

    Other than that, I would want to play Notre Dame and Butler every year, either on a neutral floor or in a home and home scenario. One major tourney in the preseason. Then add the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, and fill out the roster with some regional mid majors who are not at the lowest of rankings in Div. 1.! And if we can get a home and home against anyone of Kansas, Louisville, Georgetown, Cincinnati or Xavier I would be more than happy.

  • jpniles

    Totally agree! Plus, people are making a big fuss about Duke when the games they have won have been against overrated teams. Trust me, I know they are good. I can’t wait to play them in the Tourney to settle the Plumlee/Zeller argument. Let’s face it, UK is wash this year – no different than playing UNC. I would argue Gtown and Louisville are comparable (especially without Dieng). I will give them OSU – they are pretty solid. But look at their ACC conference slate… LAME!!! Just look at the rankings of the B1G. Not to rehash what you said too much, but let’s let CTC do his job and enjoy banner #6 in the spring.

  • dbmcubs21

    Im definitely not a fan of air craft carriers especially for a team that relies on outside shooting like we do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Fischer/691470077 Steve Fischer

    From the point I was making it doesn’t matter if its home or away as people interested in Kentucky can still watch their team on tv no matter where they live. Kentucky is not a good example to use as they probably get the most publicity of any college basketball team – and they get the best recruits or at least the highest rated ones. Really you’re making my point for me. When you’re President Obama you don’t need that much TV time -everyone knows who you are some of the lessor known candidates yes.Indiana should want all its starters to become household names- recruits will follow their careers and some will follow them to IU.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    One tournament does count as one game. In theory we could play a couple more games.

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