Perea’s game rounding into shape as season nears

  • 09/27/2011 6:45 am in

The fall semester kicked off last month at the La Lumiere School, a college preparatory and boarding high school located about 70 miles outside of Chicago in LaPorte.

And the La Lumiere hoops program, led by coach Alan Huss, welcomed back a solid nucleus of players and a few new faces to a team that lost just one game to an Indiana high school team last winter.

As a non-IHSAA school, La Lumiere was permitted to begin team workouts almost immediately upon the return of its players to campus.

In that month and a half of watching his group work, Huss feels confident one of his prized pupils, Hanner Perea, is beginning to come full circle.

“I think overall he’s just growing up. He’s kind of gone from a boy to a man here in the last couple of years and it’s really come to the forefront this year,” Huss told Inside the Hall recently. “He’s just more mature and a little bit more focused on the task at hand. Whether that be his school work or his basketball and I think it’s starting to show.”

The addition of a pair of 2012 forwards that are also Big Ten bound — Purdue commitments Jay Simpson and Raphael Davis — should aid in pushing Perea in workouts and practice this fall.

La Lumiere’s offense, according to Huss, will seek to play more towards its strong suit this winter — the power forward position.

“I know a lot of people probably thought we should have played through him more last year,” Huss said. “But what I would say is that a year ago, he wasn’t ready for that. His decision making and ability to hold his seal and post up with deep position, it was difficult to play through him. Even just his ability to consistently catch the basketball. Those are all things he’s really improved. We’re doing some things to allow him to face the basket a little bit more than he has in the past. I think he’s bought into that.”

The Colombia native’s elite athleticism has been held in high regard since his arrival in the United States in January 2008, but further skill development could ultimately determine his ceiling.

Perea is still making up ground in his efforts to master the basic fundamentals of the game after picking up a basketball for the first time at age 12.

“He’s learning how to backscreen the wing and then pop and catch, look for his jump shot there,” he said. “In our high-low stuff we’re going to run this year, he’s going to have some opportunities to really flash from the weak side block to the strong side elbow and top of the key and be able make a shot from there or make a one dribble move from there. I think people are going to see an expanded offensive game from him.”

One specific improvement in that expanded offensive game from Perea should be more confidence in his jump shot.

“He can really shoot the basketball. Especially 15-to-19 feet. His thing is just finding and learning ways to hunt those jump shots within the offense,” Huss said. “He’s fixed a fundamental issue he’s had with it when he catches the ball. He always had a tendency to drop it before he went up. He’s really worked hard to make his first motion toward the basket.”

As was the case last winter when La Lumiere traveled to Bloomington South, Indiana fans should have a couple of opportunities to catch the future IU power forward in the central and southern portions of the state.

The Lakers will play two games in Indianapolis this season. The first is against Traders Point Christian on January 26. The team’s second game will be at Lawrence Central on February 4 in a showdown against United Faith Christian Academy, where Perea will face off against fellow IU commit Peter Jurkin. They’ll also take on Montrose Christian, who won the ESPN Rise Invitational last April, on January 28 in Louisville.

“Montrose is probably going to be the No. 1 team in the country,” Huss said. “And I know for a lot of southern Indiana people, Louisville’s not a bad commute. I just figured that would be a good chance for people down there to see him.”

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  • So_Cal_Hoosier

    I really like to hear that he is developing a jump shot. Just makes his game that much more lethal

  • Anonymous

    From the videos that I’ve seen I wouldn’t get too excited about his jumper but his inside game and athleticism is pretty fantastic.  I think we’ll want to see him playing a lot like Dale and Antonio Davis used to play for the Pacers.  Down and dirty putbacks and wreaking havoc on the boards.  Probably save the 15-19 footers for the other guys we’ll have by then.

  • So_Cal_Hoosier

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not expecting him to be draining them from that range any time soon and love his athleticism on the boards. But so far in most of his highlight reels that I’ve seen a majority of his points are scored right around the rim. So even he can develop a nice 8-10 ft shot, I think it would make him a lot more dangerous on the floor. 

  • Anonymous

    Other than Eric Gordon, I really can’t think of a player we have had in the last 20 years that has the kind of athleticism Hanner does.            Even if he only avg 8 pts a game, if 6 of them were from monster dunks, he’ll be one of the most loved players on the team.       Yogi is incredibly fast, will draw crowds in the lane, and Hanner will be right there to take the dump off pass and try to tear the rim down.               Yogi is the most important piece, Hollowell is the most versatile, Patterson is the best defender, and Hanner is the most exciting.          Throw Gary Harris in there, as the combination of everything, and you have a title contender…………         

  • elwoodhoosier

    I wouldn’t get too excited about harris coming to Bloomington. I don’t see it happening. Honestly, I don’t think he fits well with the other commits. He is more about “him” on the court where I feel the others are about the “team.” Just my opinion but I don’t see it happening.

  • Anonymous

    I saw him play a couple times in a tournament this summer and I came away very impressed.  Other than his athletic ability, I think he just plain plays his butt off all the time.  He was totally gased when I saw him play (they only had 7-8 kids) and he was still out there banging and looking to help the team at both ends of the court.  He was shooting his jumper here and there and it looked good from 15 feet, he even hit a few.  But the kid plays hard and I think his game is growing as a result of that.  I think by the time he gets here, we’ll see a pretty good all around player, and a kid that makes some pretty exciting plays.

  • Casey B.

    With all due respect, I just find it a bit funny when people say they “don’t see it happening.” It’s not as if he’s tipped his hand in any direction whatsoever. He’s been just as secretive as – if not more than – the Zeller family. They’re playing it close to the vest, so to have any suspicion about his attitude toward how he may fit in is simply supposition generated by the family’s silence and fans’ unquenchable thirst for more information. I’m not claiming he’s a shoe-in for IU’s 2012 class, but I just have a hard time gathering what leads people to believe one thing or another when there’s been essentially no indication from anyone who matters at this point.

  • Anonymous

    I think you’re selling him short, he actually does have good form on his jump shot, so if he gains confidence and listens to his coach, who seems to be a good job working through the basics with HP, he could have that in his back pocket. Antonio Davis wasn’t afraid to hit a 15 footer and his form was an abomination compared to HP.

  • Anonymous

    I’m really encouraged by La Lumiere’s coach, he seems to have a really good understanding of Hanner’s game and what he needs to work on to round his game into shape. It would be easy to tell him to go out there and hustle, which from all accounts he always does, but he’s working on basketball knowledge, basic fundamentals, all things that will actually take his game from an athletic unknown to an athletic basketball player. Now it makes a lot more sense why HP wasn’t getting the minutes last year. It’s also really encouraging to read about HP’s focus getting better, on basketball and schoolwork, gotta love real student athletes.

    Thanks for the article Alex I love heraing about our commits developing on and off the court.

  • Anonymous

    I think I’m going to love watching this guy play no doubt but I can almost guarantee that if I see him shooting 15+ foot shots on any regular type basis I’ll be screaming at my TV “NOOOOOOO” and then if it lucks in the hoop I’ll yell “Yesssssssss”.

  • Anonymous

    I am not of the mind that Hanner will be a one or even two and done like a lot of people have voiced before, but don’t take that as any sign of disrepect.  Hanner is infact the real deal, it’s just that there is a lot of work to do to form him into not only an elite athlete but a basketball player. 

    After what I have read, heard and seen from watching him play a handful of times I am encouraged about that happening.  Hanner plays hard consistently.  He takes the game seriously.  He challenges himself on both ends of the court.  I think IU is a perfect fit for him to impove his game from coaching and play in a system and with players to help him. 

    When it does all come together by his Junior year…wow!  He and Zeller with Jurkin (also highly under rated in m opinion) will be a force on the boards.  And…will make some incridible plays.  He dunks the ball like a Shawn Kemp, which will get Assembly Hall into a frenzy…I can’t wait.

  • Anonymous

    I see where you are coming from but I would disagree with you.  He has decent form.  Is a good free throw shooter and by his Soph / Jr year will be able to knock down shots at the elbows.  Although I would agree that will likely never be his strengh due to his athleticism and strengh, I do think that he will be highly capable of making that play on a consistent basis when it is given to him within the offense.

  • Casey B.

    That’s known as “The Wilmont Principle.”

  • Anonymous

    I’m in agreement. There are too many red flags (or should I say, green and blue flags) that concern me about Harris choosing IU. He’s a great talent, but intuition makes me wonder if he isn’t one of those type kids who tries to put an “I” in team? No evidence of this, just intuition. If he is all about himself, then I hope he doesn’t choose IU. I also have reservations about his father’s priorities. Could he be seeing dollar signs in the near future? Once again, no evidence just some bad vibes. Should this be the case, my guess is that it’s one and done at UK.

  • Anonymous

    this kid is a beast round the basket…but he needs the work on other things named in this article. Glad to know he has a coach who is willing to work on HP’s development..not just use him for the lob and stuff.

  • Anonymous

    it’s like Blake Griffin (not going to say he’s Blake Griffin by any means, but there are similarities), his strength is not his jump shot, but because he has worked on it a great deal from Oklahoma to LAC, it is now a part of his arsenal of weapons

  • Plane1972

    You may be right and he may end up in Lexington; however, I think Harris’s comments serve a couple of purposes: 1) every top-tier recruit wants to be pursued by the best programs regardless of whether they want to actually go there or not, and UK is at the top right now in terms of getting guys to the NBA; and 2) I don’t think Harris wants to be perceived as a pawn in Cal’s game to get Goodwin to commit.

    Read the last paragraph of Telep’s announcement of Goodwin’s commitment and there is a name missing from the list of guys Goodwin would like to play with at Kentucky. I don’t think the feeling is mutual in terms of Harris playing at UK. I have no idea if that is true or not, just an interesting omission.

  • Casey B.

    If Harris committed to IU tomorrow, we’d all talk about what a great kid he is. If he commits to UK, we’ll say he’s selfish and his priorities are mixed up. It’s all relative.

  • Anonymous

    I find all of this kind of comical. When the news first came out that Cal had visited Harris, I mentioned on a board that it was concerning. I was met with comments that rallied behind Harris’ “character” and “integrity”. Now that there are more arrows (even if they are only a few) leaning toward an interest in UK, people are starting to question Harris’ “team mentality”. 

    Oh, how it makes me laugh!

  • MillaRed

    We have the #1 class in the country we are recruiting him in. Before Zeller the 2011 class wasn’t top 200.

    By no means is it a similar situation between Harris recruitment vs. Zeller.

  • MillaRed

    Regardless of when you heard this or that in this or that point in this recruitment, the word on the street for the last year is the guy kinda holds on to the ball on the AAU circuit. I am also hearing he may have an attitude that rubs his teammates wrong.

    Perhaps it’s all BS because the kid can play and will always have the other side rooting against him.

    I have said all along there is something about him that just doesn’t give me a fuzzy feeling. I won’t go any further than that. If he comes to IU he deserves the same chance everyone else does. If not, I am happy with what we have.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed whole heartedly.  Nobody knows anything about this kid one way or the other.  I’ve seen him play once and came away very impressed.  But by no means can I tell you what he’s thinking or what his parents are doing or where he’s leaning.  We would be honored to have a kid of this caliber play at IU.  Way too much speculation and people using their “feelings”.  If he goes to UK then there’s nothing we can do about that but for crying out loud, while we still have a shot, leave the kid alone and hope he comes here.