Hanner Mosquera-Perea adjusting into ‘big role’

  • 10/15/2014 12:32 pm in

During the offseason, Indiana coach Tom Crean was not shy about what he wanted to see from junior Hanner Mosquera-Perea this season.

He wanted to see the 6-foot-8 forward, who has missed time from suspensions in both of the two seasons he has played at Indiana, become more consistent on the court and more of a leader off it.

“It’s time to play,” he said in June. “It’s time to be really serious about playing extended minutes. It’s time to be an enforcer at the basket. It’s time to show that toughness that his body gives you. It’s going to have to happen or he won’t be out there as much. We need his consistency.

“It’s no more fun and games, now it’s time for you to lock in and mature and not anymore talk, let’s get at it.”

Nobody has received the message more clearly than Mosquera-Perea.

Just weeks into practice for this season, teammates are raving about the junior’s on-court performance. And the Colombia native said he has felt an increased responsibility to become more of a factor this season.

“My role right now is a big role,” Mosquera-Perea said on Monday. “Not just being that, being one of the oldest guys on the team. I feel like I have a lot that I need to accomplish with the team, helping the team on the court and off of the court.”

With the departures of Cody Zeller and Noah Vonleh over the past two seasons, Indiana has been left with little post presence heading into this season. It has led to Crean calling on Mosquera-Perea to raise his performance level.

During his previous two years at Indiana, Mosquera-Perea has shown flashes of his skill but has yet to do so on a consistent basis — averaging just 7.7 minutes per game last season. And on a roster with just three players taller than 6-foot-9 — including Jeremiah April, who has been limited in practice thus far, and Tim Priller, who is not a natural post player — Mosquera-Perea is that much more of an important player this season, according to Crean.

“There’s no more inconsistency that can be there with Hanner, 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 and when you see that body and you see that speed that he’s capable of,” Crean said. “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.”

And so far, according to everyone involved, Mosquera-Perea has stepped up to the plate. Over the summer, in July, Crean said, “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.”

And during practice on Monday, Mosquera-Perea appeared more aware on the court, producing multiple deflections on defense during 5-on-5 drills.

“Not having Cody or Noah here kind of pushes us to get better, to do the best we can to help the team win,” Mosquera-Perea said.

That added pressure Mosquera-Perea has put on himself has resulted in a change on the court. Sophomore Devin Davis noted Mosquera-Perea’s confidence level is significantly higher and that he is scoring around the basket more, rebounding more, blocking shots more and being patient more.

To freshman James Blackmon Jr., Mosquera-Perea has shown he is “just being more aggressive, all around post play.”

“If he keeps playing the way he is, if he keeps being consistent how he is, it’s crazy the leap he took in a year,” Blackmon said. “Just all around, being a leader, talking to guys. When I first got here, he showed me the ropes. Now I get it and I can tell other guys what to do.”

The process toward consistency and making an on-court impact is something that Mosquera-Perea knows will not happen overnight. But he said he knows he has the support and confidence that will get him to that point.

“I feel way better just after playing against great players that are in the NBA right now, just going against those guys every day,” he said. “It makes me feel way better knowing that my team believes in me. They feel like I can be there to help them. That makes me feel a lot better.”

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  • 4XEBG

    Excellent point and I certainly respect your opinion…however I feel that Hanner has greater innate athletic ability than LT had at that time and we have not seen enough of him to truly assess his b-ball skills. Both had that “deer in the headlights” look on the Court and IF it all comes together for Hanner it will have a paralell impact.

  • Alford Bailey

    I also believe JBJ and Jaquan are close.

  • ForeverIU

    Yes they are from what I know.

  • ForeverIU

    Have you found out anything new about Isaac Humphries? From 247 I gather he has offers from Arizona, Illinois and Kansas. He sounded like he wants to be a more traditional center, whatever that means nowadays, lol.

  • AnonymousDave

    Great point. In today’s social media driven age I think there is a tendency to confuse compatible personalities for potential on court chemistry. You want the players to respect each other and be loose but when it comes to games you need to be business partners. In fact I think in some scenarios you could make an argument where being too friendly is actually a bad thing.

  • Snookafly

    Aside from the fact that Illinois offered to pair him with Jalen Coleman, I haven’t heard a peep. It’s a little frustrating since we should be on him like a rat on a Cheeto.

  • Eastwood88_2

    Now that is funny!

  • mark

    Agreed, but the key is he’ll need to stay out of foul trouble. You can bet opponents will really target him for that, because they know he’s the only guy IU has who can protect the rim. And thus far, HP has not been too impressive with avoiding fouls or with bball IQ in general ..

  • Eastwood88_2

    I am with you here. I don’t trust he can play defense without fouling. Davis will be better IMO. Hard to hope for much other than 16-18 mins a game. I do believe he will be able to break vonleh’s assist number in big ten play. Will be nice to see the ball move out of the post.

  • Bryce Kepner

    Yeah you’re right!

  • Bryce Kepner

    Exactly! Too good to turn down. It will be interesting to see what happens

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    I do not buy the CTC endurance claim, he only played 7 minutes/game?!?

  • metalhead65

    talk is cheap and I will believe it when I see him play consistently well in games. I want to see him play more than 5 min. and do something more than get 3 quick fouls. I hope crean will keep in games even if he does pick up fouls this year. I think the best thing for him to break that habit would be for him to have to sit on the bench after fouling out in the first half. he would have nobody to blame but himself and maybe he would stop making silly fouls after that. I don’t care about his scoring either,, he just needs to play good defense and rebound and if he throws down a dunk now and then then it’s a bonus. they have enough guys who can score without him worrying about that.

  • KmanCRK

    One of the main reasons I think this team is being so underrated is that I think you can make an argument that there are more than 5 team leaders on this team currently. Lots of good kids with great work ethics. This season will will be a fun one to watch and surprise a lot of people.

  • N71

    Which sites? Jaquan is obviously a talent and from our home state but so was Jeremy Hollowell. I’d lean on what James Blackman thinks, he’s played with him a ton, is a friend, and is also a guard who would stand to loose minutes to Jaquan. If James is “in”, then so am I.

  • Hoosier Taxidermist

    Can’t touch this. HANNER TIME!!!!!!!!

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    I think he will strive to not let his team mates down . . .

  • INUnivHoosier

    I guess that’s one less thing for him to work on, then. Great news.


    I, as many did, followed the JL / IU recruitment fairly close and without rehashing a lot of the details I would feel more than OK if he ended up at IU. Crean supposedly told him some things that he didn’t want to hear slash didn’t think was right, but ended up finding out that Crean was right about most of it, if not all of it. I think it is more of a Crean stopped recruiting him type thing, than a JL didn’t want to come to IU, and I’d have to say there must have been a good reason(s) that Crean stopped recruiting him. Recent events seem to say that Crean did the right thing when he tried to tell him what it was he needed to change about. It seemed almost like it was a I’ll tell him this stuff and see where that goes and if it goes no where than I’m not pulling the trigger on an offer and evidently it didn’t go anywhere. Having said all that, if he was to finally end up at IU, and with how his recruitment went (IU wise) I’d have to feel reasonably sure that he has made it very obvious that he “gets it now” and could be a tremendous get for IU. Totally agree with you in that the kid can flat takeover a game. Couple that with him finally “getting it” and things could get very interesting for IU IMHO.


    I’m with you on the Kasongo part, but if Crean was to bring Lyle to IU would have to believe that the kid has convincingly gotten his $hit together or Crean wouldn’t do it, especially after his comments about team chemistry this off season and passing on him earlier.

  • millzy32

    BTN had a great show on demand showing the 1981 season and they had interviews with LT. Great watch if it’s still out there somewhere to see.

  • 4XEBG

    Thanks for the heads up…that was a great year.