To say that this week has been a rough one for Indiana basketball would be a major understatement. With three players suspended for their off-court transgressions and a fourth, Devin Davis, still in the hospital after being hit by a car driven by teammate Emmitt Holt (one of the three suspended players) head coach Tom Crean has come under fire.
Thursday night the Hoosiers played their lone exhibition game, and in the 94-70 win over Northwood three players who either had a limited role or did not play for the team last season stood out.
Freshman James Blackmon Jr. scored 26 points and Illinois State transfer Nick Zeisloft added 24 to lead the way offensively, with the two combining to grab 13 rebounds (seven for Blackmon, six for Zeisloft) and shoot 20-for-20 from the foul line. In junior Yogi Ferrell (16 points, six assists) the Hoosiers have one of the most talented point guards in the Big Ten if not the country, and the more help he can get the better for a team looking to rebound from a disappointing 2013-14 campaign.
However it must be noted that neither talent nor depth was seen as a problem amongst Indiana’s perimeter options when assessing their prospects for the upcoming season. The biggest question marks, prior to their rash of off-court problems, was the front court with the suspended Troy Williams being Indiana’s most productive front court returnee.
That’s what makes the play of Hanner Mosquera-Perea the most important takeaway from Thursday night.
The junior accounted for ten points and 12 rebounds in 33 minutes of action, and while these stats won’t carry over into the regular season they represent his most productive night as a Hoosier. Mosquera-Perea was aggressive during his time on the floor, doing a good job in pick and roll situations and taking care of business on the glass.
Mosquera-Perea scored eight points on two separate occasions last season, with the second coming in a home win over Ohio State (eight points, five rebounds in 15 minutes). Given Indiana’s lack of proven interior options he’s going to be on the court a lot more in 2014-15, so he has to be productive.
Regardless of the level of opposition, if Thursday’s performance can give Mosquera-Perea added confidence that would be a good thing for Crean’s Hoosiers. Above are highlights from the game, courtesy of Indiana Athletics.