Hanner Mosquera-Perea came to Bloomington surrounded by hype. He was rated highly by many recruiting services, even being ranked the No. 9 power forward in his class by Rivals.com.
Unfortunately, the junior has yet to make his mark. His career averages are less than stellar (2.0 PPG, 1.9 RPG). On top of the poor performance on the court, his tenure as a Hoosier has been marred by controversy. First, there was the nine-game suspension during his freshman season. Next, as a sophmore, he was arrested for an OWI. Finally, Mosquera-Perea couldn’t make this summer’s trip to Canada because of visa issues.
Hoosier fans (myself included) have grown tired of Mosquera-Perea’s suspensions and antics. The thing is, he’s shown potential. His eight-point, five-rebound performance last season against Ohio State propelled the Hoosiers to victory.
But, one marquee performance is not enough. It’s time for Mosquera-Perea to finally put it altogether, or he will have a permanent spot on the bench. Still, Mosquera-Perea is in line to play significant minutes, but Tom Crean has added size to the roster in recent months, most likely as insurance if the big man’s troubles continue.
The top candidate to take Mosquera-Perea’s minutes is Devin Davis. Davis impressed in Canada, averaging 8.0 points and a team-leading 7.6 rebounds per game. While he is only 6’7″, he doesn’t play like it. I don’t think Crean would have any reservations playing Davis down low. He’s tough, doesn’t back down to bigger foes and seems to get better the more he’s on the court.
After Davis, a group of newcomers pose a threat to Mosquera-Perea’s playing time. Jeremiah April (7’0″), Tim Priller (6’10”) and Emmitt Holt (6’7″) all could potentially play down low if necessary. While April is a raw talent, Priller is more of a stretch-four who loves to shoot threes and Holt lacks height, don’t be surprised to see Crean give one of these players a chance if Mosquera-Perea doesn’t right the ship.
Remember, Mosquera-Perea is a junior. This trio is comprised of freshmen. When an older player hasn’t figured it out by his third season, it’s common for coaches to give youth a chance. Don’t believe me? Take it from the head coach himself.
“It’s time to play. 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.”
The clock is ticking for Mosquera-Perea. There is no doubt Crean will give him another shot, seeing as he is the most experienced post player on the roster, but experience must translate into points, rebounds and blocks. If not, expect new faces in the post for the Hoosiers.