Mosquera-Perea ready to take a leap in Year 3

Hanner Mosquera-Perea understands that Indiana’s upcoming basketball season hinges greatly on whether he’s able to become the kind of inside player teams must respect.

He’s fine with that.

The Indiana junior forward has, by all accounts, spent the off-season continuing his progression as a reliable forward for Tom Crean’s guard-heavy Hoosiers. If IU is to turn around last season’s disappointing 17-15 campaign, Mosquera-Perea will need to be better and more consistent.

Right now, he’s not letting the pressure get to him.

“The way I think about it right now, we have a lot of great shooters so I just want to be moving the ball,” Mosquera-Perea said. “Everybody’s going to be moving. Every time I have the ball, if I have any problem, I feel like I can kick the ball back out and guys will be open.”

Mosquera-Perea, a 6-foot-9 225-pound native of Colombia, averaged 2.8 points last season, while playing in 29 games, starting none. Having been around since the start of summer, freshman guard James Blackmon Jr. can already attest to Mosquera-Perea’s progression in a matter of months.

Blackmon says he sees a better rebounder and a player who isn’t shying away from playing in traffic. Blackmon’s early impression of Mosquera-Perea is that of a motivated, aggressive big man with the will to get better.

“If he keeps playing the way he is, if he keeps being consistent in how he is, it’s crazy the leap he took in a year,” Blackmon said.

Mosquera-Perea will be the lone big man on a team that will also look to find quality minutes from players like sophomore Devin Davis and freshman Emmitt Holt.

Davis, for one, could be poised for a big year. He doesn’t necessarily need to have a huge scoring output, but IU will need consistency from Davis on the glass. If the team’s trip to Canada is any indication, Davis appears ready to make that jump.

So, while Indiana moves on from having a true and established frontcourt presence in Noah Vonleh or Cody Zeller, Mosquera-Perea feels he’ll have help from some of the guys behind and around him.

“I feel good about that,” Mosquera-Perea said. “I like that. We have players like Devin, like Jeremiah (April), we’ve got Emmitt, Devin. We all know he can rebound the ball and he’s a good player. Not having Noah or Cody here can push us to get better and do all we can to help the team win.”

And with extended minutes, Mosquera-Perea recognizes the need to stay out of foul trouble, too.

“I believe I can be that guy,” he said. “Just moving my feet, being quick, things like that. Rebounding, just do what I can do.”

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