Jeremiah April, Facebook friends and more from Tom Crean’s radio show

There are no more physical limitations for Indiana freshman center Jeremiah April. He’s practicing, he’s scrimmaging and he’s waiting to earn a place in IU’s playing rotation.

His teammates are trying to get him there.

IU coach Tom Crean said on his weekly radio show Monday that April’s teammates are pushing him harder in practice when he’s not in the right spot or doesn’t rotate the right way.

Crean likes that.

“Once the players think you can help them, then they get a little bit harder on you,” Crean said. “I think that’s what he needs right now. It’s just one of those situations. Is he ready for Pitt (Tuesday) night? I’m not sure about that, but we’ve got to get him ready and get him closer and closer to it.”

April has been mostly limited since suffering an ankle injury during the summer. He was unable to participate during Indiana’s trip to Montreal in August, and was not fully cleared to practice until a month ago.

April did not play in either of Indiana’s two exhibition games, but saw seven minutes on the floor during the Hoosiers’ season opener against Mississippi Valley State on Nov. 14. He has not played since that game.

“He’s got to really understand what we’re doing on both sides of the ball,” Crean said. “Especially when it comes to running the offense and sprinting up into the ball screens, and the post-up game and things like that. He’s making progress.”

— Longtime caller ‘Billy from Terre Haute’ phoned in to ask Crean the most important question of the night. Their exchange follows:

‘Did you get my friend request I sent you on Facebook?’ Billy asked.

“I don’t have Facebook, Billy.” Crean said.

‘Oh, you don’t?’

“No,” Crean said. “I know there’s been a few fake ones. I actually am not on any social media right now at all in the last four or five weeks, or so. I haven’t been on at all. Haven’t been on Twitter, haven’t read Twitter, and I don’t have Facebook. I’m sorry.”

— Crean touched on Hanner Mosquera-Perea’s development, saying that he has appreciated the junior’s steady progress since the end of last season.

Now, Crean said, Indiana needs to see Mosquera-Perea bring the intensity that he has in practice to game days. Through six games, Mosquera-Perea is averaging 8.2 points and 4.7 rebounds in 22.8 minutes per contest.

“He’s shown flashes of what he does in practice, in the games,” Crean said. “That’s why he’s had some pretty solid games. He’s had some double-figure games, some good defensive games, but he hasn’t quite done it all that way yet. That’s from a lack of experience and a little on the awareness side. We need him to go after more balls, run the court harder and move around more in the post, especially post defense-wise. As he gets more comfortable, he’s gonna become more of a post threat for us and I think that’s gonna start pretty soon.”

— Indiana has made three stops in a row only five times this season. Along with that, Crean says his freshmen are playing too many minutes because the team needs them on the floor in order to win games. The Hoosiers are not doing a good job of putting teams away when they get double-digit leads, so Crean says he needs his best players on the floor longer.

“It’s too many minutes, but that’s the way it is, especially in the case of Rob (Johnson), James (Blackmon Jr.) and even Yogi’s playing too many minutes for a perfect world,” Crean said. “… It’s the mental part that wears you down and that’s what we’ve got to continue to have them build through. They don’t have that kind of resolve yet. They don’t have that resolve to understand the kind of endurance they have to have, and the mental stamina that they have to have. You can’t just come out and play. You have to take things away.”