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IU needs to rebound better


Junior guard Kevin Yogi Ferrell takes a shot during the exhibition game against Indianapolis on Monday at Assembly Hall. Ben Mikesell and Ben Mikesell Buy Photos

The tallest player on the University of Indianapolis roster is 6-foot-7.

IU beat UIndy in its final exhibition game of the season. The Hoosiers won 76-63, like they were supposed to. The Greyhounds put in a great effort, but they just didn’t have the athletes to compete against a Big Ten team.

But one thing was very alarming. UIndy had 22 offensive rebounds. IU had nine. Like I said earlier, UIndy doesn’t have a single guy taller than 6-foot-7 on its roster.

This should worry IU fans. Coming into the season, rebounding was a hot topic of conversation with the absence of big men on the roster. Noah Vonleh went to the NBA. Luke Fischer transferred to ?Marquette.

Junior forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea was going to be ‘the guy’ down low — everybody knew that. He was going to anchor the frontcourt on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.

Mosquera-Perea is an athlete, and he has a large wingspan. He has the physical attributes to be a force down low and play much bigger than his 6-foot-9 frame.

I think he can be a good rim protector. But once those shots go up and the rebound is available to be snatched, I don’t know if he has the hands necessary to be an elite rebounder.

Seated near the west basket, I had an angle looking right under the basket.

When I see Mosquera-Perea go up for a rebound, it doesn’t look natural.

He has a great vertical leap, but often he fumbles the ball, even if for just a split second, which allows defenders to get their hands in there and knock the ball out, creating a mad scramble for the ball.

Some players are just better rebounders than others. It’s that simple.

You can practice all you want, and Mosquera-Perea is a junior now, but it’s just hard to develop a good pair of hands that stick to rebounds — a la Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Love.

Mosquera-Perea isn’t a bad rebounder, he just isn’t a great rebounder. But IU needs him to be a great rebounder, because he’s the best low-post player.

Now, let’s look at other options IU has attacking the glass.

Obviously, the suspension of sophomore forward Troy Williams hurts the rebounding. And the fact that the Greyhounds went 8-of-36 from behind the arc created a lot of long rebounds, which gave the offense a great opportunity to get some of those offensive ?rebounds.

But those shortcomings shouldn’t account for the University of Indianapolis getting 22 offensive rebounds on IU.

Freshman Rob Johnson had a great night on the boards with 10 total rebounds. With the lack of frontcourt depth, players who usually aren’t used to attacking the glass need to help out.

Players such as freshman guard James Blackmon, junior guard Nick Zeisloft and sophomore guard Stanford Robinson, when he comes back from his suspension, need to help out Mosquera-Perea.

Because players in the Big Ten are bigger than 6-foot-7.

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