Butler-Indiana Preview

No. 1 Indiana, which has been playing short-handed all season,

is getting reinforcements.

On Saturday, 6-foot-8 forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea and 7-foot

center Peter Jurkin are expected to make their college debuts after

completing an NCAA-imposed nine-game suspension. All the Hoosiers

have to do now is figure out how to work the two freshmen into the

lineup against in-state rival Butler.

”I think it’s going to be sort of a game feel,” Indiana

associate head coach Steve McClain said. ”I think coach (Tom

Crean) has an idea in his mind of how he wants to do this.”

He’s just not saying what it is.

It’s not as if the Hoosiers (9-0) need more help. They lead the

nation in scoring (89.1 points) and victory margin (plus-31.7).

They are fourth nationally in rebound differential (plus-13.8) and

field-goal percentage (51.5). They even lead the Big Ten in

defensive field-goal percentage (35.3) and defensive 3-point

percentage (26.4) and have won every game by double digits.

Still, things were starting to get thin on the front line.

Derek Elston, a 6-foot-9 senior forward, had surgery Oct. 26 for

a torn meniscus in his left knee and though his recovery is going

well, he isn’t expected back until after Christmas. Last week,

sophomore forward Austin Etherington went down with a season-ending

fractured left kneecap.

So getting the two freshmen back now will help at this weekend’s

Crossroads Classic, a double-header featuring Indiana’s four

best-known basketball programs – the Hoosiers, two-time national

runner-up Butler and two more NCAA tourney regulars, No. 22 Notre

Dame and Purdue.

Mosquera-Perea and Jurkin were ordered to sit last month by the

NCAA, which determined the two had accepted improper benefits from

their AAU coach, Mark Adams. He provided them with $9,702 and

$6,003 in plane tickets, meals, housing, a laptop computer, a

cellphone and clothing. Mosquera-Perea was told to pay back

approximately $1,590 and Jurkin $250.

The NCAA said both players were qualified to receive the

benefits from AHOPE, the nonprofit organization Adams uses to help

international players obtain travel documents and cover travel

costs to the U.S. The problem was that Adams also was considered an

Indiana booster because he donated $185 to the Varsity Club from

1986-92, and boosters cannot provide benefits to players.

Now that they are with the team, it won’t be as simple as just

plugging Mosquera-Perea and Jurkin into a lineup that revolves

around national player of the year candidate Cody Zeller. McClain

said it may take a little time to figure it all out.

”Peter is a shot-blocker with length whereas Hanner is a

shot-blocker who can step out on the perimeter and guard a

perimeter player,” McClain said. ”They both can rebound on a high

level, so they bring a lot to the table.”

For the Bulldogs, it’s another opportunity to slay a basketball

behemoth in front of a national television audience.

Butler (7-2) captivated the nation by becoming the first school

in Indiana’s storied history to reach back-to-back championship

games in 2010 and 2011, and the Bulldogs are up to their old tricks

again. The Bulldogs have won four straight, five straight at

Bankers Life Fieldhouse and have already beaten Marquette, North

Carolina and Northwestern as rumors have spread that they may be

looking to leave the Atlantic 10 and join a new conference with

Marquette and other former Big East schools.

Athletic director Barry Collier declined to comment on those

rumors Friday.

One thing Butler hasn’t done yet: Beat a No. 1 team. In its only

other meetings with the nation’s top-ranked team, Butler lost at

DePaul in February 1980 and at Michigan during the 1964-65


This time, they’ll play Indiana five miles from the Butler

campus with a team that has steadily improved.

Butler’s game plan revolves around two new hotshot shooters –

Rotnei Clarke, the big-shooting guard who was an All-SEC player at

Arkansas, and Kellen Dunham. Plus, 7-foot senior Andrew Smith and

power forward Khyle Marshall have been playing better. Smith is

coming off a 24-point, 10-rebound game at Northwestern, maybe the

best game of his career, and Marshall has become an imposing inside


Coach Brad Stevens nearly had Zeller to go along with that

group, but he choose Indiana over Butler and North Carolina.

”They’re No. 1 for a reason, they’re very deep. I think they’ve

got great skill, great athleticism and a selfless superstar,”

Stevens said of the Hoosiers. ”I think they’ll be the team to beat

all the way through April.”