The Hoosiers put to rest questions about the eligibility of two of their incoming freshmen.
There had been speculation that Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin hadn’t met eligibility standards. Given the loss of Ron Patterson this summer because of academic issues, the questions could have overshadowed the beginning of the season for top-ranked IU.
But an IU spokesman said Wednesday that “everybody’s playing” in tonight’s exhibition game against Indiana Wesleyan — except injured Derek Elston and transfer Jonny Marlin, of course.
Now the Hoosiers can focus on integrating Mosquera-Perea, Jurkin and fellow freshmen Yogi Ferrell and Jeremy Hollowell into the lineup of the nation’s top-ranked team.
“Our team is really excited to get out and play,” assistant coach Steve McClain said. “You go through the preseason, you go through all the long practices, and now it’s an opportunity to see a new opponent.”
The Hoosiers have never faced Indiana Wesleyan, which returns four starters from last season and is ranked No. 4 in the NAIA Division II men’s basketball poll.
The Wildcats opened the season on Tuesday with a 91-74 win over St. Xavier (Ill.), ranked 14th in the D-II poll. Three players scored at least 20 points each, led by Jordan Weidner’s 28.
“They play fast,” McClain said. “They share the ball, they take good shots.
“You’re not playing a team that has one or two good players, they have four returning starters.”
The Hoosiers want to play fast, share the ball and take good shots too, and return all five starters from last season.
Not that the freshmen won’t get a chance to showcase their skills.
“Beating up on these guys for so long in preseason, now we get a chance to go up against some other competition,” Ferrell said. “So we’re not going to take this lightly, we’re going to go out and hit them in the mouth first.”
Apt words from Ferrell, who somehow picked up the nickname “Tank” from assistant coach Kenny Johnson.
It doesn’t seem truly indicative of Ferrell’s speed, an asset that has him battling incumbent senior Jordan Hulls at point guard.
The two should see some time together on the court as well.
“When we’re on the court at the same time, I drive, I tell (Hulls) to space out,” Ferrell said. “I’m always looking for him; if someone leaves him, that’s a bad thing for them. I’m going to find him for sure. I know he can knock down the jumper.”
“He’s going to play a lot. He’s going to be a huge impact on why we win,” Victor Oladipo said of Ferrell. “He’s ready.”
So are the Hoosiers.