2008 Intro: John Brandenburg

Many players around the country have a self-inflated opinion of themselves because people are constantly telling them how good they are. John Brandenburg is not one of them.

You've got to give John Brandenburg a lot of credit. He has high standards.

``I didn't think I played well at all," said the 6-foot-11, 225-pound DeSmet High (Mo.) sophomore. "I didn't take the ball to the basket strong., I was getting blocked and there were a lot of good athletes."

Welcome to the world of big-time AAU basketball.

However, Brandenburg was much better than he gives himself credit for. The young big man competes hard on almost every play and did some things that piqued the interest of some of the country's top coaches.

This is Brandenburg's first go-around with the St. Louis Eagles. Last season he suited up with Gateway, which didn't really travel to the national tournaments.

``I love it," Brandenburg said of his April experience in which he has gone up against some elite players. ``Going out there, competing and getting beat up. It gives me something to work on."

Brandenburg, who earned a 3.8 in the first semester, averaged a team-high 11 points a game on a balanced high school team this past season. He still needs to get stronger, but he's gained about 40 pounds in the past year thanks to a diet plan.

Brandeburg made it no secret that he'd like to follow his favorite player, North Carolina freshman big man Tyler Hansbrough, somewhere to the ACC.

Thus far, the interest has come from Missouri, Illinois, Clemson and Wake Forest. The offers: Southeast Missouri State and Southern Illinois.

``I'd really like to play in the ACC," Brandenburg said. "That would be nice."

That's not far-fetched at all, especially if Brandenburg plays up to his standards.

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