Greg Brunner, Iowa's 6'7", 240-pound heir apparent at power forward, is putting together a terrific senior campaign for the Charles City Comets. Is he still growing?
"I would like to think so, but I don't really know," he said.
Following a monstrous 47-point effort against Decorah, whom Greg described as "a team with lots of history of great players and great coaching," Brunner now averages over 25 points a game, and around 18 rebounds and 7 blocks. This terrific season has Brunner in hot contention for a spot in the McDonald's All-American Game, along with one of his best friends, Mason City senior point guard and future teammate, Jeff Horner.
Charles City is now 12-3, and ranked 8th in the state. "We started out ranked 4th in the state, but we lost 3 close games early, and we dropped out of the rankings (for a while)," said Greg. Luckily, the Comets have hit a hot streak en route to the upcoming playoffs.
Since the Comets play in Division 3-A in Iowa, which is quite a bit less competitive than the Big Ten, it would seem that a player from that league would need help adjusting and preparing for the next level. Greg has been fortunate to have help from many different sources in that respect.
"The biggest differences are physical maturity and experience. You have to mold your game," he said. Help in molding his game has come from playing in the AAU circuits with the Martin Brothers Select team, where he gained tremendous experience playing with Horner and against considerably harder competition. Not only did they have a difficult schedule, but the Martin Brothers team still managed to win the "Hoops In The Heartland" title.
Also, Greg's high school coaches recognized his tremendous potential, and helped him realize it during his high school career. "My sophomore year, the coaches told me I was out of shape. I worked hard on strength and conditioning; I joined the track team," which helped him adjust to playing outside." This commitment to getting in good basketball shape has helped Greg become the solid all-around player he is now.
"(Coach Alford)'s not afraid to tell me exactly what he thinks," said Greg. "I'll have to earn whatever I get." These high standards will help Greg keep his blue-collar style of play, and he's not likely to let it down, no matter what the team may be going through right now. "They'll get through it, I know they will. Some teams just take longer to get through their slumps. They've got a great team, very good talent, very good coaching, and I know they'll have a good season."
With tireless enthusiasm and work ethic, Greg will be bringing the right attitude to the Hawkeye team next year. He has a great tradition of winning, and it will most likely continue into the hallowed halls of Carver-Hawkeye Arena. We'd like to thank Greg for taking the time to answer our questions, and hopefully he'll keep in touch with the site over his career.