Purdue Pregame: Brunner, Haluska

First-place Iowa heads to West Lafayette on Wednesday for a nationally televised game with Purdue. Hawkeye Leaders Greg Brunner and Adam Haluska met with the media Monday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Find out what the duo had to say about their success and what remains for the Black and Gold in the HN.com Premium Quotebook.

ADAM HALUSKA

Have you been more emotional or animated recently as compared to the past?

We're just really excited right now. We're trying to go out there and get every win possible. A lot of guys are just really having a lot of fun. I know I am. It's always fun to win, but it's even more fun to win with this group of guys that we have, the seniors that are out there.

Are you making a conscious effort to be more emotional after that Michigan State loss?

You've got to be. We're putting our heart and soul into this season right now. We're sitting in a good position. Whatever the teams deals with, we're all playing to it. We have real good guys on this team. Everyone is feeding off one another.

What prompted the talk of going undefeated at home?

That was during the preseason when we started talking when we meet as a team. That was a major goal of ours along with trying to win the Big Ten, NCAAs. It's just one step here. We're still trying to do what we can.

Was it your idea?

It's kind of a collective decision. It's something we see as protecting home. It's not out of reach. Everybody is committed.

Do you have a goal for road games?

We're trying to do what we can here on the road. We're trying to get every win possible. We want to win every game, and we're going to go out there and fight like we're capable of.

Do you know how many teams have been undefeated at Carver?

No.

None

None? We'll see what we can do. We've got a lot of big games coming up. It's tough.

How important would it be for this team to go into the turn in first place?

It's essential if we're going to continue to try to win the Big Ten. Another road win would be nice. Coming off the road with a win against Purdue to play Michigan at home would be big. We just have to keep coming to play every day no matter where we're playing or who we're playing.

How has your game changed this year? Do you think you're different as a defensive player?

As a team, I think we're just a lot better. It's tough to say individually because everybody is just out there helping one another. It's not one man defending his own guy. A lot of times we get beat. It's great having Erek Hansen there stepping up making a big block. He saves us a lot of times.

What's your role on offense?

Individually, whatever comes. It's easy to see that a lot of guys are having big nights. If it's one of those nights where I've got to get guys like Erek the ball, than that's what I'll do. Everybody on this team is very unselfish and does whatever they can to get a win.

GREG BRUNNER

How does it feel to be the Ultimate Highlight on ESPN?

I haven't seen it. Everybody keeps telling me about it. I really want to see it. I'll have to look into that.

Adam has always been respectful of you and Jeff and the seniors. After games, he's always talking about you guys ahead of himself. Where does that come from?

It's his personality. He's from Iowa. That's just the way that a lot of Iowans are. Jeff and Adam are the same way. A lot of the guys on our team are the same way. They'd rather talk about their teammates than talk about themselves.

How does that make you feel?

He's an amazing person. That's why we've become such good friends. When somebody is like that, you can trust them and be friends with them for the rest of your life. It's a family for the rest of your life.

This goal of going undefeated at home is this the same goal you've had every year?

You always want to go undefeated at home. It's definitely one of our goals. It's never happened in Carver history. We really want to push for that. Plus, this year, we have a home court advantage. We've struggled the passed three years with that, rightfully so.

When did you find out that it has never happened before?

Coach talked about it before. We're getting close. I only have four home games left in my career here. I was talking about that with my girlfriend today. It's amazing. I remember when I came in as a freshman and all of the stupid things I did. Now, I'm done. We're getting close to the culmination of my career.

What do you think has turned it around with the student support and the fan support?

They really enjoy watching us. They're starting to pick up on trends that we have. They've bought into it. Similar to us buying into our defense, they have, too. Everybody likes Doug's dunks and everything like that. The students are getting even more loud when there's 10 seconds left on the shot clock and when we're knocking down our free throws. That's something that we've never had. A lot of years it's been highlights when people got really loud. Now, they're there to help us out.

It must be pretty rewarding after all you've been thought to finish up with the students caring.

Yeah. Very much so. We definitely want to hand this program off in the right way. We're definitely handing it off in the right direction. After this year, it's out of our hands. It's up to the younger guys now.

What's the key to playing better defense on the road?

We just need to make sure that we play our style of basketball. A lot of times when you're playing on the other team's home court, you get into their style. If we can continue to use our trends, that's going to help us a lot. I haven't been disappointed with the way that we play on the road, but we haven't played up to our caliber.

Do you know what jersey number Kevin Kunnert wore?

No. 44?

That's right.

He's a smart man. (laughter) It's one of those things. I will say that I've heard I'm getting closer. I don't know where I'm at. Somebody told me maybe a couple more games. I'll smile after. That's probably the most you'll get out of me for it.


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