Big 10 Tourney Preview: Greg Brunner

Iowa Power Forward Greg Brunner met with the media Monday for the last time before heading to the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis this weekend. The Charles City native talked about his injured ankle, the league MVP race, the media waiting in Indiana, winning a rebounding title and more in the HN.com Premium Quotebook.

Is this the least stressful Big Ten Tournament you guys have been to?

Yeah. It's the best Big Ten Tournament since I've been here. And yes because now we're playing for seeding and trying to get a championship.

I also would like to say something. I skipped over somebody in my speech and I feel horrible. Coach Forsythe, my high school coach, I had him on my sheet. I didn't forget him. I overlooked him. If you could write something, Coach Forsythe and his family and Ron Turner, those guys are the reason that I've been successful because they put in the hard work helping me understand the way that I should play. I would appreciate it if you could write that in there for me. When I saw him, I felt so bad. He's the guy that I call after every game. He was at the game, too. I looked over after I handed the mic away and I was like, "Oh, no." I felt bad. I want to make sure that get it out there that he's one of the reasons that I've been successful.

How's your ankle?

It's sore, but what can you do? It's swollen, but we'll move it out. I'll be fine for Friday.

Is it sprained?

Yeah, it's sprained.

Is it comparable to other injuries you've had?

It's just a normal sprain. Streify and I have been hanging out, best friends, trying to get it better right now.

Are you concerned that three days of constant play you could do more damage to it?

No. It's just going to swell up. It's just part of college basketball. You have to play through that pain. If it every gets too sore, which I doubt, I'd just get a shot and it would be fine. You can't really do anything worse to it.

How high of an NCAA seed do you think you can get?

I don't know. I want to say a four or a three and hopefully if everything happened right it be a two. I doubt that. A four or a three would be a perfect seed for us.

What about Michigan and Minnesota?

They're totally two different teams. They're both great teams. They've both given us a lot of problems in the past. We just have to play our style of basketball. That's all it's about in the Big Ten Tournament is not playing the way your opponent plays and make sure you play your style and try to take away what they do.

Is that what you guys have to do not knowing who you play?

Exactly. We just work on our stuff and tune it up and make sure we go in the right direction.

Do you have a preference of the two?

Ah, no. I don't really have a preference. They're both very dangerous. Either way it's going to be a fight. Those are two of the teams that I didn't really want to see. That's part of it, I guess.

Is it match-ups with those two teams?

Honestly, I don't want to play any of the teams in the Big Ten. I would like to go straight to the final game and say that we get a bye.

Hypothetically, who presents a tougher challenge, Michigan State or Illinois?

Oh, I don't want to answer that. I'm not even worrying about them. They're both just dangerous teams. We played them both during the season so you can go by that, I guess.

How do you approach the Big Ten Tournament? You've been through this before.

You start over 0-0 again. The season is over with. There is no margin for error. Everybody is equal and everybody's out there to start the new season with a win.

You're going back to Indiana, coach's home state, do you think there will be more media attention given what's going on over there?

There's media attention everywhere. It's all over all the news. We haven't let it bother is yet. So, we'll stay away from that, too.

How do you feel about winning the Big Ten rebounding title?

It's nice to finally be up there on the top spot. I was No. 2 for two years. We'll just keep working hard. I'll try to get the whole season one, too.

How do match the intensity of say a Minnesota that needs to win to get in?

We understand it because we've been in the same situation three years in a row. We understand that you have to match that intensity because if you don't you're going to get beat. It's do or die now.

Who's the league MVP this year?

That's tough. Dials probably has the vote because his team won it. Dials and Foster, those are two superb players.

What about you?

I've seen my name up there with it. I'm just happy to be there. There are so many good guys across this league. I could care less. Just being a member of the first or second team is an honor.


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