|This story originally published on HawkeyeInsider.com|
Aaron Brennan is a work in progress. College coaches are noticing those advancements.
The Class of 2014 forward from Indiana has unofficially visited Iowa, Michigan and Purdue this fall. Brennan is expected to attend a Butler practice at the end of this month and see Xavier at some point soon.
"It's just fun to go out there and look at the schools that are interested in me," the 6-foot-6, 200-pound Guerin Catholic (Carmel, IN) High product said. "It's neat to see the atmosphere of each school."
Brennan ran with the Hoopmatics AAU squad this summer. His play caught the attention of college coaches.
"He had a really good July," Hoopmatics Assistant Tony Leach said. "Some coaches took notice. Things have went from there.
"He's been one of our more active players in terms of going on visits. I know he likes Iowa quite a bit. I know he likes Michigan quite a bit, also. Purdue is just starting to step up their efforts."
Brennan said he still is awaiting his first scholarship offer. He's hearing similar things from the coaches recruiting him.
"They just say they want to get to know me a little bit better," Brennan said. "They want to meet my family. They want to watch me play this next year in high school."
Some players wait a while before taking visits. Brennan finds them useful now.
"That's a big part of it, just to feel comfortable," he said. "I also look at the coaches and how they coach. I think the atmosphere is a bigger part."
Brennan visited Iowa last weekend, when the football team played host to Northwestern under the lights.
"I really liked it," he said. "I felt like I was at home, almost. Everyone was nice, the people, the coaches and the players were extremely nice. It was a lot of fun."
Steve Brennan, Aaron's dad, also was encouraged by what he saw in Iowa City.
"Iowa has it going on right now," he said. "Coach (Fran) McCaffery was very impressive."
Aaron said he connected with McCaffery.
"He reminds me a lot of my high school coach," Aaron said. "We run almost the exact same practice as Iowa. Theirs is a lot more up-tempo and pushing the pace.
"He's real nice. He doesn't yell at you. He tells you what you're doing wrong and expects you to do it. I feel like that's nice."
Brennan said his trips to Michigan and Purdue also went well.
"Purdue is only like an hour away from my house," he said. "Michigan was four hours. (Wolverines guard) Stu Douglass went to the public school where I live at. I got to talk to him a little bit."
Brennan played power forward and center last season after being called up to the varsity as a freshman. He averaged about 5 points and 5 rebounds a game as a ninth-grader.
"This year, I'm going to be more of a small forward-power forward," he said. "I'll probably play a little bit of five just because we don't have a lot of height. I like playing in the post, but I feel like I'm more of a threat from the wing area.
"I can drive it or always dish out to a teammate. I can shoot it, too. My coach lets me shoot threes. He has enough confidence in me. It's not like I'm going to force a bad shot."
Said Leach: "He's got a nice stroke. He's got great form. He can knock down a three. He can play inside and out. He's got to work on his ball handling and creating his own shot. He crashes the boards real well. He's very sound fundamentally. He's got a nasty streak to him, too, though."
There's potential for Brennan to grow, which could change his status as a recruit.
"I just got braces a couple of weeks ago," Brennan said. "They had to do a scan on my neck and my neck growth plates were still open. About nine months ago, I twisted my ankle. They did a scan on my ankle. The growth plates on my ankle are still open, too. We're not exactly sure yet. They said anywhere between 0-4 inches."
Brennan said he's not in a rush to make a college choice when offers start coming in.
"I feel like I should wait and make my decision towards the end of my junior or start of my senior year," he said. "I'm just not really sure about anything yet.
"I feel like it will come down to how I fit with the coaches and players and what the school has to offer. All these schools that are recruiting me have great academics. If I get hurt and can't play basketball, I want to go somewhere where I know I'll get a good education."
Brennan said he is thinking of studying business in college.