DeSmet's Brandenburg Talks Mizzou

There are plenty of high school basketball players out there who average more points on a nightly basis than John Brandenburg does. The fact of the matter, though, is that there aren't many players who will be more heavily recruited in the class of 2008 than the 6-11 big man from DeSmet in Creve Coeur. Even if his offense still needs some work.

A fluid post player who runs very well, cleans the glass and serves as an intimidating shot blocker, Brandenburg understands that adding to the offensive side of things will only make him more complete and thus more desirable as a prospect.

"I need to polish up my offense, a lot of it is just slowing down, too often I'm in a rush," said Brandenburg. "If I can work on my offense and get it down like that I'll be a solid player."

Last month, Brandenburg hit the tournament trail with his usual summer team the St. Louis Eagles. Playing in front of throngs of college coaches during the open evaluation period of April, he feels he held his own.

"During April I think I did well, in Houston and Vegas I think I played well," Brandenburg told Inside Mizzou. "We were playing well as a team and I was running and people were finding me for easy baskets."

Well spoken and personable off the court, it comes as no surprise that the 17 year old is also a standout in the classroom. According to Brandenburg he's got a final five that includes Missouri, Florida, Wisconsin, Virginia and Stanford. Of those five, all but Florida have offered a scholarship and for now they are on pretty even ground.

"It's pretty even, I like Missouri obviously because it's my hometown, or home state school," said Brandenburg. "Other than that, everybody is about equal."

Speaking more specifically in regards to Missouri, Brandenburg says that the Tigers coaching staff is selling him on helping to revive the hoops program.

"They are just saying I'm a player that can help take their team to a new level," said Brandenburg. "That they could really use me."

Like any other player in his position, Brandenburg hopes to one day play in the NBA and not surprisingly coaches have mentioned that they feel their program is the best place for him to prepare for the highest level of hoops. While that all sounds nice, the question is whether or not Brandenburg really views himself as a potential NBA player.

"I think with a lot of work I could do it, maybe," laughed Brandenburg. "But, if I keep playing the way I am I probably won't. I need to pick it up a little bit."

Dreams of the NBA aside, Brandenburg is more interested in focusing on his college decision. He'll continue to play with the St. Louis Eagles this summer and has picked up an invite to the prestigious NBA Players Association top 100 camp. After he's done with that, a decision should come shortly.

"Probably right after July," said Brandenburg of when to expect a decision. "After that every school that's seen me will have all of their opportunities and I'll know if they really want to go through with their offer."

Black & Gold Illustrated Top Stories