Coach talks about Breunig visit to UW

Dawgman.com spoke Monday afternoon with Brian Richert, Head Coach at St. John's Northwestern Military Academy in Delafield, Wis. Richert is the head coach of Martin Breunig, a 6-foot-9, 225-pound forward, who initially signed with Maryland for the class of 2011, but is now looking around after a coaching change. He arrived for a visit to Washington Monday.

We got Richert's thoughts on Breunig as a player, person, and why Washington has jumped to the top of his recruiting wish list.

On Breunig - "He's a 6-foot-9 wing player. Played for the German Junior National Team. He played down in the post a lot for them. He came to us to learn some perimeter skills. He played a lot on the perimeter for us, the wing…he played the 3-4 spot. He's extremely athletic for a young man coming out of Germany. Usually they are the fundamental kids, the light out shooting-type kids, but this kid is extremely athletic. I'll put him up against anyone in a slam-dunk contest. He's that gifted of an athlete.

"He's long, he can step out. With his 6-9 frame and being so athletic, we used him a lot in pick-and-pop situations…we used him in the post here and there, but I think at the next level, at the four spot he's going to be a mis-match. Who are you going to put on a 6-9 kid that can come out and shoot the ball pretty well, and then post up? He can run the floor…he's the full package, there's no doubt about it.

"If there's any weakness there, it's that he needs to continue to get stronger. He's put on about 15 pounds since he's been here, and he needs to continue to develop his perimeter game. There's not a lot of weaknesses; I think he just needs to improve a little bit."

On his reported weight - "I'd put it at 225 range right now…it fluctuates a lot. He's putting on some strength now that our season's over, and we have a strength coach. My guess is that he'll be about 230 when he gets there (to college)."

On his age - "He's either 18 or 19, I can't remember which one."

On where he projects in college - "I do see him more as a wing because he can step out, and he can shoot the ball pretty well. If a coach needs him down there, he can do it because he's played it pretty much all his life…but I think for him to really, really help a team some day, I think his perimeter skills and wing position can really really help at the next level. I'm not really that familiar with a lot of Washington's style of play, and we're doing our research - but if they need someone who can step out at the 6-9 range, he doesn't have a problem with that."

On what attracted Breunig to UW - "Detlef Schrempf, coming from Germany - that's a plus. He's looking for a top program. He committed to Maryland, signed a letter of intent at Maryland, and they had the coaching change there. When the coaching change happened, he wanted to go to another top program. He's probably got 20 to 25 of them calling, but there's something intriguing about Washington. He knows they have very talented guards there, and that was very intriguing to him. He figures that the better the guards, the better the chances that he'll get the ball. The first year, he'll play a role - and he knows that. Eventually, he wants things to be run through him, but that's later on in his career. He's humble and quiet and doesn't get inflamed - but he does get angry in games. He wants to do his best. But I think the guards were the intriguing part to him."

On understanding the importance of guard play as it pertains to his success - "It speaks volumes of him. Every freshman wants to go in and contribute, there's no doubt about that. He wants to do that, but he also understands that the focus of that team is the guards, and he's going to do whatever it takes to play a role. Whatever he's going to do, whatever the coaches want him to do, he's going to do…rebound, defend, screens…he's in for it."

On how much he knew about the Washington coaches before Breunig started showing interest - "I'm getting to know them, our coaching staff is getting to know them. We talked to them at length today, they introduced themselves to us. We shared some thoughts together…they are good people. And the main thing I really wanted to tell (Martin) is to go somewhere where they are good, quality coaches and quality people - and Washington is that. There's no doubt about that. Not only do they win games and they are a great program, but they do things the right way. And that means a lot to us."

On the timing of potentially signing again, with just two days left before the end of the 2011 signing period - "When we talked today - actually he's at Washington as we speak. We did talk a little bit in my office today. He's being very careful. He had a little bit of a situation with Marquette when he got here, and that didn't work out. And then he goes to Maryland and that didn't work out because of the coaching change. Right now he's wants to make sure it's the spot before he makes a commitment. He has a high, high interest in Washington - no doubt about it. But he's going to be very, very careful this time in selecting a school. Will he commit? I can't speak for him. I don't know. I told him, go with your gut. If your gut says it's the place, that's the place. If your gut says you should go on another visit, go on another visit."

On Breunig's english being a problem with communication - "It is and it isn't. Basketball-wise, it isn't. If anything, it's writing the English language that gets to him. He can understand normal conversation. He understands all the slang words. He's ok with English speaking, it's the spelling and writing that he's short a little bit right now. He is getting a lot better. When he first got here, he struggled with it."


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