Click here to view the player profile of John Brandenburg
The University of Virginia hopes that DeSmet Jesuit (St. Louis, MO) center John Brandenburg can be an answer to its low post needs next season, and this opportunity was one reason why the 6-11, 235-pound senior signed a letter of intent with the Cavaliers in November. Brandenburg, rated a 4-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com, chose Virginia over Stanford, Missouri and Wisconsin, among others. And he is the latest subject of “Q&A.”
Brandenburg suffered through an injury-plagued junior season, but he rebounded with a promising season on the AAU circuit and has played solidly in his senior season. Though 20 games, the talented big man is averaging 11.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. In last Friday’s win, Brandenburg only scored eight points but had eight blocks in a 50-33 win over Hazelwood Central. He scored 16 points on 8-10 shooting in the previous game, a 60-42 win over previously unbeaten Parkway South.
Brandenburg has helped DeSmet rattled off four straight victories and the team is now 12-8 heading into tonight’s contest versus Borgia.
Q&A with John Brandenburg
TheSabre.com: Can you reflect a little bit on the recruiting process?
John Brandenburg : “At first, it is crazy. So many schools come at you. In the end, a big part for me was academics. That is why I narrowed it to Stanford and Virginia. It just came down to which basketball program I liked the best. I would go from leaning to one school to leaning to the other. It was crazy. I’m really happy with the way I chose my school and the choice I made.”
TheSabre.com: You narrowed your list to Virginia in Stanford in August before making a decision in October. Did any other schools try to get in the picture after you had narrowed it to those two?
John Brandenburg : “Florida and UCLA came in at the end. UCLA never offered, but Florida did. But you kind of get turned off early when those schools weren’t as interested as others were earlier in the process. The relationships aren’t as close, either. I had developed much closer relationships with the coaches at Virginia and Stanford.”
TheSabre.com: Are you excited about Virginia’s recruiting class?
John Brandenburg : “I know a little bit about Sylven just going off of articles I’ve read. I’m excited to play with him. It will be good to have a tall wing player that can score from the outside. That opens things up inside.”
TheSabre.com: Have you been able to see Virginia play this year?
John Brandenburg : “I haven’t been able to see too many games, but I did see the game against Syracuse where Sean Singletary was sick. I’m so excited when I can watch the games, seeing the energy and how everybody plays.”
TheSabre.com: Summarize how your team has done so far this season. And how do you feel about your performance?
John Brandenburg : “We started off a little slow, but now the team is playing pretty well. I’m playing better. I didn’t think I was getting the ball a lot at first, but I worked on it and I’m calling for it more now.”
TheSabre.com: Talk about the kind of offense your team runs and the role you play in that system.
John Brandenburg : “We run a high-low offense. We have two wings. We have one high post guy and one low post guy. Earlier in the season, the guards would throw the way where I’d have to go high all the time. We switched it up so I can go low most of the time, now. I try to get myself into good position to score. In high school, if I’m five feet from the basket then no one can stop me.”
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