Hans Brase didn’t know many specifics about Iowa State before he started the process of leaving Princeton as a graduate transfer.
The 6-foot-9 forward from South Carolina had heard about the Cyclones’ three Big 12 tournament titles in four years and their six-consecutive trips the NCAA Tournament. He’d heard about former stars Georges Niang, Monte Morris and Deonte Burton, but that was as far as his knowledge of Iowa State basketball went.
Over the next several weeks, Brase learned more about the program, the school and everything Ames has to offer. The self-described “east coast kid” made his first trip to the Midwest in order to see it all for himself early last week.
On Friday, he finished the recruiting process by making his commitment to Steve Prohm and Iowa State.
“It was really a combination of a lot of different things,” Brase told Cyclone Fanatic in a phone interview on Saturday. “My relationship with Coach Prohm, obviously, the Big 12 being as strong as it is. Also, the fact that they lost a lot of production so there’s an opportunity for me to come kind of contribute right away.”
Brase saw his final season with the Tigers end after just five games, in which he averaged 6.4 points per game, when he suffered the second major knee injury of his college career. That came after he sat out all of the 2015-16 season due to a torn ACL.
He is now four months out after surgery and the rehab process has allowed him starting running and integrating more basketball activities into his workouts. It has been two full years since the Clover, S.C. native averaged 11.5 points and 7.5 rebounds while starting 20 games as a junior in 2014-15.
He’s hoping his one season in Ames will allow him to get back to, or better, that level of production.
“First thing is to get me healthy. Back to where I was before my injuries. Hopefully, beyond that, better than I was before,” Brase said when asked what would make his final college season a success. “On top of that, I’m a winner. I like to consider myself a winner and I like to be associated with winners. Winning is the top of my priorities after getting healthy. Once the team wins, kind of everything else in terms of accolades and individual and team goals take care of themselves.”
Brase will graduate from Princeton on June 6 then is set to arrive on campus the next day. He’ll start summer school and work camps with the Cyclones, but isn’t expected to be ready to play in the Capital City League.
On the bright side, arriving in Ames during the summer will allow him to get around his new teammates and start the process of getting acclimated to his new home. The acclimation process will be important if Brase is going to fulfill the first objective the coaching staff has for him.
“They see me fitting in first and foremost as the leader,” Brase said. “I come in with a lot of experience being an older guy, being a grad transfer and being through the things that I’ve been through. So both on and off the court just being a leader to a lot of the new guys and freshmen on how to carry themselves. Along with that as a player, I see myself as a versatile forward. Can play inside and out and I like to think I have a high IQ. Just play the game the right way.”