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Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Quick Hits
The start of the season is almost here! Iowa's annual media day is set for tomorrow, and Friday night's practice will be open to the public.

In another sure sign that it's almost basketball season, an Iowa newspaper wrote an article about the team that didn't focus on Pierre Pierce! Andrew Logue explores parallels between Greg Brunner's basketball career and his obsession with movies.

Brunner drew quite a bit of attention in the offseason for dropping about 20 pounds, and was not at all hesitant to shoot threes during the summer Prime Time League. So, here's the question of the day - Do you think his smaller size and diversified offensive game will hamper his effectiveness as a rebounder?
I think dropping 20 pounds is just what he needed. I thought as the season wore on he showed signs of wear and by carrying 20 less pounds he shouldn't wear down as quickly. That also means more minutes because most of his fouls were the "tired" fouls - you know, you're too tired to move so you reach or do something you wouldn't do if you were fresh.

Also, I think getting him away from the basket will help. He is actually a bit undersized for a power forward, especially at the next level. It should give other power forwards fits trying to guard him on the perimeter, especially when it comes to boxing him out; he'll have a lot more room to maneuver to get to the basket.
It might help him get to the next level, but it's not what this Iowa team needs from him. He's the one guy they had that can bang down low and get the tough inside baskets and rebounds. They HAVE shooters, they NEED strong inside players. He was their MVP last year, if he's truly wants to help the team rather than just improve his NBA chances (and for the record if he just trying to get ready for the NBA, whatever I don't care, just be honest about it) there was really no reason to dump all that weight and try to change his game. We'll see how effective he is once the season get's started, but I think it's a bad idea.
I'm definitely in Bill's camp on this one. It's hard for me to see a player in better shape being less effective. It's not like he was losing muscle mass - he just finally decided to eat healthier. He still looked pretty strong (and durable) this summer in the PTL.

But I hope Greg doesn't get too far from the lane, because a lot of his value comes from putting back misses and from getting to the free throw line.
I think it'll ultimately make him a more effective player, so long as he still can use his body to create space for himself. I remember him struggling at times defending against quicker players, and I'm sure losing weight will help with that.

The part about shooting threes is just as important, but its impact will largely depend on Erik Hansen's effectiveness. If Hansen miraculously picked up the 20 pounds Brunner lost and developed some post moves, I could see him having some nice isolation opportunities, similar to how OSU and Illinois create chances for Dials and Augustine by parking the other four players on the perimeter. It's a personal theory that this is why so many top teams have guys at the 4 who can shoot the 3 (pardon the pun). However, if Hansen continues to be a non-factor on offense, the Hawkeyes will be better served by having Brunner hang out near the basket, rebound, and give some inside scoring.
Well yeah, if Hanson has magically tranformed himself into Wilt Chamberlin over the offseason then I'm all for Brunner slimming down and shooting threes, but I'm operating under the assumption that he's going to continue to be a one-dimensional shot-blocker, who's too skinny to bang on the inside and who will probably have fouled out by the second half anyway. In that situation they need someone who provides a low post presence and rebounder, and Brunner was that guy. I think losing some of his bulk probably hurts, especially since he's undersized.
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