HARLAN — Highlights featuring two-time NBA All-Star Baron Davis had Iowa State men’s basketball coach Steve Prohm feeling optimistic about the newest addition to his team.
Within minutes of arriving at the first stop of the annual Cyclone Tailgate Tour on Monday, Prohm spoke of a social media post regarding Davis that piqued his interest. He sought out some clips of the former UCLA and New Orleans Hornets star.
“He was dunking on everybody,” Prohm said. “Then I started thinking, man, he had an ACL (tear). Maybe one, I don’t know, two?”
Davis’ injury was actually an ACL and MCL tear with a partially torn patellar tendon. And that’s where Hans Brase, a Princeton graduate transfer who officially signed with Iowa State on Monday, comes into play.
Brase, a 6-foot-8 and 235-pound forward, has played in only five games over the last two seasons because of tears to his right ACL in back-to-back years. How Brase’s knee holds up in his lone season in Ames is a mystery, but it’s not something that is worrying Prohm.
“When he came, his knee got a great, great bill of health. I think he brings something we really need,” Prohm said. “That’s experience and skill, and he can score around the basket. He can really stretch the defense and knows how to play in pick and roll and has a really good basketball IQ.”
After missing his senior season to a knee injury, Brase came back after redshirting and started the first five games last season. He scored seven of the first nine points Nov. 29 at VCU before going down with a torn ACL in the same knee. Surgery, Prohm said, went better the second time and Brase is in the midst of rehab.
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“The training wheels as you might say in rehab are starting to come off. I’ve started to jog and do more basketball activities,” Brase told The Gazette on Sunday. “This past week I’m four months out of surgery, so from now on it’s more of kind of trial by fire type of thing.
“I’ll slowly do more and more activities, more and more running and then kind of just go from there as my body reacts to it.”
Iowa State’s returning post play is limited to sophomore Solomon Young. Putting Brase alongside him gives the Cyclones some height, but the Clover, S.C., native is more than just an around the basket player — he averaged more than 11 points per game in his last two full seasons.
Brase is a career 34.9 percent 3-point shooter and in 2014-15, his last full season, he averaged 7.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He prides himself on being able to do a little bit of everything, which fits in with how Prohm wants his players to be.
“I like to think of myself as being versatile,” Brase said. “If I have a bigger guy that’s a little bit less apt to guarding on the perimeter, I like to take him outside on the perimeter. I can pass, dribble, shoot. I do enjoy mixing it up down low, but I like to get my teammates involved.
“Just being able to space the floor, especially nowadays with the way basketball as a whole is trending. It definitely suits my playing style.”
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