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New Recruit - Hans Brase.

As the head coach at the Hill School the past 11 seasons - coaching in the Mid Atlantic Prep League against future Princeton players Douglas Davis and Noah Savage for a school located less than 90 minutes away from Jadwin Gym - Seth Eilberg has a decent understanding of what is required to be a standout Tiger.

In 2012 Eilberg will send the Blues' senior big man Hans Brase to Princeton and Eilberg feels the strong, physical 6'9" forward has what it takes to succeed in the Ivy League.

Brase joins Edo Lawrence and Mike Washington, Jr. in what is shaping up to be a quality initial recruiting class for Mitch Henderson.

Eilberg and I discussed Brase at length this afternoon. Exclusive quotes and analysis plus links to player evaluations and videos can be found after the jump.

Brase was part of the Hill School's 2011 MAPL championship, averaging 13 points and 10 rebounds for the season. The Hill School went 16-9 overall, winning six of their last seven contests. In the title game against Hun, Brase more than held his own against a pair of big men that have since gone off to play at Tulane and UMBC.

Playing in one of the toughest prep divisions on the east coast, the balanced Blues sent five players to college basketball this year and Brase's classmate Josh Heyliger will also play collegiately. In 2011-12 Brase and Heyliger will lead their squad as co-captains.

"He's a tough kid," Eilberg said of Brase. "I think sometimes big guys who are skilled can get a little bit of a rap about how much they want to mix it up but Hans was our leading rebounder last year. When we needed a big rebound or we needed somebody at the back of the defense to take a charge or block a shot he was always willing to sacrifice his body in that regard. He led our team in charges and got our Charge Award for that."

Since his junior season ended Eilberg has seen Brase continue to develop his skill set, one that already includes a variety of post moves and the ability to shoot from distance. While growing an inch to 6'9" Brase has toned his frame from 235 pounds down to 220.

"[Hans is] a physical kid around the basket who can also step out and shoot the ball," Eilberg assessed. "He can shoot the three no problem, he had four of them in one game last year. Depending on who we played he was smart about when he positioned himself inside to take advantage of matchups or when he decided to pop out. I think as he continues to get comfortable out there and continues to improve, I've already seen big improvements from last year to this year in his perimeter skills, his fluidity, ballhandling and his passing."

"He can do some things away from the basket really smoothly that he couldn't do last year from his work this summer. He came back in great shape."

Eilberg envisioned Brase as fitting the mold of the "classic" Princeton big man.

"I think about the great big guys that have played at Princeton over the years, they were guys who could do a lot of different things well. They have to big and strong enough to defend good big guys on the other team," Eilberg recalled. "Hans can do that and has done that with the tough schedule we play and the competition he's gone against here. Offensively they've always been guys who can help run an offense by dribbling at people and handing the ball off or throwing backdoor passes. Guys who are athletic enough to cut hard themselves, screen people and read the defense off those screens. He can do all those things."

"There was a stretch this summer with the little bit of team camp we got to play where our point guard was injured. We gave Hans some reps handling the ball up top like that and he did just fine. That bodes well to his ability to put it on the floor efficiently and with a purpose."

At the Hill School Brase is used in a variety of ways.

"We keep it pretty simple," Eilberg explained. "Hans can beat people down the floor, he can beat them on the glass, he can post up and play with his back to the basket - he has a nice jump hook, and a couple of nice moves. He's really improved his left hand. He can drop-step and use his body to seal. He gets pretty rooted down there with good position and when we get him the ball low he can drop and dunk the ball on people."

"He can also screen and pop off of it off the ball or on the ball. Now the new thing for him is being able to trail the break and put it on the floor - either score on a one dribble pull up or drive to the basket without being out of control. He can operate the offense from up top handling the ball or setting people up off the pass," Eilberg continued. "He has some good experience doing that with us that will lead well to the kind of things that the Princeton offense necessitates its big guys being able to do well. I think he'll be well-prepared for the system there."

"With us you get a chance if you're a forward to do all kinds of stuff both inside and out. That's both fun for the kids and it is hard to guard when we do it well. It is a good way for guys like Hans to improve as an overall player."

Prior to the Hill School, Brase played at Gaston Country Day School in Gastonia, NC. The coach and Athletic Director at GCD knew Coach Eilberg and suggested that the Hill School might be a good fit for Brase's development.

"They recognized that it would serve Hans well and he was ready for a bigger challenge athletically and academically," Eilberg recalled. "His own coach, who would have loved to have had him one more year recommended he take an extra year."

Brase repeated his junior year in 2010-11 and will be a senior this season, not a post-graduate player.

As a senior, Eilberg is looking for continued development out of Brase that will ease his transition to the college game.

"He's constantly working to improve his athleticism," Eilberg explained. "He's already a very athletic kid. He plays tennis and he can move at his size. I think just the explosiveness of getting back up a second time a little quicker and some agility stuff will serve him well at the college level being able to rebound outside his area and becoming an even more dynamic defender."

"I'd like to see him continue to improve his left hand. He has a good left hand and he needs to use that jump hook more as he gets scouted. He should take advantage when he's forced to his left." Eilberg also said he would like Brase to continue to improve his ability to put the ball on the floor and his face up three point shooting, something he works on with every player.

Eilberg views Brase as perfect for Princeton on and off the court.

"He's going to be a good fit there with his combination of athletics, academics and his intellectual curiosity," said Eilberg. "I think he's a good fit for Princeton socially and will fit in great on campus and with the team. His teammates will like him because he's unselfish and cares about the team above all else, works hard and has fun."

"Hans is a skilled player who has just continued to improve here because he works hard at it and really loves to play. He's a really good person, a humble, kind kid who is very fun with his teammates. He has a real joy for both the game and life. As people get to know him they'll find out he cares deeply about the right things: His teammates, education, the game of basketball and family. I think being at the Hill School has helped him turn into a fine young man."

"While there is an adjustment to college basketball, I think he has the ability to be a very good player right away," Eilberg affirmed. "As people get to see him and get to know him basketball-wise they'll see he has the ability to impact that team in a way."

While there aren't a lot of videos of Brase on-line, I did uncover the above highlights versus Blair Academy. He's wearing #30 in dark blue, jumping center.

Scout sees Brase as a two star recruit, listing an offer from North Florida.

Brase has a meager ESPN profile.

This message board claims an offer from UNC Charlotte.

247 Sports said:

The versatile forward looked very solid this weekend knocking down shots from the perimeter and finishing with power inside. The 6-foot-8, 220-pound prospect moves extremely well getting up and down the court and has the ability to take the ball from the wing and finish with contact at the rim. Brase could be a combo forward at a low major program or end up being a skilled power forward for a mid major school. He holds offers from Princeton, North Florida, Charlotte, Penn, Presbyterian and UNC-Greensboro among others right now.

Eilberg added that Brase "had 15+ scholarship offers including Lafayette, Colgate, ECU and Wofford."

On the AAU circuit Rivals wrote:

While Meeks gets most of the attention for Team United, 2012 power forward Hans Brase is no slouch in his own right. Brase can score down low with a solid touch, is mobile enough to guard on the perimeter, and showed an ability to rebound the ball in traffic. He isn't an elite athlete, though he is athletic enough, and his hands are very reliable. A re-classified player it seems that Brase is just now coming into his own as a prospect.

Brase was the subject of a short profile last fall. The same site updated Brase's status in May.

At Gaston, Brace was selected first team all-Southern Piedmont Athletic Association.

This March Brace was one of nine players named first team all-MAPL. He also took home honorable mention all-area honors.

Brace made the all-tournament team of the Mercer Tournament, where the Hill School finished third last December.

HoopScoop saw Brase as the 406th-best player in his class nationally as of last November.

Following the 2011 Underclassmen Game, a web site stated:

[Brase] played very well in finishing at the rim and have a sweet touch in shooting ability.

NERR added:

One of the few offensive bright spots for Hill on Sunday, the 6’9” forward showed the ability to step out and stretch the defense with five threes and a team-high 17 points. A highly-skilled, mobile player, Brase works hard to establish position on the interior and is efficient scoring and passing the ball when getting consistent touches on the block.

Wrote Rivals' Brian Snow on Twitter:

# Sleeper 2012 big man Hans Brase can really play... 6'8 with an inside-outside game... Quite impressive

Hoop Group said about Brase after a game at the HG Elite Team Camp:

...a strong-bodied post who isn’t afraid to battle on the blocks. He rebounds exceptionally well and will finish while being fouled. In press break, he plays up top and proved he can handle the ball as well.

I'm sure you'll enjoy knowing that in an exhibition win over the Penn JV, Brase scored 22 points for the Hill School.

Jon Solomon said,

October 10, 2011 @ 10:44 pm

Ps. The previous Hill School player to attend Princeton was Noah Levine, who left the team early in the 2005-06 season.

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