MADISON, Wis. -- With the Wisconsin men's basketball team's season-opener approaching on Sunday, UWBadgers.com checked in with the team's four freshmen to get a little insight into their personalities and what they bring to the Badgers.
Today, we visit with Ben Brust, a 6-foot-1 guard from Hawthorn Woods, Ill.
TV: "Right now I'm hooked on '24' - I got done with season 1 in four days via Netflix - and 'Modern Family.'" Movies: "I'm a big movie guy. I like the Bourne trilogy and all kinds of action movies and comedies." Music: "I'm not a big music guy. Earth, Wind and Fire gets me going. I get my music influence from my dad. He's a disco dance teacher."
Why did you choose Wisconsin?
"To tell you the truth, when I was being recruited the first time, my sophomore year, it was really interesting, because I came here on a visit. Madison is a great place, academically it's good, it's somewhat close to home, but I can also get away. So it's good. Sometimes you just know when you see it. I went through the process, and when the opportunity came around, of course I'm going to jump right in."
What was your official visit like?
"It was in the spring. I went to Coach Ryan's house when he and his wife hosted an end of the year party for the seniors, Jason Bohannon and Trevon Hughes. I signed that day, and it was a good experience."
How did you get to know your fellow freshmen?
"Duje and I played on the same travel team in sixth grade. Just being from around the same general area, we knew each other and we saw each other play. Josh, I think I played him growing up in AAU and I know I played Evan in AAU just because he's from Wisconsin and we were in the same tournaments.
"It was nice that this summer, all four of us got to spend time together. In summer school we stayed in the same place and I roomed with Evan. It was good to get to know them and have that comfort level. They're good guys to be around and good guys to go to work with."
What's the strongest part of your game?"Probably scoring and being able to read and react to what's happening. Maybe shooting, too."
What do you most want to work on?"My defensive game and staying consistent by not taking any plays off and always being into the flow of the game."
What's your go-to shot in H-O-R-S-E?"I would say just long-range shots. Keep backing up until they can't make it."
Since Coach Ryan leaves the decision to his players, what are your thoughts on redshirting?"Right now I'm just going to practice, working hard every day and trying to do whatever I can to help the team. When that time comes, I'm sure we'll talk about it, but right now my goal is to try and get out there and help the team."
What was more rewarding, being named all-state or to the Academic All-America team?"Definitely the Academic All-American award."
What's the longest shot you've ever made?"I made a three-quarter-court shot in a game last year."
So, how far out does your comfort range extend?"I'm not sure. I guess it depends on the game and how it's going."
You have siblings who've played college sports. What advice have they given you?"My brother, Stephen, went to Elite Eight in soccer (playing at Bradley) and `I have to beat him,' he says. It's good that I have family that cares, and I'm sure they'll be there to keep giving me advice."