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Basketball Recruiting

Top-20 incoming junior Gus Yalden talks his recruitment

July 3, 2021

He’s moved from nearly three states and has attended now multiple powerhouses, well-known as The Gus-Bus, 2023’s Gus Yalden is one of the more intriguing prospects in the incoming sophomore class. 

The 6-foot-8 forward is now enrolled at IMG Academy after attending Mater Dai his freshman season. Many ask why the moves keep occurring and it’s due to his family's line of work, but now enrolled in Bradenton, Yalden has found a comfortable spot on this loaded IMG Academy squad who had a very nice year this past season, despite the COVID-19 circumstances.

“Roster is loaded for sure. I love the school and can honestly say I’m blessed to have the opportunity to work with the coaching staff, strength and conditioning coaches, and to compete on the court with some really special players.”

Yalden took full advantage of the live period being underway.

He took several unofficial visits including ones to Wisconsin, Iowa, Iowa State, Louisville, Nebraska, amongst others. Plus, Yalden used the June 15th contact period to his advantage as well and heard from over twenty different college programs.

So, let’s learn more about Yalden’s recruitment as he discussed it with

Which schools are heavily involved?

“I hear from Gonzaga, Iowa, Nebraska, Butler, Louisville, Marquette, Virginia, Rutgers, Ohio, Wake Forest, Auburn, and Wisconsin the most.”

Any new schools?

“This week Coach Kelsey from College of Charleston offered me a scholarship, and Clemson, Notre Dame, and Michigan State all reached out as well.”

Louisville, what’s their pitch, and how was the visit?

“Coach McMains is bringing some exciting updates to Coach Mack’s offense that fit a player like me. The new basketball housing that will be attached to the practice facility and the upgrades to the practice facility is going to be dope. I really liked Coach Kettler, honestly the strength and conditioning coach- regardless of the program- has got to be a good fit especially for me because that dude (or lady) will have a huge impact on my success. Coach Kettler spent time explaining the program and goals he would have for me individually.

Coach Mack highlighted the conference, the capacity crowds, no pro sports teams, and of course the in-state rivalry with Kentucky and the success a player like me could have at Louisville. The visit was impressive and all the people I met on campus made me feel welcomed and really got me hyped about the Louisville Basketball program.”

Go in-depth on your visit to Wisconsin.

“Spent most of the morning with Coach Krabbenoft and Asst. Basketball Operations Kyle Blackburn. It was more like a tour of the facilities and campus on the golf cart. Coach Krabbenoft talked about culture, the guys on the team, and the family atmosphere the Wisconsin Basketball program provides. They have a new strength and conditioning coach this year, he came over from men’s hockey and when we were talking, Coach Grenada stopped in to say hello to me- that was incredible since I grew up playing hockey and am a huge fan of his.

Coach Alveraz saw us on the football field during the tour and he called to us from his balcony so I also got to go up to his office and meet him and hear about the winning tradition at Wisconsin, he was a huge part of that so that was really cool. Also got to meet new AD, Chris McIntosh. We all picked up our own lunches at the Rathskeller and ate outside at the union, afterward we met with Coach Gard in his office at the Kohl Center. Coach Gard reminded me that he considered me a Wisconsin kid and one of their own, how my game was similar to Frank Kaminsky, the dynamic offense that can be adjusted to the players in the roster, and how I would fit into all of that. It was a great visit.”

Nebraska, your thoughts on Coach Hoiberg’s program are?

“You could just tell that Nebraska basketball is up for some big changes. Coach Hoiberg is leading my recruiting and he showed me exactly what I needed to see on campus. We saw the sports science center, the plans for the new student athletic and academic center. I met the strength and conditioning coach who had just moved there and knew Coach Hoiberg from his time with the Timberwolves. Coach Joseph shared his plan for me and his message to me about my strength and conditioning program if I were to commit to Nebraska was really powerful.

The practice facility is new and has everything you could want as a player, I got to meet a few of the players while we were there. My biggest takeaway came during the film session when Coach Hoiberg and Coach Loenser. They walked me through how I would be utilized at Nebraska. Had the chance to review old George’s Niang clips and also clips from last season and how my game and abilities would translate. Coach Hoiberg is a winner and a competitor and I could tell how much passion he has for Nebraska Basketball and how hard he is going to work to make that program special.”

Working on more visits?

“The first week of August we are going to try and catch Wake Forest and Auburn and then also Virginia and Gonzaga.”

Summer goals?

“Win Peach Jam with CP3 - which would be pretty incredible especially with Chris Paul in the finals this year. Continue to get healthy, really focus on my rehab and my strength and conditioning. Finish my summer German class, and my AP summer prep before August 15 and hang out with my elementary school friends back in Kearney in between tournaments and college visits.”

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