Coach Braun Chat Wrap

Jan. 10, 2001

Ben Braun at 1:51pm ET
Welcome to the chat. Coach Braun just arrived and we'll be ready to go in a minute!

d2kbears from [], at 2:01pm ET
Given traditional powerhouses in the Pac 10 such as Stanford, UCLA, and Arizona, what are the challenges you face in trying to recruit blue chip players?

Ben Braun at 2:02pm ET
I think that gap is narrowing and we're finding that there are players from all over the country who want to attend an institution like Cal where the academics and athletics are at a high standard.

BearFan from [], at 2:03pm ET
Think you are doing a great job with your young team. Do you have specific goals for each player or is it an overall team thing?

Ben Braun at 2:05pm ET
We have both individual and team goals. Individual goals of player development and improvement, as well as growth and maturity. Team goals are to play as well as we can as a team, use our depth and play unselfishly.

BIGBEAR from [], at 2:05pm ET
Coach Braun,
Could you talk about the player from Chicago, Illinois (Gates) who is excelling in the classroom?

Ben Braun at 2:08pm ET
Dennis is a rare student-athlete today who has demonstrated excellence to the point that he is graduating at the completion of his junior year. I that's a credit to Dennis and his perservance and his dedication. Also it is an indication of the atmosphere at Cal, which promotes excellence at all levels. Dennis had a clear vision coming to Cal to excel in everything he did, and he has more than lived up to those standards.

Peter Wright from [], at 2:08pm ET
Is it true that after numerous attempts you still don't have a win in tennis over the Cal tennis coach?

Ben Braun at 2:10pm ET
That depends on who you ask. But since I'm doing this chat and not Peter Wright, I can tell you that I've earn at least a small victory against him, which I hope he still recalls.

Bear Force from [], at 2:10pm ET
You have one of the nations top recruiting classes signed and delivered for next season. What kind of impact do you forsee this group(Sensley, Sampson, Bond) having in their freshmen year?

Ben Braun at 2:13pm ET
We're excited about our incoming recruiting class and it's potential. All three players bring not only ability to the program, but also a winning tradition. It's not only conceivable, but likely, that each player could lead his team to a state championship.

Rhode Dog from [], at 2:13pm ET
Which former or current coach has had the biggest influence on you?

Ben Braun at 2:16pm ET
Pete Newell has had, perhaps, the greatest impact on my coaching career, other than my high school coach, John Schneiter, who is one of the top coaches in the history of Illinois basketball. Pete Newell has influenced my approach to the game as a teacher and communicator. Like Coach Schneiter, he has always stressed fundamentals. Pete is more than a mentor, he's a personal friend, as well.

Bear Nut from [], at 2:17pm ET
Coach Braun:
Could you elaborate on the strategies of using the two foot eating utensil you carry with you to the various eateries?

Ben Braun at 2:17pm ET
Like the game of basketball, you don't want to miss too many opportunities.

Andy from [], at 2:17pm ET
How far do you think your team can go this year

Ben Braun at 2:18pm ET
I like the potential of our team. A lot will depend on our continued development and improvement.

Jeremy from [], at 2:19pm ET
We miss you in Ypsilanti. What do you remember most about your time at Eastern Michigan?

Ben Braun at 2:20pm ET
Certainly, a lot of friends and supporters, and all the players who helped develop the three championship teams I coaches.

Jonathan from [], at 2:21pm ET
What made you want to be a basketball coach?

Ben Braun at 2:23pm ET
I've always felt that teaching was very fulfilling. Working with individuals and groups to improve their skills and their sense of teamwork has always been a challenge I've enjoyed.

Ben Braun at 2:24pm ET
Thanks for participating in the chat. We've had a number of good questions, but have time for only a few more.
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