Regina forward Even Brauns talks about his latest recruiting interest. Dargan Southard/Press-Citizen


IOWA CITY, Ia. — The collegiate scene is still a few years away, but you can see the potential bubbling inside his 6-foot-8 frame. Some schools have already perked up. More are certainly on the way.

Following a quality freshman year and a strong AAU showing with the Iowa Barnstormers, Regina forward Even Brauns has emerged as one of the state’s premier 2020 prospects amid a solid sophomore campaign. Two Division I offers — Northern Iowa and Drake — have already materialized in the past three months, and interest from numerous other high-profile schools continues to grow, including Iowa.

“It’s a lot of fun, honestly,” said Brauns, who’s averaging a team-high 14.2 points through 10 games. “I love the whole recruiting thing, just getting calls from big schools. It’s great to just go visit schools and see all the different environments that they bring for me. It’s really been a good experience so far.”

UNI got the first leg in, offering Brauns in mid-October following initial contact during his AAU season. After attending the Panthers’ summer camp, Brauns said he worked out for both assistant coach P.J. Hogan and head coach Ben Jacobson during the fall and landed the offer on a visit to Cedar Falls.

Brauns has since attended the UNI-Xavier showdown on Dec. 22, an experience he called “one of the craziest games I’ve ever been to.”

Drake hopped in next, extending an offer right before the new year. Brauns said he worked out for Bulldogs assistant coach Ali Farokhmanesh “around when school started,” and after a few months with little contact, Drake reached back out through Regina coach Jared Galpin.

Brauns ventured to Des Moines and took in Drake’s 66-64 win over Bradley on Dec. 28. Head coach Niko Medved called with an offer the following day.

“I’ve just encouraged him,” Galpin said, “and let him know, ‘You’ve got the offer. Now, just continue to use that as motivation and continue to work harder. Fine-tune the things you need to work on and continue to get better — the ball-handling, the post work, energy level, playing with your back to the basket. Just all those facets of the game that you’re going to need to continue to get better at to play at that next level.

“So he’s really taken it in stride and has a positive mindset.”

Power Five intrigue has started to emerge as well, dating back to the summer. Brauns said he talked with Wisconsin coaches during the AAU season and has received some mail from Nebraska as well.

One Big Ten school, though, has cranked up the interest of late.

“A lot of Iowa,” said Brauns, who noted that he worked out for Fran McCaffery before the season started. “They’re really on me hard. They really want to make me a priority.”

Brauns visited Iowa twice during football season and has been to two basketball games so far (Belmont Abbey and Penn State), adding that he’ll likely make it to another home game before the Hawkeyes’ season ends. An Iowa offer hasn’t arrived yet, but Brauns is certainly high on the school right down the road.

“They always treat me well there,” he said   

Scouting Report     

The Register was on-hand to watch two of Brauns’ recent performances. He put up 18 points and nine rebounds in Regina’s 67-59 win over Bellevue on Jan. 5, then went for 21 and eight in the Regals’ 81-52 loss to Cedar Rapids Xavier the following day. Here’s what we saw.

It’s clear from the opening tip that Brauns is a focal point of most opposing scouting reports, as double teams and inside help are sent against him regularly. With multiple sharpshooters on the perimeter ready to fire, Brauns does a decent job of analyzing double-teams and finding the open man in such situations.


Regina’s Even Brauns shows off strong post move against Cedar Rapids Xavier. Dargan Southard/Press-Citizen

“He’s a big factor,” Xavier coach Ryan Luehrsmann said. “You’ve got to account for him. You’ve got to have help. We were late a lot, and boy, he’s skilled, being able to put it on the floor and finish with both hands. You can tell he’s getting more and more confident with his shot. There’s a reason why UNI and Drake have offered.”    

When the help doesn’t come, Brauns can certainly put the ball on the floor and get his own shot. His footwork and post moves will need continual improvement over the next two years, but the current product already oozes with optimism.

As seen in the Xavier game, defending Brauns one-on-one usually doesn’t work out.


Iowa City Regina’s Even Brauns capitalizes on late help vs. Cedar Rapids Xavier. Dargan Southard/Press-Citizen

“His footwork and stuff like that, we’re still working on the consistency of him being really strong on the block and posting consistently,” Galpin said. “But he has a great motor and moves really well, and the kid can get off the floor. When he’s playing really well, he takes our team to another level.”     

Becoming a fully molded versatile weapon is Brauns’ next step as he progresses as a prep prospect. He’s not asked to handle the ball much in the open court — something he’ll have to do, at least to some extent, in college — and Brauns doesn’t creep out beyond the post very often. He’s honing in on extending his range a bit, as well as consistently delivering at the line.

Brauns shot 68 percent (13-for-19) at the charity stripe in the two games the Register watched and is shooting just under 64 percent (28-for-44) there on the season. That number is a bit down from last season — Brauns was a 73-percent free-throw shooter as a freshman (52-for-71) — and making sure to capitalize on those opportunities is imperative as an attention-getting post.   

It’s clear, though, that Brauns’ stock is trending upward. Continuing to showcase the right attitude and mindset moving forward could see him soar among the state’s 2020 elite.  

“I don’t think he realizes yet how good his potential is,” Galpin said. “The staff keeps working with him, and as long as he continues to stay coachable the way he is, this is why he’s getting looked at. They see a lot of potential in him, and I don’t know if he sees yet how good he can be.” 

Dargan Southard covers preps, recruiting, Iowa and UNI athletics for the Iowa City Press-Citizen, The Des Moines Register and Email him at or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.