If you’re not already, it’s time to get familiar with the name Gus Yalden. This class of 2023 big man can really play the game of basketball at a high-level. Yalden is a 6’8 center who has a lot more in his bag than what meets the eye.
“Gus Bus” can handle the ball full court and make an advanced read. His ability to hit open teammates is impressive for his size and age. Yalden also has a really strong post game, where he creates scoring opportunities with both his left and right hand. Amongst other translatable abilities, he can shoot the ball all the way out to the college three-point line. Point being, Yalden is a special player whose productivity and craftiness will certainly show at the next level.
This week, Yalden spent some time chatting with Pro Insight’s Jake Lieberman about the latest with his recruitment.
For the next installment of “Recruiting Roundup,” we present class of 2023 prospect Gus Yalden, from Appleton, Wisconsin:
Pro Insight: What's the current breakdown of your visits, offers, and interest?
Gus Yalden: The evaluation period really showed me who was interested in me most. It’s easy to launch a call or text but it meant a lot to see the same coaching staff at most of my games. Louisville, Butler, Iowa, Arkansas, Nebraska, Ohio, Charleston and Wake Forest have been showing tons of support both on and off the court.
PI: Which programs have you heard from the most lately?
GY: Wake Forest, Arkansas, Virginia, Auburn, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Butler, Louisville, Charleston, Ohio, Kansas, and Iowa’s coaches all reached out to me during the last two weeks in Augusta.
PI: What kind of role do you see yourself filling at the next level?
GY: I pride myself in being adaptable. Fitting in where there is the biggest need. Team CP3 didn’t need me to score buckets; they had lots of fire power, but they did need me to rebound, set screens, block shots and defend. I mean I was eighth in rebounding and fifth in blocked shots in the EYBL, which is arguably the most competitive shoe circuit in the country…I played under 20 minutes most games and still managed nearly a double-double off limited touches, so I’m confident I can contribute even more if a was given more opportunities. Ideally I would like to be a key piece within the offense especially on pick-and-pop or pick-and-roll, but I also think I’m a tough matchup down low for most bigs.
PI: What has been the most unique recruiting pitch thus far?
GY: Go where it’s the best fit! It’s true, to be honest. I think Arkansas’ “Muss Bus and Gus Bus” is pretty funny. Louisville sold my mom with the cabooses for tailgates and the Yum! Center was crazy! Wisconsin introduced me to Barry Alvarez on one of his last days as the AD. The spaceship-looking field house at Iowa and Hinkle field house were both definitely unique. Nebraska’s sports science center with interactive 2K-style monitoring system was crazy cool. I definitely think every school has something unique to offer most recruits…
PI: What's the funniest thing that's happened in a virtual visit on Zoom?
GY: Probably the time I zoomed in the car and my mom was driving and she got lost because I was the navigator but couldn’t switch screens to get her directions so she got even more lost!
PI: Did you have any dream schools growing up?
GY: North Carolina, Michigan, Gonzaga and Oregon were my favorite schools growing up. I always got some kind of gear from at least one or two of those schools under the Christmas tree.
PI: If you could team up with any high school player in the country when you guys get to college, who would you pick?
GY: I would go to any program that has guards that can pass into the post and that would have at least one player that can make the right read on the pick-and-roll or pick-and-pop 90% of the time. Not sure who that is, yet, but I know that dude is out there.
PI: What are your three main priorities when narrowing down and eventually making a final decision with your recruitment?
GY: Four F’s: Fit, Family, Future, and Faith. Coaches and academics align with my goals and skill set so the fit wouldn’t be forced; a program that gets that the team is an extension of a player’s family as far as sharing goals together, similar values, accepting differences and sometimes agreeing to disagree, just to keep peace in the family; a coaching staff that understands that I can’t achieve my future goals without being challenged, encouraged and supported by them; a coaching staff that has faith in my abilities, faith in me in a person and faith enough to know that God has a plan for me but also that I can’t execute it alone.
PI: How's your timeline looking?
GY: I definitely want to narrow things down by Christmas and then plan on committing around my birthday at the end of March. Spending time getting to know the coaches that have had early interest has been a huge blessing. The relationships I have established and support I have already received has benefited me personally but has also helped my game. It’s easy to get behind a player that has tons of natural gifts and is ahead of the curve, but it takes a special coach to see and believe in my potential but also be willing to invest the time and energy it will take for me to reach or even surpass that potential.
PI: If you could sum up your recruitment process up to this point in three or four words, what would they be?
GY: Buy Stock Now!
If you missed our recent in-depth interview with Gus Yalden, click here