Life never goes as planned, but sometimes it’s for the better, Gus Yalden witnessed this firsthand. In 5th grade, Gus moved from Nebraska to Wisconsin pursuing his dream of playing hockey. However, when Gus tried out for hockey he made the B team. Then, he was put in a position that he wasn’t accustomed to playing. Gus used this as a time to explore something different and decided to take a stab at basketball, a decision that would soon pay dividends. Playing basketball made sense because both his mother and father played basketball at the college level.
Gus Yalden, is one of the most well rounded big men that have come out of the state of Wisconsin in quite some time. Yalden has a european type of feel to his game: strong fundamentals, good shooting touch, and a strong passer. Making him a perfect fit in any system. The polish Yalden plays with as a 6’8 freshman is something that has college coaches eager for what comes next. There is no doubt that Yalden has a high ceiling, already being recognized by WSN as one of the top 20 players in the class of 2023. Gus Bus is already making high major programs take notice.
Strong points of Gus’s game: Spot up shooting, transition shooting, soft touch around the rim, efficiency on the block, ability to take players off the dribble/ball handling.
I believe Gus Yalden has the type of game that will make him one of the best players to come out of the state in recent memory. High compliment considering Wisconsin has produced the likes of: Sam Dekker, Tyler Herro, Joey Hauser, Jalen Johnson, and Patrick Baldwin Jr in recent years.
The early interest from the likes of Wisconsin and Marquette has many wanting to know more about the young player and his game. Gus was kind enough to give us all a quick look into the life and game of the young 2023 prospect.
Q: What do you believe is your greatest asset your bring to a team right now?
A: Honestly since we haven’t had tryouts yet I don’t know what my role will be because it will depend on what level I play this year. But since I have played for a lot of teams, a couple of things I bring to the table are that I always try to be patient and physical on offense, and on defense I make a huge effort to contain my guy and help when needed. I’m a pass out of double team guy and love the pick n roll/pick and pop reads in two man game…most of my teammates appreciate that I believe that the ball doesn’t always have to end up in my hands for it to be a good smart basketball play.
Q: What would you say is the strongest facet of your game at this point in your development, and what do you think needs the most work?
A: I’m a good passer with a high IQ and I see the floor well. I’m also a good rebounder and look to push the ball as soon as a gather it. Getting my body right is a huge focus right now. I have more inches to grow, but regardless of how tall I end up I need to get stronger, faster and quicker so I’m working on that right now.
Q: What player do you most closely model your game after?
A: Love some of the European players Jokic, Doncic, and Porzingis but also admire Larry Bird, Kevin Love and Charles Barkley (my dogs name actually). When I’m working out I copy a lot of Blake Griffin, Paul George and Anthony Davis moves and footwork and I watch a lot of Chris Brickley and DJ Sackmann videos…
Q: How do you deal with the pressure of having to perform now that you’ve begun garnering attention of colleges?
A: I’m pretty sure I’m not the primary guy on the floor that coaches are there to watch so I just play. If there are or were coaches there to watch me, they probably appreciate that I play with a smile on my face and joy in my heart…cause I love the game and believe it shows
Q: What goals do you have for this upcoming season both individual/team?
- Stay healthy
- Work hard and improve some way every day
- Trust my coaches and believe in my teammates
- Be the best teammate I can be
Q: Growing up what was your dream college to play for ?
A: Any college that offers me the best education and athletic fit…I don’t have a dream school per say but have a few dream coaches I would love to play for…Mark Few, Roy Williams, John Calipari, Bill Self, Tom Izzo, Gregg Marshall, Johnny Dawkins, Mike Hopkins, Pat Kelsey, Will Wade, Greg Gard, Steve Wojciechowski and Mike Krzyzewski
Q: What are your hobbies outside of basketball?
A: Golf, PS4, creating custom shoes, fishing, and working out
Q: Where will you be playing AAU this coming year?
A: Team Griffin and Playground
Q: What early recruiting experiences have you had ?
A: I was invited to several campuses for unofficial visits (Butler, Marquette, and UW) but unfortunately the new NCAA rules prohibit freshman from doing so. Marquette and UW coaches have committed to come watch some open gym runs and if possible a game. Ripon College made me my first offer at my 6th grade state tournament😂 but since then all I have is interest…lots of interest..
Follow Gus on twitter @gusbus2023 and our website @LockedOnWI