The school year is here and the travel season has come to a close, but that just means that the high school basketball season is right around the corner. Wisconsin has a number of prospects this year that are getting some good looks from colleges and will have opportunities to extend their basketball careers at the next level. One of the state’s top guards is still undecided as to where he will continue that career or at what level, but he is excited for some of the opportunities ahead of him with both in leading his high school team and in pursuing his individual goals. That guard is class of 2019 Brookfield Central point guard Cole Nau.

With his final season of prep-level hoops on the horizon, Nau will look to lead a team that many, including themselves, believe can compete for a Division I state championship. The 6’3” point man knows he has a great team with him and is excited about the task ahead as one last run with his high school teammates, which includes his younger brother Ben. “I think our team is definitely capable of winning a state championship, but we’ll play against some tough teams though and I’m looking forward to that… It’s my last year and I’m lucky to play with my brother and my other teammates who are like brothers to me, and if we don’t underestimate anyone and we play hard, play the way I know we’re capable, I think we can make that run to state and that’s our goal this year.”

Final runs with teammates is something Nau recently had one go-round with as he concluded his AAU career with his Ray Allen Select program. “The NY2LA tournaments have been great for my team and for me personally, because we were up against some great competition,” the RAS prospect said. Knowing those tournaments were the last times he’s play on the court in real competition with many of those guys, Nau added, “it was a blast going out on more time with those guys this year… there’s a few of them that I’ve been playing with since like 6th grade, between Marcus [Domask], David [Skogman], and Tyler [Ellingson], so it was great playing with them all one more year and having the success we had in some of the tourneys.”

Nau is a tough competitor who plays smooth and just seems to get the job done in ways that aren’t always flashy, but typically so solid. He can shoot the ball from the outside, he has a mid-range jumper in his repertoire and can finish at the basket where he takes his opportunities to glide past defenders often and rarely seems to miss when he’s at the hoop with any space. However, because of his steady play and the fact that he’s almost always under control and calm, some aspects of his game seem to get underrated.

“I think my passing ability, being able to share the ball,” Nau mentioned first when talking about what he feels he does really well that doesn’t always get noticed. We also talked about his defense and athletic ability. While he’s still a bit thinner framed, he has been working over the years to add strength and to take challenges defensively to improve himself in those areas. “I just try to battle… Since my freshman year, defensively I’ve upped it a lot because I always worked on playing up against older guys, stronger competition and stronger plays and I think I play it better than people sometimes think.”  

Something that Nau is doing to improve that physical aspect of the game is just working out and working on his overall athleticism. “I feel my jumping ability is already pretty good but I’d like to get up even more and of course getting faster and stronger… getting better at the physical part of the game and getting ready for the next level… Talking to guys like Riley [LaChance] and Brady [Ellingson] – who have played or are playing at Vanderbilt and Iowa respectively – that was something they said they noticed right away, was the strength and speed of players there.”

To this point, Nau has received a few offers from schools now, and has been in contact with others both at the Division I and Division II levels. He has offers currently from Air Force, Hillsdale and Saint Cloud State.  Also showing interest have been the likes of Holy Cross and Wright State.  

Air Force – “It’s definitely a possibility… I want to go visit there and see what it’s like, because I’ve heard great things about the school and I wouldn’t mind the 4-year commitment there.”

Hillsdale – “I went and did an unofficial visit and that’s when they offered… It is a great campus and I know a couple guys from the area that are heading out there, and that makes it attractive to me as well.”

St. Cloud State – “I like the coach there a lot and I plan on visiting there, so I’m still interested in the school for sure.”

Nau also has looks from Holy Cross, Wright State and UW-Milwaukee, all of which are still in the picture and whom he will keep in contact with or take visits with this year. He also has interest from Division II schools such as Minnesota-Duluth and Michigan Tech.

“They’re all good programs and they have the style of play that I like – sharing the ball, not too many one-on-one’s but using ball-screens and coming off those but still playing hard and getting up and down the court, not giving up easy baskets defensively – I think it’s a good mix and I’m looking forward to playing at the next level after this year.”

The future is bright for Nau with a likely exciting high school season ahead of him with one last potential run to a title. Beyond that, the recruitment process will wind down and Nau will make his decision at some point when he’s ready. Be sure though that the Brookfield, WI prospect is primed to put a team at the next level in good hands from the point-spot behind his steady and intelligent playing style.