July 20, 2011

Shanks seems impressed with CSU

To listen to Carson Shanks is to hear from someone who has just had the lightbulb go off. The 7-foot-1, 230-pound center from Apple Valley (Minn.) said he is playing with more effort than ever before and it is being noticed by the college coaches who are courting him.

"I feel like the coaches always knew I could score," Shanks said Tuesday. "I feel like I am skilled as far as scoring goes, but the things coaches wanted to see was my motor and how hard I could play. I feel like in the first half of July, I have played harder than I have before and I want to keep that up because I feel like it is helping out with my recruiting."

In all, Shanks said he has heard from roughly six coaches who have mentioned the fact he seems to be playing with more passion this summer. Among them is Colorado State coach Tim Miles.

Last season Shanks was forced to sit out the season after transferring from East View High School to Prior Lake. Instead of Friday nights on the court, Shanks said he was allowed to practice with the varsity team and play junior varsity basketball. He said he made the best out of it and tried to continue to evolve his game.

"I guess I pride myself on being able to score from anywhere within 20 feet," Shanks said. "I shoot the ball pretty well for my size. I use fakes and jabs well. If they bring some big, tall lumbering dude, I can take them outside. If they put a shorter guy on me, I can score inside. On defense I try to get after it and block a lot of shots."

Shanks showed interest in Colorado State this summer with a visit to Fort Collins to check out the CSU campus during CSU's Elite Camp.

"Fort Collins is a really pretty city," Shanks said. "Coach (Niko) Medved took me out to the mountains and it was really nice. The whole town was just very, very nice. Colorado State, the campus was beautiful. I loved the facilities. Those might have been the best facilities I have seen so far. As far as basketball goes, I am pretty impressed with how things are looking up with the program. I loved the court. I loved the ram horns. Colorado State looked pretty good to me.

"It just really looked good to me."

The Rams are one of several teams to have offered the 2013 recruit. In addition to Colorado State, Shanks has offers from Northern Iowa, Drake and North Dakota. Iowa, Washington State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Butler and Boston College have also started recruiting Shanks. He said he has visited the campuses of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northern Iowa and North Dakota.

"It doesn't matter if it is high major, mid-major, whatever, I want the right fit," he said. "I want a coaching staff committed to making me better when I get there. I want to be around some good guys. If I can go to a winner, that would be great. I am really not waiting around for anything, it is seeing my best fit.

"Really, I am just playing ball right now. It is a decision always running around in my head, but I am concentrating on getting as many options as possible."

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