September 29, 2011

Shanks ready to get back to Fort Collins

The Apple Valley (Minn.) center, Carson Shanks, said he enjoyed his time this summer at the Colorado State Elite Camp enough to want to see the Colorado State campus during the school year.

"When I was there during the summer, there wasn't any games or anything going on," The 7-foot-1, 230-pounder said Friday night. "Not everyone was on-campus. I am looking forward to seeing everyone on-campus, what the town is like when everyone is there. I want to see what the fans are like and the atmosphere around the game. I want to see everything when it is lively."

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.

A strong summer has netted Shanks scholarship offers from Drake, Northern Iowa, Utah State, North Dakota and Colorado State. Shanks made enough of an impression at the CSU Elite Camp to be asked back for an in-season visit - one he has been looking forward to.

"I had a good time the lat time I was out there," Shanks said. "I have some interest in Colorado State. In talking to Niko (Medved) and Coach (Tim) Miles was at my open gym a couple nights ago. My dad and I have wanted to get down there for a while, so it seemed like the right time to get to Colorado."

Even if Shanks likes what he sees, it is doubtful that he would commit to Colorado State this weekend. He said, given the fact he is just a Junior, he is thinking long-term.

"It is kind of a tricky thing to handle," Shanks said of his recruitment. "One day you might really feel like it is a lot of pressure and I want it to end and think, 'let's get it over with right now.' You have to look at it in the long run. I am going to take my time with my decision. The schools who are really interested are going to stay interested."

Shanks said he was happy to see Coach Miles at his open gym this week and he was excited to show off some of the improvements he has made in his game since the summer.

"I feel like really, every aspect of my game I have put in a bunch of work this summer and I have gotten considerably better at everything," he said. "Along with conditioning, I feel like I am better overall and more prepared to play a lot of minutes."

The high school season gets started in Minnesota the Friday after Thanksgiving, not a moment too soon for Shanks, who said thanks to a strong group of players around him, has lofty goals for the year.

"Our goal at Prior Lake is to win a state championship," he said. "We have a good point guard, we have another 6-10 kid, we have a bunch of seniors who can really play - we should be pretty good this year."

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