NBA Camp Spotlight: Paul Jesperson

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- One of the more unknown prospects at the NBA Camp -- Paul Jesperson -- sat down with to chat about his week at camp.

Paul Jesperson hasn't been a nationally known name.

But after a strong spring the 6-foot-7 wing prospect has slowly put himself on the map. Offers began rolling in April and May and now Jesperson has turned himself into a popular 2011 prospect.

This week the Merrill (Wisc.) High standout, who averaged 20 points and seven rebounds during his junior season, is playing at the NBA Camp and more than holding his own against the nations best.

"I like it a lot," Jesperson said of the highly regarded camp. "It's good that the NBA guys come in and give us input on our game and tell us what we need to work on."

Having played on a smaller AAU team and flying under the radar, Jesperson hasn't had the opportunity to participate in a camp of this nature.

"This is my first camp like this," Jesperson said. "My mentality coming into this is that I want to win and your team wants to win, but you have to come in hungry and hungry to showcase yourself too."

"I'm trying to be more aggressive," he added. "I definitely need to be more aggressive, but I'm trying to come in with the mentality that I'll be aggressive."

While he admits he still needs to be more assertive in the game, Jesperson has shown high major ability. Blessed with great size for the wing, he has no problem getting his shot off and he has an impressive looking jump shot.

"When I came in here I don't think anyone that I could defend anybody and I think that's what I've been doing best out here," he said. "I'm defending my guys. I definitely have to start shooting the ball better, taking it to the rack and distributing."

Jesperson's recruitment has picked up over the past few months and he scored another new offer on Tuesday.

"I've put in a lot of time after the high school season so I could have a big spring and it's starting to pay off," he said. "I just picked up an offer from Virginia the other day. A lot of schools are starting to contact me."

To go with Virginia, Jesperson has scholarship offers from Arizona State, Butler, Minnesota, Northwestern, Wisconsin-Green Bay and Colorado State. Notre Dame and Boston College are also in the mix.

"I definitely like Butler, Virginia and Minnesota," Jesperson said when asked about favorites. "I like those schools a lot and Northwestern is right up there too."

When pressed on what he likes about those four schools, Jesperson cited coaching and fit as reasons he wanted to take closer looks at the prospective schools.

"The coach from [Virginia] is somewhat new, but I know he's going to get it done by looking at what he's done at the other schools he's at," he said. "Butler had a great run this year and their coach is great."

"Tubby Smith is one of the greatest coaches of all time and Northwestern I think is just a great fit for me. Coach [Bill] Carmody, I have a lot of respect for him too."

Jesperson, who took trips to Notre Dame, Butler and Northwestern a few weeks ago, said he'll put visiting schools on hold until after July. Then he'll jump into the recruiting process more.

"I'm going to wait until after the July. Once July is done I'm going to see what schools have offered me and then I'm going to narrow it down to five or six schools and then take some visits. "

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