Michael Collison Makes Minnesota Visit

Michael Collison, a 6-foot-9 big man from Iowa Falls-Alden, made an unofficial visit to Minnesota this past weekend. Collison, the young brother of former Kansas and current NBA forward/center Nick Collison, is a player who has recently emerged as a prospect. Collison attended the Gopher-Northern Illinois football game Saturday night and GoldenSports.Net talked to Collison about his recruitment.

Michael Collison led Iowa Falls-Alden to a 14-8 mark as a junior, losing to Forest City 57-55 in the playoffs. He was named second-team All-North Central Conference.

Collison has long arms and good timing to block shots. He is somewhat physical, but is not overly athletic. One college coach said that if he improves this year as much as he did last year, a lot of teams are going to be kicking themselves for not recruiting Collison.

Collison was excited about his trip to Minnesota.

"This is my first visit of the fall. I just visited a couple of schools back home in Iowa. This is my first big one, so I'm pretty excited to be here," he said.

"I just went to a couple of smaller schools in Iowa, some NAIA schools and D2 schools. I am expecting to make a lot more Division I visits here in the fall, because things kind of blew up for me this summer."

Collison did not get much national exposure, but still was able to get noticed.

"I played for the Iowa High School Athletic Association team in Iowa and we did not get to a lot of tournaments, but I got out a lot with my school team and a lot of big-name schools saw me," he said. "I'm pretty excited about what is going to happen."

Collison played in several Midwest tournaments.

"I played in the Mr. Basketball Invitational in Kearney, Nebraska, and the Mr. Basketball Invitational in South Dakota," he said.

Collison said that the Gophers learned about him from a familiar local basketball name.

"Rene Pulley of Howard Pulley saw me at the Northern Iowa team camp. We played the Howard Pulley team and I played pretty good in that game and he saw me, so he has been talking to a few schools for me, which has been great," Collison said. "I can't thank him enough. He has got my name out quite a bit, so that is pretty good. They (Minnesota) heard of me from that and they just wanted me to come up for an unofficial visit."

Collison said that having a standout basketball player in the family has helped him. Nick Collison was an All-American at Kansas and was a first-round pick by the SuperSonics, who have moved to Oklahoma City for the 2008-09 season.

"I've got a lot more chance to see stuff than some kids ever get to see and I have seen some great things happen on the basketball court because of my brother, and I have seen some special things happen. It makes me realize what I want in a basketball team and where my decisions are going to let me go," Collison said. "If I can even find a basketball team that is even half as team-orientated as the Kansas Jayhawks were when my brother played for them, that is the school for me."

Collison admits that it will be nice to have his brother playing closer to home this season.

"We drove five hours every week when I was in sixth grade to watch my brother, so eight hours should not be that bad to watch a couple of games," he said. "It will be nice to go to a few more games, but we'll see what the new season is like. It is a new year, a new season. A young team. I'm excited."

Collison has yet to receive a scholarship offer.

"It is still really early. Hopefully, I get to show off my skills this year early in the season and get some offers," he said.

Collison said that he does not have a favorite school yet.

"I have always like UNI (Northern Iowa). It is still pretty early. I would say that there is no one who is a legitimate favorite. I just kind of like their campus and the way they run things there. I talk to their coaches at the camp," he said.

Collison is good student who has narrowed his field of study.

"I am planning on majoring in history and education. I want to be a teacher," he said.

Collison has high expectations for the Cadets this season.

"Hopefully, we can get the conference championship and get to state. I really want to win a state title. I have been to sub-state twice now. The first year, we probably should have been there," he said. "Last year, we lost by two and we should have beat them. Forest City was fourth in Iowa in 3A. So, I really have to say that I am going to do everything I can to get my team to state.

"My numbers were really down in the beginning of the year. Towards the end of the year, I was averaging about 16 a game and my rebounding was up a lot. I was third in the state in blocks with 6.7."

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