Getting A Workout

Sitting on offers from Colorado State and Northern Iowa, Prior Lake (MN) center Carson Shanks is in search for more. In preparation for an important July evaluation period, Shanks spent two days grinding at UW's Advance Camp, and caught the eyes of the coaching staff in the process.

MADISON - It was considered UW's most attended Advance Camp in years, meaning there was plenty of good, raw, high-potential talent for head coach Bo Ryan and his three assistants to study as it looks to fill one scholarship opening for 2013 and three for 2013.

It takes a lot to standout in that type of atmosphere. Then again, standing out as never been hard for Minnesota center Carson Shanks.

A 7-foot, 225-pound prospect from Prior Lake HS, Shanks already holds two 2013 scholarship offers from Colorado State and Northern Iowa and his interest has been growing from Wisconsin. After visiting twice unofficially for games last season, Shanks spent two days grinding at UW's Advance Camp, getting a chance to show his skills in front of the UW coaching staff.

"It was a really competitive camp," Shanks said. "There were guys that I hadn't seen before, guys I played against, guys I played with like Bronson Koenig and Sam Dekker and I really enjoyed my time there. It's fun playing against good competition. Being a competitor, you try to raise your level to whatever level you are playing against.

"For example, I had to play against Luke Fischer (2013 PF from Germantown) and I had to play even harder. He's a really good player. It's kind of the nature of being a competitor."

The work showed. During the first day of the camp, Shanks said assistant coach Gary Close and associate coach Greg Gard watched him during the team competitions while Gard and Ryan watched Shanks play against Fischer on the second day.

"I got to talk to Coach Gard a little bit with how I was playing at the time and it's pretty cool that I talked to Coach Ryan for a few minutes," Shanks said. "Wisconsin has great tradition, and it's an honor to be recruited by a school that big. I've always liked Wisconsin, and it seems like a good place for me. It's something I've always thought about since I was a little kid, so having it happen is pretty cool."

Was playing at Wisconsin something he thought about or playing at the top BCS level?

"I guess a little bit of both," Shanks said. "I have always thought about playing at that top level and it's something that I've always wanted to do."

To do that at Wisconsin, Shanks said he needs to get bigger, stronger and better in shape so he can stay on the floor longer and battle in the post longer. However, it's not all bad news.

"They did say that they really like my ability to shoot and to pass," Shanks said. "They like my outside-inside game and how it fits into the swing offense.

Having already camped at Colorado State and Northern Iowa's elite camp, Shanks will attend one more camp at North Dakota before preparing for the July AAU circuit and the summer recruiting period. With plenty of college coaches in the stands to watch him play, including expected visits from the University of Wisconsin, Shanks didn't mince words what next month means to him and his future.

"This July could be the biggest month of basketball I have played so far in my life," Shanks said. "After a few years of me flying under the radar, still growing and still improving, I am starting to play like the guy I want to be and this July could be the month where I really make a name for myself."

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