Notre Dame Basketball

Irish Showing Interest In 2020 Minnesota PF Ben Carlson

October 8, 2018
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The arrow is clearly pointing up for Ben Carlson.

The 2020 Minnesota power forward already has offers from schools like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Purdue, Kansas State, Wake Forest and Stanford among others. The 6-foot-9, 205-pounder added to that last month, when he took an unofficial visit to Ohio State.

“That’s pretty cool,” he said of the offer from the Buckeyes. “Ohio State is a national brand obviously. In basketball and football, they’re really well-known. It was nice to visit there. That was a big offer for me.”

He also made a stop at Michigan while in the area.

“Michigan was good too, we went to their football game,” he added. “It was a good trip.”

Carlson also made recent stops at Kansas and Kansas State. 

And now, Notre Dame is beginning to show increased interest with assistant Rod Balanis heading to East Ridge High School in Woodbury, Minn., to watch Carlson a couple weeks back.

“They’ve been talking to me a little, but not a whole lot,” Carlson said of the Irish. “They watched me a couple of times this summer and I went down for a visit in May or something.

“They sound like they really like my versatility. That’s a big thing for them. They said they’ll be back up a couple more times before the season starts, so that’s good.”

Carlson enjoyed his earlier trip to South Bend.

“I had a really good visit,” he said. “They’re still building their practice facility, so I didn’t really get to see that, but we saw everything else. Notre Dame is a really nice school and I like the coaching staff. It was a fun visit.”

He also has a positive early impression of Balanis.

“I like him a lot,” said Carlson. “I’ve only talked to him a couple times, but just from talking to him, he’s a good guy. It’s been good talking to him and getting to know him.”

College coaches say they like his versatility.

“That pretty much means how I can shoot the three well and put it on the deck and get to the hoop,” he explained. “Rebounding is a pretty big part of what they like. They like how I can go up for offensive rebounds really hard. They like how I can post up when I need to post up. They like the versatility where I can play lots of positions on offense and guard lots of positions on defense.”

Carlson has a pretty good idea of what he’s looking for.

“The relationship I have with the coaching staff and how I feel about the coaches and all of that,” he said. “Academics is big for me. How the team plays, the style of the program. Those are probably the three biggest things I look for in a school.”

With Balanis getting the Irish off to a good start in the first area of interest and Notre Dame taking care of the second by itself, the playing style box also looks to be checked.

“I think it would be a good fit for me,” he said of the Irish’s style. “I know they have a bunch of guys like me, pretty versatile guys. That would fit well with me.”

Carlson isn’t sure if he’ll take advantage of the new rule allowing junior prospects to take officials early.

“It depends on my season and if I have the time, but I haven’t decided on anything yet,” he said.

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