November 12, 2009

Wisconsin guard likes CSU

While the 2010 recruiting class is just signed, the Colorado State men's basketball team has already been making scholarship offers to the class of 2011, including Merrill (Wisc.) forward Paul Jesperson. The Rams are one of nine schools to have offered the 6-foot-7 forward prior to his junior year.

"I shoot pretty well. For 6-7, I think I can handle real good and I am pretty good at rebounding," the Merrill big man said when asked to describe his strengths on the court.

Last season Jesperson averaged 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists per game playing point guard, shooting guard and small forward. Jesperson is holding scholarship offers from Colorado State, Arizona State, South Dakota State, North Dakota State, Loyola-Chicago, UW-Green Bay, UW-Milwaukee, San Diego and Northern Iowa. Jesperson reports he is also taking calls from Minnesota, Iowa, Iowa State, Marquette and Wisconsin.

"I am looking for a good relationship with the head coach and I wanted to know that they are committed to winning," Jesperson said when asked what he is looking for in a college basketball program. "I also want to know what is my playing time going to be like as a freshman."

This summer Jesperson's name blew up in recruiting circles as he played with the Wisconsin Playmakers during the AAU season. Jesperson played in tournaments in both Las Vegas and Phoenix where he said he saw his own progression improve.

"My explosiveness and my ball handling got a lot better," he said of his efforts this summer. "All my lifts went up. My vertical increased (25 inches) and my 40- time dropped. I think I had my best game this summer in July against Memphis Elite. I had 17 in that game. There were a bunch of guys ranked in the top-20 on Rivals and Scout."

Jesperson is going to hold off on taking official visits until after the high school basketball season is over, but anticipates seeing Arizona State, Iowa State and probably Minnesota. He has already been to Fort Collins and liked what he saw. He listed the Colorado State Rams as one of two schools who are intriguing him presently.

"Arizona State, just because they are that school in the PAC 10," Jesperson said when asked what schools he is keeping an eye on. "Colorado State too. When I took my visit there, we were impressed. I like Coach Miles, I liked the coaching staff. They were working hard in practice and the facilities were all great. That was an intriguing school to me.

"When we got there I thought it was going to be smaller school, but I was impressed," he added. "It had a nice big campus and the gym was real nice. The academic facilities and weight room were brand new. Overall, I liked it a lot."

Jesperson said he is hoping to make a decision on his school by the start of his senior year, but added if he take a visit and feels very comfortable with his surroundings an early commitment isn't out of the question.

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