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November 3, 2010

Christiansen takes PSU unofficial

With three commitments lined up for the class of 2011's early signing period just a week away, head coach Ed DeChellis and the Penn State men's basketball program welcomed a handful of 2012 recruits to campus over the weekend.

Among the visitors included 6-foot-8, 230 pound power forward Matt Christiansen out of Oklahoma City, Okla.

As one of four unofficial visits he allotted for himself this fall, Christiansen said he came away from the visit feeling impressed.

"It all started with me getting to watch the team practice," he said. "It was really impressive because that's the first school where I've been able to do that because it's a later visit.

"During that, I got to meet a lot of coaches that came over to the side. I got to meet coach DeChellis. He interacted with me a lot during that trip and really focused on his big family concept, which he was telling me how much the team is like a family and it's a concept he really likes to live by with the whole program."

Christiansen is currently considered the No. 82-ranked overall prospect for the class of 2012 by ESPN and the No. 17-overall center prospect, although he considers himself to be a power forward, and has yet to be evaluated by Rivals.com.

"Hopefully, I'll keep growing but my game right now, I've always tried to be really physical," he said. "I guess that's kind of why I'm 230 because I've always thought I need to lift, I need to be big, I want to be able to bang. I don't want to have to worry about anyone overpowering me and getting pushed around. That's one mindset I've always had with the game.

"I'm always someone who bangs around, rebounds, a garbage man almost, offensive rebounds. But I've realized, 6-8 in college isn't exactly a center. I play center here, but really lately I've been working on my faceup game to the goal and more of a power forward spot because that's really what I am. I'm a power forward.

"I've been working on my midrange, my ballhandling, my faceupts to the goal and more athletic, more versatile post moves. Not just taking advantage of my size like in high school."

Having early interest from schools across the country including Penn State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Colorado, Virginia, Davidson, Holy Cross, Princeton and Harvard , Christiansen has shown the most interest in a few schools. Along with his visit to Happy Valley this past weekend, he has taken unofficial weekend visits to Notre Dame and Michigan already, and will be visiting Colorado in two weekends.

After spending the bulk of the weekend checking out the Penn State campus, the basketball facilities, and spending time and socializing with current basketball team members and class of 2011 commitments, Christiansen had nothing but good things to say about the experience.

"Penn State was an awesome experience in every way," he said. "There was never a dull moment. It was truly first class. It was great.

"They're in that mid-Atlantic region but in the Northeast and that part of the U.S. has always had a draw to me. I think it's beautiful up in Pennsylvania. The atmosphere was crazy. I don't think I could have picked a better time to go than Halloween. Fall in Pennsylvania was insane.


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