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Four-star forward Ben Carlson discusses Purdue official visit

More ($): 2020 Purdue targets | Ben Carlson visit preview

Last time Ben Carlson was at Purdue, he wasn't there much more than an hour, if that, he says.

During a visit junket last May, the Rivals.com four-star forward from the Twin Cities area and his family passed through West Lafayette while bouncing between competing programs, also seeing Indiana, Northwestern and Notre Dame during the swing.

Whatever he didn't get to see about the Boilermaker program then, though, he likely did this past weekend, as the 6-foot-9 forward from East Ridge High School in Woodbury, Minn., used his first official visit to see Purdue again. He was in town for the Boilermakers' win over Penn State Saturday afternoon.

"The biggest part was just getting to talk with the coaches more and meet more people," Carlson said. "We met with some academic people, got to go in the locker room before and after the game, and that was good to see, and saw the campus much more, so it was much more in-depth."

It can be a challenge for coaches to balance in-season responsibilities with wintertime official visits, but the upshot of that for schools like Purdue is the chance to expose recruits to one of the program's historical strengths, its game-day environment.

"I was really impressed with the atmosphere in the arena" Carlson said, "and I know it's always sold out and has a great fan base."

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Purdue's coaches obviously got their face time in with Carlson as well, citing Vincent Edwards and Robbie Hummel among players like Carlson who succeeded at Purdue.

"They just said they think I'd be a really good fit for them," said Carlson, who's ranked 84th nationally in the 2020 class by Rivals.com. "They've had some players in the past like me. Maybe not necessarily exactly like me, but pretty similar, like a 3/4 who can guard multiple positions, spread the floor and do a little bit of everything."

Carlson, also an outstanding student, is being recruited nationally and this was only his first official visit, a starting point, really. He'll visit Xavier officially this weekend. After that, it remains to be seen.

"It'll probably be most about my relationship with the coaching staff, how I feel about them and how comfortable I am with them, and how I fit the program as a player and person," Carlson said of his eventual decision. "Then, academics is a really big deal, too."

Carlson is one of numerous players Purdue has recruited from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, all from the D1 Minnesota grassroots program. Class of 2019 five-star prospect Zeke Nnaji officially visited Purdue before ultimately committing to Arizona. Class of 2020 guard Kerwin Walton also took a junior-year official visit earlier in the season.

Now, Carlson, who was hosted during his visit by Sasha Stefanovic and Matt Haarms.

"I think it would definitely be a good fit for me," Carlson said of the Purdue visit. "I liked all the players I got to talk to and I think I'd fit in there well, too, as a person and I really like the coaches, so I think I could fit in very well there."

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