Posted On: 01/29/18 3:46 PM

Northstar Hoops got a chance to watch East Ridge’s four-star power forward Ben Carlson during Friday’s 70-48 smashing of conference foe Mounds View.

Carlson racked up 21 points and 10 rebounds in a game that wasn’t particularly challenging for him. That will change tomorrow when the Raptors play Gopher-signed Daniel Oturu and Cretin-Derham Hall. East Ridge is riding a five-game winning streak headed into Tuesday night.

“We’re in our groove right now,” Carlson said. “We’re building a lot of momentum for that game, and it will be a lot of fun being at our place. It’s always fun to play against Big Dan.”

The Raptors took some losses before this streak, but things eventually steadied. It was part of a normal transition with new coach Bryce Tesdahl, Carlson said.

“At first it was a little tough with the new coach and new staff,” he said. “But the chemistry has become really good. It’s a lot more intense than last year, and he (Tesdahl) expects a lot more. It’s a different system for us.”

As a 6-foot-8 skilled forward, college programs have identified Ben as a talent early. He spent the latest AAU season with D1 Minnesota and caught the eyes of several coaches. After that, he took some fall unofficial visits to Kansas State, Iowa State, Wisconsin, Stanford and Nebraska; the Huskers offered a scholarship.

“The schools that have talked to my coach have been Minnesota, Xavier, Butler, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa State, Iowa, Indiana, Purdue, those are just a few,” Carlson said. “Some schools say I’m a small forward, others say stretch four.”

The scary thing is — similar to teammates Kendall and Courtney Brown — that Ben’s game still has a lot of room to grow.

“Ben’s game continues to improve on both ends of the floor,” coach Tesdahl said. “Ben is almost a guaranteed double-double every night he steps on the floor as a sophomore. I believe his recruitment is going to go through the roof as more colleges have the opportunity to watch him play.

“The thing I love about Ben is he loves to compete and win every drill in practice. Ben is a special talent in the classroom, community, and in-competition.”