Anthony Bennett: Why UNLV Is Logical Choice for the Prep Star

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 28: Anthony Bennett #22 of the West team sets to shoot during the 2012 McDonald's All American Game at United Center on March 28, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Anthony Bennett surprised quite a few people when he eliminated Kentucky and Florida as potential schools this weekend, instead narrowing his decision to UNLV and Oregon.

This makes UNLV the most logical choice for the Findlay Prep star.

Consider the following, from Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo:

UNLV would appear to be the slim favorite if only because of Bennett's relationship with the coaching staff and with fellow Canada native Khem Birch, the Pittsburgh transfer who has actively tried to persuade Bennett to join him with the Rebels.

The trio of Bennett, Birch and Mike Moser would give UNLV a frontcourt of three potential future pros, all of whom complement one-another well. Throw in the return of slasher Anthony Marshall and defensive stopper Justin Hawkins in the backcourt as well as the arrival of USC transfer Bryce Jones and sweet-shooting incoming freshman Katin Reinhardt, and the Rebels could be a preseason top 15 team.

Sure, he might get more playing time in Oregon, but the Ducks aren't in a position to be nearly as competitive as UNLV. Plus, with top recruits Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad already in tow at UCLA, a Pac-12 title seems unlikely for Oregon.

UNLV hasn't advanced past the Sweet 16 since 1991, when the team made its second-straight trip to the Final Four under Jerry Tarkanian, a year after winning a national championship.

Bennett could help with returning UNLV to prominence, potentially leading the deepest tournament run for UNLV in 21 years.

Oh, and there's always the appeal of Las Vegas, if that's your thing.

For the average college student, a free education in Vegas would probably be hard to pass up.

I'd be surprised if Anthony Bennett passes up the opportunity to play for UNLV. Between a coaching staff he is familiar with, his friendship with Khem Birch, the potential for great things as a Runnin' Rebel next year and the area itself, UNLV seems like the logical choice.


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