Anthony Bennett: Prized Recruit Must Choose UNLV over Oregon

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2012

Anthony Bennett is one of the few top high school basketball recruits who has yet to decide where he is going to take his talents next year.

There might be two schools left on his list, but there is only one that makes sense: UNLV. 

According to Adam Zagoria of, Bennett has eliminated Kentucky from his list and will decide between the aforementioned Runnin' Rebels and the Oregon Ducks.

Trying to predict what Bennett is going to do will make your head spin.

It was thought that the two schools with the best chance to land him were Kentucky and Florida. With them gone, it is clear that Bennett not only wants to play right away but he wants to be "The Man" wherever he goes.

Given that neither UNLV nor Oregon are loaded with superstar players, it wouldn't be hard for Bennett to step on campus and be the best player on either team.

So the next question becomes, does Bennett want to compete for a championship?

Given that every player in college basketball, even if they are one-and-done, wants the thrill and honor of playing in the NCAA tournament, it should be a high priority for Bennett when he makes his decision. 

If that does turn out to be a key factor, UNLV is going to be the obvious leader in the clubhouse. The Runnin' Rebels were one of the most underrated teams in the country last year, boasting one of the most efficient offenses and a dominant, swarming defense. 

Things fell apart against Colorado in the second round of the NCAA tournament, but it doesn't change the fact that this is a program on the rise, and second-year head coach Dave Rice did a great job of implementing his style on this team. 

Bennett's strengths play right into what UNLV and Rice want to do.

Bennett is a true power forward, with strength and versatility. He has range on his shot and the aggressiveness to get to the rim. He also is a dominant defender and makes use of his size to be a rebounding machine. 

Oregon is a solid program on the rise, but it is not close to competing for a championship. UNLV is on the cusp of being an elite team—it just needs an elite player to build around. 

Bennett is the perfect player for UNLV, and UNLV is the perfect team for Bennett. When the decision is made, Bennett should tell the world he is taking his talents to Las Vegas.