Anthony Bennett: 3 Reasons Why UNLV Makes More Sense Than Oregon

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IMay 9, 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 should forget about Oregon and sign on with UNLV.

He is a 5-star recruit coming from Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada, so his inclination might be to get away from home and spread his wings out in Oregon.

The smart move for the long-term success of his college career and beyond would be for him to stay close to home, though, and there are a few reasons why it makes more sense for Bennett to choose UNLV.


Jimmy Kimmel Says So

Okay, so maybe this isn't going to be at the top of Bennett's list as far as reasons to choose UNLV, but bear with me as I flesh this one out.

Kimmel recently tweeted:

UNLV needs you Anthony! @Salsaa_Stylez @ABennett24 @UNLVRebellion @Salsaa_Stylez @ABennett24 @UNLVRebellion

— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) May 8, 2012

While Kimmel isn't going to sway Bennett one way or another, it's clear that UNLV would provide him a bigger platform to show off his skills in college than Oregon.

Las Vegas is a hot spot for celebrities, and Bennett would get a ton of exposure if he chooses to go play for the Runnin' Rebels. If he decides to take his talents to the northwest, he won't get nearly the same kind of publicity.


Stay Away from the Weed!

ESPN recently ran a story about the rampant drug use at the University of Oregon. The story didn't focus on the fact that there's a lot of marijuana on campus—rather they focused on the fact that many student-athletes were the ones doing the smoking.

It would be a terrific move for Bennett to stay away from Oregon for this very reason.

I'm not making a commentary on the drug, per se. Marijuana isn't inherently bad, and Bennett could get weed anywhere in the country on any campus. 

The reason it would be a good idea for Bennett to avoid that particular trap is that public perception is everything at the next level when marketing comes into play.

If Bennett plans on becoming one of the next stars of the NBA, he'd be wise to keep his image clean and stay away from a known center for drugs.


Championships are Everything

Oregon isn't a powerhouse program like UNLV is becoming under the leadership of second-year head coach Dave Rice. They featured an extremely underrated, young team that was knocked out of the NCAA tournament in the second round by Colorado.

Bennett will fit into the scheme Rice is implementing. He's an athletic, undersized power forward with range from the perimeter and power down on the block. He loves to rebound and block shots, even at 6'7", and Rice would put him to work from the get-go at the No. 4 spot.

UNLV isn't quite championship-caliber just yet, but they have a much better shot at getting there with the addition of Bennett than Oregon. Oregon isn't even close.