Name: Anthony Bennett
Position: Power Forward
Latest Stats: 16.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.2 bpg, 1.0 apg
Anthony Bennett was highly recruited coming out of high school, but the 6-foot-7 forward made the decision to attend UNLV over the likes of some of the top collegiate programs in the country. Bennett, who is an original native of Ontario, Canada, attended Findlay Prep (NV), so his decision to attend UNLV was simply based on staying close to the area that he was used to.
Well, that’s about to change because there is no NBA franchise located in Nevada and Bennett is a sure-fired lottery selection here in 2013. After one season in which he averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, Bennett is jumping ship and taking his game to the professional level. Bennett is a budding prospect given his size and physicality inside, so look for him to hear his name called within the top five of this year’s draft. Worst case scenario, there’s no way Bennett slips outside of the top ten.
Update (May 7): Bennett is not expected to participate in pre-draft workouts because of rotator cuff surgery, but he should be ready for the start of training camp.
Strengths: At 6-foot-7, 240 lbs., Bennett is a beast on the low block. He has refined skills offensively and is even more effective given his intensity and focus. Bennett came in and instantly impacted the Runnin’ Rebels this past season, leading the way in both points and rebounds. Bennett probably won’t have that type of impact as he transitions into the NBA, but he should be able to provide enough contribution right away.
Weaknesses: Of course Bennett is in that “in-between” area in terms of position. At 6-foot-7, he may be a bit undersized, but he makes up for it with his physicality. He’s not tall enough to be a center and he doesn’t have enough quickness to play on the perimeter in the NBA (at least on the defensive end). The quicker that Bennett comes into his own in terms of position and awareness of the NBA game, the better.
Draft Projection: Top Five
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