Finally, a big one that didn’t get away.
UNLV basketball fans, frustrated over the years as highly rated blue-chippers and future NBA first round picks like Cory Joseph, Tristan Thompson and Avery Bradley left southern Nevada after starring at nearby Findlay Prep in Henderson, were rejoicing Saturday when Pilot power forward deluxe Anthony Bennett verbally committed to the Runnin’ Rebels.
“Staying out west & going to UNLV next year,” Bennett (@ABennett24) tweeted early Saturday afternoon. “Appreciate everyone that supported me through all this.”
The 6-foot-8, 240-pound Bennett, who has a 7-foot-1 wingspan, was selected to the prestigious McDonald’s All-American team and helped lead Findlay Prep to the National High School Invitational title. He combines a smooth outside shooting touch with a powerful inside game.
The native of Brampton, Ontario, Canada was rated the nation’s No. 7 overall prospect by Rivals.com and it’s No. 1 power forward prospect. He picked UNLV over Oregon, Kentucky, Florida and Washington and is arguably the school’s most decorated recruit since Larry Johnson, who went on to garner national player of the year honors in 1991.
Bennett joins an already strong recruiting class for Dave Rice that includes 6-foot-5 sharp-shooter Katin Reinhardt of Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, who was the California state senior player of the year, 6-9 shot-blocking forward Demetris Morant of Bishop Gorman and 6-1 point guard Daquan Cook of St. Francis High in Baltimore, Md.