Monday, September 30, 2013
Scout's take: Bentil to Providence
By Adam Finkelstein
Three-star senior power forward Ben Bentil (Middletown, Del./St. Andrew’s) made a verbal commitment to Providence on Monday, joining a pair of ESPN 100 prospects in center Paschal Chukwu (Westport, Conn./Fairfield Prep) and small forward Jalen Lindsey (Franklin, Tenn./Huntington Prep) to complete the Friars' frontcourt of the future.
Why he committed: Ultimately, this was about two things: Bentil saw Providence as a program on the rise, and the Friars had immediate minutes to offer him next year. The fact that Miami and Georgetown both landed other prospects up front certainly didn’t hurt the Friars' chances, but ultimately this is yet another example of how dynamic head coach Ed Cooley can be on the recruiting trail when he locks in on a target.
What he brings: The Friars were looking for a 4-man with some bulk to pair next to Chukwu, and that’s exactly what they got in Bentil. He’s built like a conventional power forward in that he’s compact and strong through his core with a naturally thick center of gravity. He can both score and pass from the low to mid post, rebound in high volume and now stretch his offensive game to the perimeter.
How the class is shaping up: Cooley has rebranded the Providence program since arriving on the job, and this year’s class is just the latest example of how impactful the Friars can be, even away from their home base in New England. Chukwu and Lindsey are both ESPN 100 prospects, and Bentil was just on the cusp after having previously resided on the list. The bottom line is that this is a top-notch frontcourt, and each player will be capable of coming right in and making immediate contributions next season. The next order of business for Providence is replacing the backcourt, as the Friars potentially have two more scholarships to fill in the 2014 class.
How he fits: Bentil has the size and strength to be the type of physical enforcer Providence was looking to add to its frontline, but what may be most underestimated about Bentil is the development of his face-up skill set. He’s capable of stretching opposing defenses to the arc now, so he’ll be a nice complement to the inside-out offensive game Lindsey boasts.
Who he reminds us of: Physically, Providence fans will be looking for Bentil to fill a niche similar to what Jonathan Kale provided in years past. But while that might be the case, Bentil has more to offer offensively and could end up developing into more of a focal point on that end of the floor by the time he’s an upperclassman.