One down, two more to go before we have a winner.
On Friday, power forward Anthony Bennett (Brampton, Ont./Findlay Prep) tidied up his remaining list of suitors and removed the Florida Gators from consideration. The Gators, for a long time, had been rumored to be the clubhouse leader.
“At first I really liked Florida but when [Brad] Beal decided to leave it affected me, cause I was looking forward to playing with him,” Bennett said.
The removal of Florida leaves UNLV, Oregon and Kentucky.
“I think he’s obviously closer to deciding and felt out of respect to all the schools still involved, to narrow his list even more and not string anyone along,” Findlay coach Michael Peck said. “He likes and respects Coach [Billy] Donovan and his staff but just felt that wasn’t the best situation for him.”
Let’s read the tea leaves here and break this thing down. The Kentucky Wildcats, as strong as their pitch is, aren’t for everyone. With Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin on board, would Bennett feel like there aren’t enough shots to go around? There are many who think that way, and Kentucky isn’t the favorite behind the scenes.
That leaves Oregon and UNLV. The thinking here is in Bennett’s mind, the chance to come in and play a more prominent role right off the bat with more chances to score would give these two an advantage amongst the remaining three programs.
Here’s what’s unique about Bennett’s situation. It’s May 5 and he hasn’t taken an official visit yet, and he’s not likely to see any more campuses. Through various travel from tournaments to all-star games, he’s managed to see each campus and of course, he goes to high school in Vegas. He’s got all the information he needs to end this prolonged recruitment.
For now, the way to view his list in my mind is UNLV and Oregon in the first tier with Kentucky in line for the uncharacteristic bronze medal.