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College Basketball Recruiting: Anthony Bennett Down to Three Schools

Image credit: Las Vegas Sun
Image credit: Las Vegas Sun
Matt OveringContributor IIIMay 4, 2012

Earlier this month, the suitors for Anthony Bennett included Florida, Kentucky, Oregon and UNLV. Just last month, Florida was thought to be the front-runner for the highest-ranked recruit yet to sign.

Shockingly, Bennett told Scout.com that Florida was recently removed from his list:

 

Anthony Bennett has informed Scout that he is down to Oregon, Kentucky and UNLV. He has eliminated Florida from his list.

— Evan Daniels (@EvanDanielscout) May 4, 2012

 

This news may be correlated with Bennett's unofficial visit with his mother at UNLV earlier today. Bennett was looking to make his decision in early May, so hopefully we'll hear of his decision before the May 16 deadline.

Unfortunately, as we all know, deadlines in college basketball don't mean much.

With Billy Donovan out of the picture, the race for the last remaining 5-star recruit seems to be down to two teams: Kentucky and UNLV.

Of course, you can't rule out Oregon. Each school has vastly improved odds now that the supposed "leader" is out of the race. 

Assuming the UNLV visit impacted Bennett's down-to-three declaration, they should be considered the "leader" now in what has been a wild race for the talented forward.

UNLV has already trumped Florida once in the recruiting realm, nabbing Pittsburgh transfer Khem Birch earlier this year. That, along with an upstart Rebels team returning key players like Mike Moser and Anthony Marshall, may give them an edge over John Calipari's squad.

However, the Wildcats have their fair share of perks. 

Soon-to-be Kentucky Wildcat Nerlens Noel has campaigned for Bennett to join him in Lexington ever since his announcement on April 11, and he'd be joining another top Calipari recruiting class.

Bennett will fight for playing time at both schools. Power forward Kyle Wiltjer is returning for the Wildcats, and the aforementioned Moser is also a power forward. Both teams have frontcourts that are loaded for next year.

With the talent that Bennett possesses, he'll be able to find time wherever he chooses to play. At Oregon, he would be an instant star. Oregon senior guards Devoe Joseph and Garrett Sim will leave a huge scoring void in Eugene, one that Bennett would have free reign to fill.

If we've learned anything from Bennett's recruitment, it is that nothing is assured. Kentucky and UNLV should like their chances now that the Gators are eliminated.

Don't get too excited, though. Bennett is still up for grabs.

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