Anthony Bennett: Why UNLV Is Huge Favorite over Oregon for Star PF

Tim KeeneyContributor IMay 7, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 28: Anthony Bennett #22 of the West team sets to shoot during the 2012 McDonald's All American Game at United Center on March 28, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Anthony Bennett, a top-10 recruit in the class of 2012, has narrowed his list of schools down to UNLV and Oregon after eliminating Kentucky last night. 

The news comes from Adam Zagoria, via Twitter

Breaking -- Bennett Eliminates Kentucky; Down to UNLV, Oregon…

— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) May 7, 2012


Back in April I wrote that UNLV was the favorite for Bennett, and although I was way off on Florida, Kentucky, and Oregon's potential chances for the star power forward, the Runnin' Rebels are still the favorites.

If I had to put a percentage on it, I would say 75/25 UNLV. Let's take a look at why. 



Bennett is originally from Canada, but he currently attends Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada, which is about 30 minutes away from Las Vegas. 

If Bennett wants to stay home, UNLV is the clear choice.

And second-of-ly, Bennett's good friend and fellow Canadian Khem Birch just transferred to UNLV. Not only would he get to play with his buddy, but Bennett, along with Birch and Mike Moser, would form the best—and most exciting—frontcourt in the country.

Moser, Bennett, and Birch? UNLV would be a Top 5 preseason squad
Moser, Bennett, and Birch? UNLV would be a Top 5 preseason squadEthan Miller/Getty Images

I'm not going to make any direct comparisons, because I might get shot for that, but that's a squad that could conceivably bring UNLV back to the Larry Johnson days in terms of how fun that team was to watch. 

Finally, the Runnin' Rebels play the perfect style for Bennett. Much like their namesake says, UNLV likes to run and get in transition. Bennett is a big boy at 6-foot-7, 230 pounds, and he can certainly bang inside, but his strengths are running the floor, being athletic, and shooting the 3. 

This just seems like a match made in gambling heaven. 



Never, ever, underestimate the power of being the Nike capital of colleges, especially on young, impressionable kids. 

These kids love the apparel, and Oregon can provide a lot of it.

What the Ducks also have going for them is Dominic Artis. Bennett's high-school teammate and point guard has already committed to Oregon and is likely in Bennett's ear every day. In fact, I'm sure Artis is the reason Oregon has already made it this far.

Bennett has already made two shockers by dropping Florida early and then Kentucky. He could be setting us up for another shocker when he picks Oregon. 

Just don't bet on it.