Anthony Bennett Commits to the UNLV Runnin' Rebels

Mick AkersAnalyst IMay 12, 2012

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After months of speculation, Rivals No. 7 high school basketball recruit, Anthony Bennett, has committed to the UNLV Runnin' Rebels according to Adam Zagoria, ending the guessing game that has gone on for some time.

Just a few weeks ago the Florida Gators were thought to be the favorites for the 6'7" forward, but that was until he cut them from his list of four schools that remained at the time.

Then, the next speculated favorite, the Kentucky Wildcats, was clipped off his list, leaving just UNLV and the Oregon Ducks as the 5-star recruits' final two choices.

Fellow Canadian basketball star, Khem Birch, was said to have played a big role in UNLV landing Bennett, as he was in his ear and used his social media platforms to try and convince him to play for the Rebels.

Now that Bennett has made it official, UNLV and the high school All-American can get his role figured out for the upcoming season.

UNLV has a scheduled exhibition tour in Bennett and Birch's home of Canada in August, and that will give us a first look at how Bennett will fit in with the up-tempo Rebels—Birch will not be allowed to participate in the exhibition games. (He is not eligible for play until midway through the season due to transferring halfway though last season from Pitt.)

Anyway you look at it, landing Bennett is a huge get for UNLV, as he is the first All-American recruit to sign with UNLV out of high school since Lamar Odom did back in 1997. Although, Odom never played for the Rebels after NCAA recruiting violations, and he eventually played for the University of Rhode Island.

According to Dave Telep of ESPN, the Rebels jump into the Top 25 recruiting classes of 2012 at No. 12 with the Bennett signing, as UNLV also signed Rivals No. 38-ranked Katin Reinhardt, No. 144-ranked Demetris Morant and unrated DaQuan Cook.

The incoming talent should make a Top 15 appearance in the preseason rankings come fall.