Anthony Bennett: 3 Reasons Huge Basketball Recruit Should Pick Florida

Cole Dolan@@ColeDolanCorrespondent IIIMay 9, 2012

Anthony Bennett: 3 Reasons Huge Basketball Recruit Should Pick Florida

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    Anthony Bennett, one of the most talented big men of the 2012 college basketball recruits in the nation, was supposed to add depth to Florida's frontcourt.  He is a big and physical rebound monster, but has recently eliminated the Florida Gators from his list of potential destinations.

    The Gators sported a four-guard, one big man team for much of last year, and it managed to have quite a bit of success.  Billy Donovan's team made it all the way to the Elite Eight before blowing a big lead late in the game against Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals.

    The Gators were good, but it was quite obvious that it was difficult for them to compete with the bigger teams of the nation like national champion Kentucky.

    Anthony Bennett may have very well eliminated the Gators, and is reportedly down to just UNLV and Oregon, but we have seen crazier things happen than a kid eliminate a school and subsequently choose that same school. 

    So let's check out just what Anthony Bennett is missing out on.

Billy Donovan

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    Elite coaches, like Mike Krzyzewski, Rick Pitino, Roy Williams, Bill Self and Tom Izzo, make choosing a school difficult for recruits.

    But Billy Donovan has to be a name on this list.

    Though he is younger than many of the college basketball coaches, Donovan's age has not limited his success.

    He has an overall coaching record of 386-158 and is the first coach since Krzyzewski to win back-to-back national championships in 2007 and 2008.

    Perhaps the biggest attraction Donovan brings to the table when recruiting is his preferred style of play.  The Gators are a fast, flashy and streaky-shooting team, a perfect image for a kid coming out of high school.

    While the Florida guards get a little more of the attention, Donovan has developed his fair share of NBA big men, too.  Udonis Haslem, Al Horford, Joakim Noah, Matt Bonner and Marreese Speights highlight the group of current NBA, former Florida Gators big men, all of whom are currently playing in the playoffs.

    Maybe the opportunity to play for a high-flying, quick scoring Florida Gators team that has proven to effectively develop NBA talent will change Anthony Bennett's mind.

    We can only hope.

Early Start

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    The Florida Gators aren't losing any of their big men to the draft, but Anthony Bennett could easily steal a starting spot.

    The Florida frontcourt was solid last season, but there wasn't that go-to scorer or defender that locked down the paint. 

    Anthony Bennett could come in and change all of that in his first year.

    Donovan would likely throw out his four-guard lineup and start Bennett alongside Patric Young or Patrick Murphy.

    While Bennett would likely be a starter on any lineup in college basketball, he could be that final piece to complete Florida.  The loss of freshman Bradley Beal will hurt, but Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario return along with much of the Elite Eight team from last year.

    The addition of Anthony Bennett could push the Gators over the hump to make a run for the national championship.


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    Anthony Bennett is down to two choices—UNLV and Oregon—neither have had the success that Florida has had in the last decade.

    Billy Donovan has put the Florida basketball program on the national stage, and the Gators have consistently made deep runs into the tournament. 

    The same simply can't be said about the Rebels or Ducks. Traditionally, UNLV has been good, but that's exactly the problem.

    Has been.

    The last time the Rebels advanced past the Sweet 16 was in 1991.  That's over two decades ago.

    Meanwhile, the Gators have three national championship appearances in this decade, along with two other Elite Eight appearances.

    It makes it seem obvious who Anthony Bennett should choose, doesn't it?  But hey, at least Kentucky isn't stealing this one.