Tag Archives: Anthony Bennett

BDN Recruiting Focus – Anthony Bennett

BDNP

It seems over the last two years there has been an overwhelming amount of Canadian talent pouring into the hoops world. No longer do Canadians have to only point to Steve Nash, there are now talents such as Cory Joseph, Tristan Thompson, and Myck Kabongo representing our friends north of the border. Findlay Prep, a powerhouse basketball program located in Henderson, Nevada, has accumulated much of this Canadian wealth recently. All three of those players have matriculated to college or are now waiting for their dreams to come true – hearing their name be called by NBA commissioner David Stern. The next in line to take over at Findlay prep and represent Canadian players is none other than 6’7 wing forward Anthony Bennett. Built like a freight train, Bennett hails from Brampton, Ontario, Canada, a city roughly 45 minutes west of Toronto, Ontario’s capital city. A [private] city more notably known for its hockey players and hilarious comedian Russell Peters, Brampton is now starting to produce some big time basketball talent starting with Tristan Thompson and now Bennett. Bennett has been extremely impressive these past two weekends making scouts certainly rethink where they originally had him slated. BDN got a chance to briefly catch up with the bruising wing forward last weekend at the Nike EYBL in Los Angeles.

BDN: Just to make sure the program has this right, you are from Brampton correct?

AB: Yes sir, I am.

Well that is very interesting as I am originally from Hamilton, not too far from you.

Oh for real? (smiles) Not too far from Brampton.

I spoke to Myck Kabongo about this awhile ago, but I’d like to get your take. What’s it like being the Canadian kid moving to the U.S to play?

I mean, they think Canadian players only play hockey and stuff, so they really don’t take us seriously at first. But, us as Canadians, we have to show them what’s really good. So we just go out and play strong all the time.

What is the biggest difference from playing in Canada to playing out here?

Players in Canada, they are a lot smaller. They aren’t really that big in general.

Oh you mean like the 6’2 center? We had one of those on my high school team.

(laughs) Yea yea that’s exactly it. But out here in America, it’s really great competition. People are bigger and stronger. People are just as good as you so you really have to work on your game to improve.

Tell some of our fans a little bit about your game?

I’m very aggressive, I get rebounds, I try to get my teammates open. I can go down low and play and I can shoot from the outside. In the high post, I get it and turn around and face up and do my thing out there.

 

Do you have a preference on where you play?

Not really, but I am trying to work my game outside, but right now I feel like my game is a high post, short corner type of game.

What are some of the schools that are interested in you right now?

Well there are a lot of them really. I can’t even list them off the top of my head, but I’ll try (laughs).

Just a few will do.

UConn, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Florida, Florida St., UNLV, Xavier, oh man..

That’s an impressive list. Anyone else specifically from the ACC?

I had heard from Duke at about mid-season, but I haven’t really talked to them that much.

If they were to pursue you, would you be open?

Yea I would.

You’ve got a teammate on CIA Bounce that is absolutely blowing up. Tell me about Andrew Wiggins a little bit.

He’s very young right now. He’s very athletic though. He can shoot, he can drive, he’s just a really great kid, and in the future he’s going to be a great player.

Being at Findlay right now, what are the coaches working on most with you?

They are trying to get me out on the wing more right now. Every time we do ball handling and shooting drills and stuff, they have me with them.

Do you model your game after any players specifically?

Oh naw man. I just do me!

When it comes time to make your decision eventually, who will you look to for guidance?

I would have to say my mom and my AAU coach Mike George.

Do you have any time frame for your decision?

No not yet, but I might go later on in the year.

Thanks for your time.

No problem man, thanks.  [/private]

Anthony Bennett makes his mark at the Nike EYBL

Anthony Bennett enjoyed the attantion during the Nike EYBL Session I - BDN Photo

HAMPTON, Va -Make no mistake that Anthony Bennett is a top notch prospect, physically gifted with a good amount of upside.  Bennett didn’t exactly sneak up on anybody during the Nike EYBL Session I in Hampton, Virginia this past weekend, but he did have a monster first game and that started the talk amongst analysts.

There was a throng of media surrounding him after his performance but you had to listen carefully to realize he was not at all familiar with the makers and shakers of college basketball.  In fact, when asked about his play against Julius Randle he [private] acted as if he knew who he was but really didn’t.  He admitted that when I asked him of the two.

So, here is a kid that doesn’t really know who he is going up against in that he has never really done anything but go out and play the game of basketball.  It didn’t take me long to see that he was unaware of the Duke’s and Kentucky’s of the world, so I said, “you really don’t know much about these schools, do you?” and he responded by saying, “not really, I am still learning the scene in college basketball in the United States.”

Bennett is also being represented by a handler, not uncommon these days.  The bottom line is the recruiting process is just getting going with 6-8 2012 star despite what you might read.  Bennett said that Florida State from the ACC has been in touch and that he has heard of Duke from his handler and AAU coach.  So, there is little direct contact with the budding prospect.

“I feel free in AAU ball,” said Bennett.  When asked what he meant, he referred to the structure that was in place on his high school team, Findley Prep.  Bennett is an aggressive player who runs the court well.  He was very active in his CIA Bounce Teams games and showed the ability to score on drives and put backs but needs work on his perimeter offensive game.

But as good as he was, you could see little holes in his game and that is not suprising.  “I have only been playing basketball for four years,” said Bennett when BDN asked of his experience.  Considering the short time he has played organized hoops, his game was even more impressive.

I then asked when he became serious about his hopes of playing college basketball and then beyond.  Bennett stated, “I got serious about two years ago in Canada.  I was like 6-4 and everybody said I was a great basketball player.”  That’s when he decided to take his game stateside landing at the aforementioned Findley Prep.

He said his weight was 220 or 230, and we’ll go with 220 from our views.  “I like to try and be aggressive and get everything that comes off the rim,” said Bennett and it is statements like that that make college coaches drool.

“I really like to get out and run and I just try and be a part of every play,’ quipped the rising prospect.  And while he may not know the names thrown about y the guru’s asking the questions, he makes it clear with this statement, “I just go out and play, it doesn’t matter to me who I am going up against, be it Julius Randle or anybody else.”

Bennett said he would take his time in making his choice with concerns to collegiate basketball.  He will site down with his parents and Mike George his AAU coach in due time. 

“I am a forward, a small forward, but a lot of people see me as a big at the next level but I think I will be a small forward,” said Bennett but you will have a hard time convincing seasoned coaches that he is anything but a power forward in my opinion.

We have some more questions and answers on the cutting room floor with Bennett that we hope to get to, so stay tuned for more EYBL coverage at BDN. [/private]