It's finally official that Kentucky is losing seven of its eight rotation players to the professional ranks. That means Kentucky is looking to reload across the board. With just a few top uncommitted prospects left, Findlay Prep combo forward Anthony Bennett is the biggest name to watch.
Is Bennett the last piece of the puzzle for Kentucky's 2012-13 season? The Wildcats' latest recruit, Nerlens Noel, certainly hopes so.
My man @NerlensNoel3 tells me that he's "trying hard" to get @ABennett24 to join him at Kentucky. Puts his chances at "a lil over 50%" #BBN— Jason Jordan (@JayJayESPN) April 18, 2012
Like many of the prospects linked to Kentucky, Bennett would be an ideal fit for John Calipari's dribble-drive motion offense. Think of Bennett like Terrence Jones, minus Jones' amazing athletic freakishness and ballhandling skills. Bennett's big body and frame make him a capable banger inside, but he has a silky outside shot for a big man and extends the floor all the way to the arc. If you missed the last minute of the Nike Hoop Summit, you missed Bennett draining a ridiculous long-distance three-pointer as the shot clock expired to seal the deal for the World team.
Originally, recruitniks thought that Bennett would take all five official visits before committing sometime in May, but that may no longer be the case. Bennett has taken just one official visit to date, visiting Oregon after the Nike Hoop Summit (played in nearby Portland). Recently, Bennett has expressed interest in committing earlier than intended, and may not take all those official visits after all.
Kentucky has long been thought of as a frontrunner for Bennett, but never the frontrunner, with Florida as option 1B and UNLV, the "hometown" program near Bennett's high school, Findlay Prep, also lurking. Could the mystery be coming to an end? If it is, Kentucky fans should certainly be hopeful for good news. I'll leave you with this promising tweet from Ben Roberts of the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Deep breaths, UK fans. Cats' Pause reports UK may be nearing a commitment from Anthony Bennett bit.ly/Ivrdm8 (premium)— Ben Roberts (@NextCats) April 11, 2012