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    Rising Star *L-Train*'s Avatar
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    Default Closer look at: Anthony Bennett

    this guy deserves his own thread. aside from Muhammad he has been the most impressive freshman in the country in my opinion.

    here's real GM's write up on him (i posted the one about Shabazz in his thread):


    Freshman Prospects Before New Year's: Anthony Bennett


    In my fourth installment of “Freshman Prospects Before New Year's”, I explore Anthony Bennett, one of the nation’s most productive freshmen and someone who has really captured the national spotlight early on. Prior to joining UNLV’s squad, Bennett was a relatively late bloomer who rose to prominence at high school powerhouse Findlay Prep after growing up in Brampton, Ontario. Coming into this season, Bennett’s talents were overshadowed by bigger ‘name’ players, but his impact offensively has been unmatched by any freshman at this juncture of the season.

    So far this year, Anthony Bennett has dominated on the offensive end of the floor, where he is averaging 19.50 points per game, second only to Shabazz Muhammad in freshman scoring. Standing at a bulky 6’7 239 lbs, Bennett has worked hard to shed weight, while still retaining his strength advantage. As it currently stands, Bennett is one of the more versatile prospects at the collegiate level today. He scores his points in a variety of different ways, from facing up in the post to dialing in from beyond the arc. He is most effective vying for position in the post and then employing his faceup game to attack the basket. Bennett does a good job of utilizing his lower body strength to pin his man on the block. Once he receives the ball on the catch, Bennett typically faces up for an easy jumper in the paint, or attacks the rim with reckless abandon. He has a deceptively quick first step, and is explosive and powerful enough to get to the rim and finish over multiple defenders. Bennett has a flair for the spectacular and likes to make statement dunks to shift his team’s momentum.

    In order to drive past his man, Bennett employs a believable shot fake that often draws the defender off his feet. He also boasts an improved handle, which he utilizes to get to the rim from anywhere on the court. On several possessions that I witnessed, he was able to bring the ball all the way up the floor and go coast to coast for an easy lay in through contact. Few players at his size possess that kind of versatility. With that said, I believe that he will only be able to attack the basket from the free throw line in at the next level. His handle is serviceable enough, though, that he will likely be able to translate his post faceup game to the NBA level.

    Due to his aggressive “slashing” mentality and his willingness to draw contact, Bennett is drawing fouls at a very high rate. In fact, his 7.2 fouls drawn per 40 minutes currently ranks 18th in the nation. Bennett must look to maintain this same level of intensity on the offensive end and avoid settling for jump shots, as he did against North Carolina the other night. With that said, Bennett is strong with the ball on his drives, and rarely turns it over. He ranks eighth in the Mountain West Conference in Turnover Percentage, despite having the ball on 26.4 percent of his team’s possessions. In this regard, Bennett understands his limitations and plays well beyond his years.

    While he is effective attacking the rim following a post entry feed, Bennett’s back to the basket game is largely undeveloped. He has good pivoting footwork on his faceup moves, so he may be able to develop this facet of his post game down the road. He also has a low enough center of gravity to back his man close to the rim. When he does opt to faceup and shoot over his opposition, Bennett displays good balance and a highly effective shooting form. He is capable from the mid range as well, and is not shy squaring and connecting on jumpers off the bounce. As a result of these abilities, he is currently converting 61.0 percent of his two point attempts.

    Bennett’s range extends to the college three point line, where he had been shooting the ball pretty well in early action, but has struggled as of late. Overall, he is hitting a mere 31.6 percent of his three point attempts, but he continues to shoot, even when contested. Despite those below average numbers, it is clear that he possesses the range to keep defenses honest at the next level. And, he has put considerable time into his jump shot, so I expect this to be a strength of his down the road, even if he is currently struggling. With this in mind, Bennett must improve his shot selection and not try to force the issue from three point range. In fact, against UNC, he limited himself by camping out beyond the arc and not out-working McAdoo and Hubert for position inside.

    Anthony Bennett also shows some promise in the pick and roll game. He uses his wide body to get in ideal position for picks and usually is able to free up his guards. Bennett then does a nice job of carving space on rim runs, and he is very quick exploding to the basket. Because of his versatility, Bennett will also be able to fade to the outside after setting screens and free himself for open mid range jumpers depending on how opposing defenses are situated. Further, Bennett has a great motor and is able to get out in transition and finish.

    In terms of his ability to collect rebounds, Bennett shows some promise on the glass. He possesses solid box out fundamentals, leveraging his lower body to prevent players from rebounding over the back of him. Bennett also has a knack of anticipating where the ball is going to be once it hits the rim, and he is able to cover ground in a hurry to chase after rebounds and loose balls. Bennett has a very high activity level on both ends of the floor, and is willing to dive into the crowd to create extra possessions for his team. Currently, Bennett ranks seventh in the MWC in Defensive Rebounding Percentage and ninth in Offensive Rebounding Percentage. These numbers do not fully capture Bennett’s assertiveness and impact on the glass though. This is because he has a tendency to bite on fakes at the defensive end, which continuously puts him at a disadvantage when trying to secure rebounds.

    With regard to his overall impact defensively, Bennett’s post defense leaves a lot to be desired. Bennett constantly opts to front the post, with mixed results. At times, he is able to corral the ball when the post entry pass is telegraphed. However, when the post entry feed is less obvious and the ball is in the hands of a skilled passer, this playmaker is typically able to lob the ball right over the top of Bennett for an easy lay in. I suspect that such plays will consistently occur at the next level as well, unless Bennett is willing and able to change his approach to post defense. Instead of constantly fronting the opposition, Bennett should use his wide base to ‘chest’ his man off the block. When he has played back on post players so far this season, Bennett has given up deep post position, which makes it difficult to recover defensively. With this said, Bennett is very active defensively, and does a nice job of contesting without fouling when he decides to play positional defense. Bennett has good lateral quickness for a four and is able to stay in front of his man in the post.

    With regard to his physical capabilities on this end, despite his below average height for an NBA power forward at 6’7, Bennett compensates with a 7’1 wingspan. He currently has the fourth best Blocks Percentage in the Mountain West Conference, and this is a testament to his length and athleticism. While he is capable of blocking shots, Bennett is not especially effective as a help defender, sometimes even standing in the way of his teammate and watching the opposition go to the hoop for an easy lay in. Bennett must improve his awareness as a help defender and look to step in and take more charges. With that said, he is able to step out on the perimeter and defend post players who are capable of stretching the defense. When he is defending on the perimeter, though, he is often prone to biting on shot fakes.

    In addition to these struggles, Bennett is also a very poor pick and roll defender. Bennett has poor hedging techniques and rarely forces the opposing team’s guard to change directions on pick and roll plays. Instead, he often appears to be mechanically going through the motions, and steps out only momentarily before getting back to defend the rim. On other occasions, he does not hedge at all and allows open perimeter jumpers. In the instances where he does provide a momentary hedge, Bennett rarely recovers quickly enough to get back to his man and is usually stuck on a switch off. Of all the areas he must improve, Bennett’s pick and roll defense needs the most work.

    All in all, Anthony Bennett is one of the most efficient offensive weapons in the country as a freshman (ninth in Offensive Rating among those who use 24 percent or more of their team’s possessions, and 85th best overall). He exhibits considerable promise as a faceup post player who can step out and hit from the mid range. With that said, Bennett has a lot of room for growth on the defensive end. While he possesses the physical tools to improve considerably, his mental approach to defense will need some fine-tuning at the next level. Due in large part to his intriguing offensive skillset, look for Bennett to climb up draft boards and cement himself as a late lottery selection in the upcoming 2013 NBA draft.
    http://basketball.realgm.com/blog/22...nthony_Bennett

    (i don't agree with the writer's conclusion that Bennett will be a late lottery selection. i think there's a good chance that he'll land in the top 5 if he keeps up his play)

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  3. #2
    Rising Star pr26's Avatar
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    Default Re: Closer look at: Anthony Bennett

    Once the top 5 prospects are off the board (Shabazz, Noel, Len, Zeller, Mclemore), I have a lot of interest in Bennett. His problem is he's a short PF at 6'7, but he also has a power forwards build and a solid standing reach/wingspan. He's an offensive 4 who can stretch the floor and also score around the rim, and that's something that we don't have in Cleveland.

    If the kid drops due to measurements, he could be a steal.

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    Draft Guru ajz20's Avatar
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    Default Re: Closer look at: Anthony Bennett

    Quote Originally Posted by pr26 View Post
    Once the top 5 prospects are off the board (Shabazz, Noel, Len, Zeller, Mclemore), I have a lot of interest in Bennett. His problem is he's a short PF at 6'7, but he also has a power forwards build and a solid standing reach/wingspan. He's an offensive 4 who can stretch the floor and also score around the rim, and that's something that we don't have in Cleveland.

    If the kid drops due to measurements, he could be a steal.
    I think Bennett will go top 5 for sure by the time dust settles!

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    Default Re: Closer look at: Anthony Bennett

    Great scouting video on Bennett by Mike Schmitz of DraftExpress:


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    All Star howler1313's Avatar
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    Default Re: Closer look at: Anthony Bennett

    I'm not that concerned with his height; you'll see him regularly finish explosively and above the rim, so with his length+jumping ability I don't think size will be a big negative. Also, the league is slowly downsizing and Bennett fits the smaller, more versatile PF that teams are using more and more.

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    The second of his name. theSTEREO.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Closer look at: Anthony Bennett

    Is he a player that can put in time at the 3, or is he a "move Tristan and replace him with Bennett" type of player?

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    gooby pls Marcus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Closer look at: Anthony Bennett

    He will drop because of his size, but you can't deny the level of talent and pure potential there. If he drops out of the top 10 he's an absolute steal for whatever team picks him up.

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    Rising Star pr26's Avatar
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    Default Re: Closer look at: Anthony Bennett

    Quote Originally Posted by theSTEREO. View Post
    Is he a player that can put in time at the 3, or is he a "move Tristan and replace him with Bennett" type of player?
    I think his offensive game would be fine at the 3, but I can't see him guarding NBA SF's.

    I think I'd rather have him creating an offensive mismatch at the 4 anyways. He can stretch the floor, and he can drive on you.

  11. #9
    Rising Star pr26's Avatar
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    Default Re: Closer look at: Anthony Bennett

    FWIW, Draft express has moved Bennett up to #5 on their board.

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    Miracle of Richfield daytripper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Closer look at: Anthony Bennett

    I likey Tony Bennett, and Len too, but really hope the Cavs are in position to select the very top tier from this draft and that appears to be Shabazz and Noel at this early point. Looking at the Cavs current roster they might not be the perfect fits but those are the two who seem to have the best chance to be future all-stars.

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    Default Re: Closer look at: Anthony Bennett

    I just can't get on the Anthony Bennett bandwagon. He's 6'7" and, despite his REALLY long arms, you don't see undersized big men truly thriving in the League. When I see Bennett, I see Jason Maxiell 2.0. I see Paul Millsap. I see Carl Landry. I see guys that shouldn't be starting on Championship teams, but could certainly find a spot in a Championship rotation. If he was available with the Lakers or Heat picks, I'd be more inclined to pick him up. I just can't get into drafting a likely bench guy with a top 5 pick (again--I think Dion is best used as a 6th man).

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    Valuable Trading Chip D-Wreck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Closer look at: Anthony Bennett

    Quote Originally Posted by adam81king View Post
    I just can't get on the Anthony Bennett bandwagon. He's 6'7" and, despite his REALLY long arms, you don't see undersized big men truly thriving in the League. When I see Bennett, I see Jason Maxiell 2.0. I see Paul Millsap. I see Carl Landry. I see guys that shouldn't be starting on Championship teams, but could certainly find a spot in a Championship rotation. If he was available with the Lakers or Heat picks, I'd be more inclined to pick him up. I just can't get into drafting a likely bench guy with a top 5 pick (again--I think Dion is best used as a 6th man).
    He has way more offensive skill than Maxiell, way more athleticism than Millsap and is more athletic, stronger and more skilled than Landry.

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    Situational Stopper Homestar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Closer look at: Anthony Bennett

    I assumed he was definitely a SF, not a PF. Incorrect?

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    Rising Star pr26's Avatar
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    Default Re: Closer look at: Anthony Bennett

    Quote Originally Posted by Homestar View Post
    I assumed he was definitely a SF, not a PF. Incorrect?
    I don't see him defending the 3 at the next level.

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    Rookie MVP_Eric_10's Avatar
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    Default Re: Closer look at: Anthony Bennett

    There was an ESPN Insider article mentioning Anthony Bennett in the same context as Karl Malone. I had a good laugh at that. I just don't care for undersized PF's these days. Bennett is small than Tristan.

    Most of his scoring consists of him just outmuscling his opponent. His post game is all about power, he really doesn't have any post moves. I don't see why the Cavs would have any interest in Bennett, especially considering Tristan's game is starting to develop.
    "I have missed over 9,000 shots, lost over 300 games. I have been trusted to take the game-winning shot 26 times, and missed. And that is why I succeed." -- Michael Jordan

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