Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
While Shabazz Muhammad and Nerlens Noel are expected to announce their college choices on Wednesday, another elite 2012 player seems further from making up his mind.
Anthony Bennett, a 6-foot-7 Canadian forward who attends Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep, said he is still torn between the five schools he is considering and plans to take all five official visits after next Saturday’s Jordan Brand Classic in Charlotte, N.C.
“Yeah, it is tough [making a decision],” Bennett told SNY.tv from Portland, Ore., where he will play for the World Select Team on Saturday night against Muhammad and Team USA. “That’s why I haven’t made my decison yet, but hopefully after I take all my visits it won’t be so hard.”
Bennett is considering Kentucky, Florida, Oregon, Washington and UNLV and said he may not make up his mind until sometime early next month.
“Yeah, probably,” he said. “I’m looking at like early May.”
Like everyone else in the basketball world, Bennett watched Monday as Kentucky won the national championship over Kansas in New Orleans, and came away impressed.
“Yes, I did,” he said. “I can see myself fitting in [with] all schools but Kentucky, they produce great players. Coach Cal produces them to the league and makes them better and also they win national championships on top of that so it’s a great fit.”
Bennett conceded that Kentucky-bound guard Archie Goodwin was in his ear “a lot.”
“Since the McDonald’s Game, I’ve been talking to Archie,” Bennett said.
(For more on Goodwin’s thoughts on the Kentucky targets, click here.)
Bennett also said he and Muhammad have had numerous conversations, but laughed when asked to elaborate.
“I can’t really say that, don’t want to give up too much,” Bennett said.
Have you guys talked about potentially playing together?
“Somewhat,” Bennett said.
(For more on Shabazz and his decision-making process, click here.)
Florida is another SEC school that figures prominently in Bennett’s recruitment.
“It’s a great team,” Bennett said. “Billy Donovan, he’s a great coach. Their system, their style of play, run and gunning and they shoot a lot of 3’s. I know they need one more combo forward to make the team so I think I’ll be a great fit there.”
UNLV is the local school and while they appear to be out of the mix for Muhammad — who is down to Kentucky, UCLA and Duke — they have a shot at Bennett.
“UNLV, the coaching staff is real cool,” Bennett said. “They’re a different style of play from last year. Last year was pretty slow. This year since the new coaching staff came, they’ve been running up and down, transition, playing defense, scoring like 80 points a game. And every time I go to their games it’s a full house. Everybody just shows support.”
Bennett added: “Khem Birch at UNLV has been talking to me throughout the year.” Birch, the Pittsburgh transfer, is a fellow Canadian.
Oregon and Washington are also in the mix and he said he plans to visit them as well.
Oregon-bound point guard Dominic Artis, Bennett’s Findlay Prep teammate, “has been talking to me about Oregon,” Bennett said.
By the time he decides, Bennett will have the benefit of knowing where Muhammad, Noel and Tony Parker are all going, too.
Until then, he plans to set up visits after the Jordan Game and go from there.
“I have no favorites, no nothing,” he said. “I’ve just been taking it easy on this recruiting thing. I haven’t really been worrying about my top two or my top three and so I have a top five and I’m going to show all of the them love equally.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.