The UNLV Runnin' Rebels have landed the top available prospect in the country and ESPN's No. 7 overall senior in power forward Anthony Bennett (Brampton, Ont./Findlay Prep).
Bennett selected the Rebels over finalist Oregon on Saturday.
Bennett, who has yet to take an official visit, was the subject of a yearlong recruiting tussle that stretched to both coasts. Florida, Kentucky and Washington were deep in Bennett's recruitment until the early part of the spring when the list began to shrink.
UNLV's recruiting class, ranked No. 12 by ESPN, is the program's best in recent memory and a source of pride for second-year coach Dave Rice. Bennett is the program's second Top 100 recruit this season, joining Katin Reinhardt (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./Mater Dei) and transfer Khem Birch, a former McDonald's All-American.
Michael Peck, Findlay Prep's coach, watched the local school recruit his star with diligence.
"They did it very old school," Peck said. "They were traditional in how they recruited him. They tried to decide which places to come see him. They didn't overdo it. Now their fans, they made sure they were at home games and were cheering and wearing all the red."
Bennett, a McDonald's All-American, averaged 15.8 points and 9.8 rebounds for Findlay Prep. He helped them win the school's third NHSI championship last March.
Peck sees a clear strategy to use Bennett in Vegas.
"Look at Mike Moser," Peck said. "They're going to play up-tempo and they allow guys to play multiple positions and do multiple things. They let players be players. If the guys have skills that can do certain things, he lets them utilize their skills."