Anthony Bennett has exploded on to the national radar as a freshman at UNLV, and has put himself in the conversation for the No. 1 overall pick.

Bennett was highly touted out of high school, but questions remained over his natural position and ability to translate from one level to the next. It turns out Bennett would clear this up immediately and answer any questions regarding his place in the game.

He’s currently averaging 18.1 points per game on nearly 55 percent shooting from the floor.

Physical Tools

Bennett is a compact, 6’7” forward with exceptional upper body strength and a frame built for contact. He’s what I like to call a power athlete because of his vicious explosiveness attacking the rim.

But along with his power comes speed and agility. Bennett can fly down the court and face the rim from the perimeter.

This play sums up just exactly how physically gifted Bennett really is. On this play, Bennett demonstrates mobility, speed, agility and explosiveness—driven by 240 pounds of muscle.


Bennett has the strength of a 4 and the mobility of a 3, which allows him to play off anyone in the frontcourt and provide lineup flexibility.

As a 4, Bennett illustrates a high activity level at and above the rim. He’s a physical presence on the glass, averaging 8.6 rebounds and blocking over a shot per game.

Bennett has a soft touch inside, and can score over the shoulder with his back to the basket. Though he’s undersized for a natural power forward, his strength and aggression should allow him to body up down low, given the matchup isn’t blatantly overwhelming at the next level.

Bennett is also capable of playing face-up basketball, which is what makes him such a dangerous offensive player. His foot speed gives him an advantage against power forwards who aren’t laterally quick enough to keep up on the perimeter.

Bennett’s sweet spot is out of the triple-threat position in the mid-range with space around him to operate. Because he’s so quick and balanced off the bounce, defenders have to play back a bit and respect the dribble-drive.

Bennett also has three-point range on his jumper, and is making 37.7 percent of his attempts from behind the arc. Having the ability to play off the ball and spot up on the perimeter will maximize his court-purpose and increase his scoring opportunities.

Player Comparison: Larry Johnson

Bennett and Larry Johnson have a lot more in common than just UNLV. These guys are built the exact same way with similar offensive skill sets.

This is the type of player Bennett projects to be if he reaches his ceiling—a physical enforcer who can play inside and out with power or finesse.

Star Power

Bennett is one of the few prospects in the country who can offer star power at the next level. He’s got a top-five ceiling with All-Star potential, and has appeal as a face to help market a franchise.

The way Blake Griffin and “the big play” helped bring excitement to the Clippers (before they got Chris Paul), Bennett has the chance to do the same for someone else.

It’s plays like this that help build fanbases and raise awareness:

Draft Projection and NBA Outlook

With no sure thing in this year’s NBA draft class, Bennett is a legitimate option for a team drafting in the top five.

Teams like the Washington Wizards, Orlando Magic and Charlotte Bobcats could all use an athletic scorer on the wing and a physical presence down low. With Bennett, they get both.