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“There are a few ways this can resolve. Bennett could become a star. He could turn Thompson into a solid third big man, a guy to come off of the bench and play 30 minutes while providing some insurance. Or, Bennett could progress along as Thompson has and stay behind him on the depth chart. New coach Mike Brown could turn to smallball and play Thompson at center for longer stretches, along with Bennett. Or, we could have that usual nightmare: Bennett gets pushed to play small forward despite having the basic skillset of a power forward. It’s been tried a million times; it rarely works, especially in the smaller, faster NBA.” [Ziller/SB Nation]
“Bennett starred as a freshman in the Mountain West Conference, averaging 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game for coach Dave Rice and establishing himself as one of the most productive forwards in the NCAA. How he’ll slot in defensively alongside frontcourt mates Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson remains to be seen — Bennett was cited by the DraftExpress analysis team of Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz as a player who often jogged on D, relaxed in his defensive stance, exercised poor fundamentals and seemed to be in less-than-prime condition — but his finishing ability around the rim and outside stroke (37.5 percent from 3-point range in his lone season in Vegas) have led many to view him as a strong stretch-four prospect at the next level.
Forwards with the ability to not only win one-on-one matchups on the interior for buckets, but also step out on the floor and threaten a defense with perimeter jumpers can provide spacing for fellow post players on the interior (like, perhaps, incumbent forward/center and fellow Canadian Thompson) or driving lanes for wing penetrators (like, for example, All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving and rising sophomore shooting guard Dion Waiters), are rare, and in great demand in today’s NBA.” [Devine/Ball Don’t Lie]
“The entire model could change, however, depending on the outcome of the Ed O’Bannon-NCAA case. In the spring, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany infamously said Division I programs would go the way of Division III and not offer scholarships and de-emphasize athletics all together. Not many bit on that assertion and Delany eventually backtracked.
Asked about the subject on Tuesday, Smith said he’s long believed athletes should receive more financial support, especially the ones who are in need. How to go about that is the biggest answer that remains untapped.” [Rowland/Eleven Warriors]
“Going by offense alone in 2013, there’s not much of an argument, I don’t think. Kipnis has been the best. In my opinion, RC+ is the single best statistic for hitting, and Kipnis is ahead comfortably. Even if you’re not sure about all these park factors/effects, Kipnis’ straight OPS is better than the other guys’ too (you should buy into park effects though!). I don’t doubt Pedroia is the better fielder, but Kipnis has become solid on defense, and for my money, the edge he’s got with the bat is enough to counteract Pedroia’s defensive advantage. Certainly there are reasons to have more confidence in the offensive statistical measurements than the defensive ones (for any player).” [Lukehart/Let’s Go Tribe]
“Canada doesn’t have a ton of basketball tradition, but in guys like Bennett, Tristan Thompson and 2014 top-pick candidate Andrew Wiggins, it’s had some very talented basketball exports. This run of NBA Draft picks that began with the Cavaliers selecting Thompson at No. 4 in 2011 comes a few years after these talented Canadians started coming to America as teenagers to seek out better coaching and competition and to chase their NBA dreams.
The selection of Bennett — who only took up basketball in middle school — proves they’re on a fast track.” [Jackson/FSO]