Anthony Bennett Signs With Runnin' Rebels

May 15, 2012

LAS VEGAS ( - The UNLV men's basketball program has received a signed national letter of intent from Anthony Bennett to enroll at UNLV this fall as a freshman, head coach Dave Rice announced Tuesday.

Bennett, a 6-foot-8-inch, 240-pound senior power forward from Findlay College Prep in Henderson, Nev., is the first McDonald's High School All-American to come to UNLV straight from high school since Freddie Banks in 1983, a span of 29 years.

Originally from Brampton, Ontario, Canada, Bennett is a five-star recruit ranked as the No. 6 player overall in the 2012 class by CBS Sports, No. 7 by both ESPN and Rivals, and No. 8 by Scout. Ranked as the nation's No. 1 player at his position, he was the highest-rated high school player in the country that hadn't yet signed with a school before Tuesday.

Bennett averaged 16.3 points and 10.1 rebounds per game for Findlay Prep this past season under head coach Mike Peck, helping his team a 32-1 record and the school's third National High School Invitational championship (in four years) in March. Bennett was named the MVP of the NHSI and his seasonal rebounding average was the highest in the history of the school.

"We are excited to have Anthony Bennett join our program," Rice said. "He is a winner whose versatility allows him to make plays from multiple spots on the floor. He is an explosive scorer, excellent rebounder and terrific passer. Anthony is a great teammate and has a tremendous basketball background."

Bennett shot 62.6 percent from the field during his two seasons at Findlay, and connected on 40 percent of his 3-point attempts and 70.6 percent of his free throws over that same span in helping the program to a 60-5 mark. He also played for CIA Bounce, an AAU program coached by Mike George.

Bennett joins high-school signees Katin Reinhardt, Daquan Cook and Demetris Morant, and transfers Khem Birch and Bryce Jones, as Runnin' Rebel newcomers for the 2012-13 season. Birch, a fellow Canadian and a 2011 McDonald's All-American, transferred from Pittsburgh mid-season during 2011-12 and will be eligible to play in games for the Runnin' Rebels following the Fall 2012 semester. Jones transferred from USC and sat out the 2011-12 season. He is eligible to play in games at the beginning of the 2012-13 season.

Before Bennett and Birch, the last McDonald's All-Americans on UNLV's roster were Elmore Spencer and Larry Johnson in the early 1990s. Spencer and Johnson both played in the 1987 McDonald's game.