Report: UNLV freshman forward Anthony Bennett to enter NBA Draft

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According to a report from Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com, UNLV freshman forward Anthony Bennett has played his last game as a Runnin’ Rebel.

The Brampton, Ontario native will announce within the next week that he’s entering the 2013 NBA Draft, and that’s news that will surprise few if any who follow college basketball.

Bennett, a 6-8, 240-pound forward who played at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev. before his one season at UNLV, averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds this season and was named Mountain West Freshman of the Year. Bennett shot 53.3% from the field and was also a first team All-Mountain West selection.

In UNLV’s 64-61 NCAA tournament loss to California on Thursday night Bennett finished with 15 points (4-of-11 FG), 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Within NBA circles the athletic forward is seen as a consensus lottery pick in June’s draft. As for UNLV, there’s also the matter of what junior forward Mike Moser may look to do when it comes to the NBA.

Moser’s season was impacted in part by a dislocated right elbow suffered in the team’s regular season game at Cal back in December, and he struggled to get comfortable within the UNLV rotation upon his return.

As it stands currently UNLV will lose two front court players: Bennett and senior Quintrell Thomas. If Moser were to return he would be joined by senior Carlos Lopez-Sosa, Khem Birch (Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year), Savon Goodman, Connecticut transfer Roscoe Smith and redshirt freshman Demetris Morant.

UNLV also has two incoming front court recruits: Indian Hills JC product Jelan Kendrick, whose travels include stops at Memphis and Ole Miss, and highly-regarded freshman Christian Wood (Findlay Prep).

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.