Over the weekend, the top uncommitted prospect, Anthony Bennett of Finlay College Prep by way of Canada, committed to the UNLV Rebels, helping Dave Rice and Co. re-stock for another season; the 6'8", 230-pound ball of muscle and athleticism was this recruiting class' top-ranked power forward and will fit in perfectly at UNLV, helping to replace three starters. And despite the losses, UNLV will exceed expectations and finish in the season ranked in the top ten with a deep run in March.
The chiseled Bennett will start alongside Mike Moser, a top ten rebounder per game (10.6) last season, to create one of the best frontcourt tandems around. Bennett has the muscle to bang inside, finish with finesse at the rim or step outside and knock down the 3-point jumper; Moser is a similar player minus the physicality inside, but just as strong as a rebounder as Bennett given his lengthy wingspan. Both men can play the 3 and 4, but Moser will likely be the recipient of the starting nod on the perimeter with Bennett locking up the 4.
When former-Pitt center Khem Birch becomes eligible after the first semester, along with both former Kansas-transfer Quintrell Thomas and center Carlos Lopez returning, UNLV's frontcourt will be quite imposing. Defensively, Birch, Moser and Bennett will dissuade opposing guards and wings from attacking the inside, while it will be difficult for other bigs to garner post positioning inside. Last season, the team was in the top 25 in total rebounds and should only be more dominant this season especially considering the Rebels didn't fare too well on the offensive glass, an area of expertise somewhat for Bennett and Birch.