- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. UNLV coach Dave Rice said that heralded freshman Anthony Bennett isn’t eligible yet and won’t be in summer school. “He’s been admitted to UNLV, but the NCAA clearinghouse eligibility center is still evaluating him. It’s not unusual. But we’re very optimistic that he’ll be here in late August." The 6-foot-8 Bennett, a native of Ontario, finished his high school at Findlay College Prep in Las Vegas. Bennett is projected to be an impact player for the Mountain West Conference favorites. Bennett would play alongside Mike Moser and give the Rebels one of the top frontcourts in the West. Rice also said assistant coach Stacey Augmon has a standing offer to be an assistant under Mike Dunlap with the Charlotte Bobcats. But he said Augmon is on the road recruiting for UNLV this weekend and hasn’t made a decision.
2. Kentucky coach John Calipari doesn’t usually need too many advantages, but it’s hard not to see him gaining one in the recruitment of No. 1 2015 player Karl Towns Jr., after coaching him on the Dominican Republic national team. Towns plays at St. Joseph High in Metuchen, N.J., but he had a chance to play under three of the Kentucky staffers with Orlando Antigua and Rod Strickland coaching alongside Calipari. Calipari went into the Dominican experience with the goal being to get to the Olympics and increase the basketball culture in the national program. But he might ultimately benefit most with one of the best players available in the coming years.
3. Baylor freshman Isaiah Austin is projected to be the replacement for Perry Jones III and the most impactful freshman in the Big 12 outside of Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart. The 7-foot center was a major get for Baylor coach Scott Drew, especially since he was from Arlington. Georgetown, Houston, Texas and Kentucky were all recruiting him. Drew has had a chance to work him out. “He’s really skilled, a really good pick-and-roll player,’’ said Drew. “His size is unbelievable. And he’s gotten stronger.’’ Austin will need to be more than PJ3. He needs to find his inner Quincy Acy and become a force inside.