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Ben Bentil – 6’8”, Power Forward, Providence, 21 years old
Ben Bentil coming into the season averaged just over 6 ppg in his freshman year at Providence, but with a boost in his minutes the forward quickly rose in the radars of many NBA scouts. During his sophomore year he upped his scoring to 21.1 ppg, his rebounding from 4.9 rpg to 7.7 rpg, and his underwhelming 0.4 bpg to 1 bpg; he was definitely the most improved college player during this past season. Bentil has a wide body that will translate well coming into the NBA, and his skillset is welcomed in the league, though there are a few question marks surrounding his game. He might just be this year’s Draymond Green, DeJuan Blair, or Tiago Splitter, big guys that were undervalued but have proven to be steals in the late first to the early second round. As the big guy declared for the draft, how his game will translate into the NBA is one of the questions in mind of many scouts as he is one of the most physical players in this year’s draft.
We have to highlight his main strength as a player, which is his mobility and his physical strength. At 6’8” and 230 lbs he is one of the widest body in this years draft. He is extremely strong underneath the basket, and he has proven to be a nightmare on the box against defenders. Although he didn’t average a double double in his sophomore year, Ben Bentil will definitely learn proper techniques when it comes to rebounding. He is light on his feet and will run in transition. With his size there are only a few power forwards that can match his speed in transition. Bentil is a very gifted physical specimen who will only learn how to use his advantage in the pros. Defensively he will improve as both his mobility and his length are eye opening; he has the tools to become a great defender in the NBA. Rebounding will come along as well because of his combination of mobility, size, and strength, especially when it comes to crashing the boards.
His scoring ability is very underrated because of his size. He averaged over 20 ppg in Providence, using his wide frame to carve out space underneath the basket. He is by no means polished offensively, but you can’t argue with the results. He is not afraid to bang down low because he can easily absorb contact with his frame. Bentil is extremely strong and that will prove to be useful in the NBA. His jumpshot is also deadly, as his range allows him to spread the floor and be a lethal part of a pick and pop, he can hit the occasional 3 pointer but he is not consistent from that range. On the block he can face up defenders and shoot over most of his defenders. This is extremely vital as most teams would like to get the ball down low especially on broken plays. Again, he is extremely strong which allowed him to get to the line about 8 times per game in college.
In terms of basketball IQ, Ben Bentil is not the smartest basketball player in the game. He rarely thinks of his plan and just barrels down defenders with his head down. He took a lot of contested jumpers in college, and he can’t recognize the simple play of just passing it back out to his guards. Whenever he can’t make a shot he will go into gunner mode and just start jacking up shots without thinking of the consequence. He doesn’t react well to double teams in large part because he doesn’t get doubled that much, and when he does get doubled you’ll see him throw a cross court pass that is very difficult to catch. He is strong that’s for sure, but he also needs to work on the mental aspects of his game if he wants to be effective as a player in the NBA.
Ben Bentil is also not a very polished player when it comes to post moves. You’ll see him make a good move from time to time, but that’s about it. He needs to work on his counters and advance his post moves because right now he only has the jump hook and the face up jumpshot.
Defensively he is a train wreck. He rarely gets into a stance and you can see that he is not comfortable guarding players out on the perimeter. This is a red flag for most teams because with small ball dominating the league at the moment, Bentil needs to at least guard a forward out on the perimeter if he wants to make an impact. He is also not a shot blocker by no means because most of the time he doesn’t even contest when players shoot over him. He has the right tools to be a great defender, but his bad habits are things that he needs to work on.
Bentil figures to potentially be a steal in the late first round to early second round. He might be an energy guy off the bench, someone that you hope to give you a spark when down by a large margin. His ceiling is probably a starter for a middle of the pack team, a guy who won’t blow you away with his game but will score the occasional 15 points to go along with 10 rebounds. With his size and mobility, I expect to hear more of Ben Bentil, and I definitely think he will be a player in the NBA for a long time. How will he impact the team that drafts him is up to him.
It’s really hard to compare him to anyone but his physique and skillset are very similar to Brandon Bass. Both players are big men that can bang down low and will provide you with offense with his jumpshot and face up game. They are both lethal on the pick and pop, but nowhere near the go to guy. I expect Bentil to have the same impact as Brandon Bass.
Ben Bentil is physically ready for the NBA, but not everything comes down to physical build because most of the time you have to outsmart your opponent in order to stay in this league, something he has to work on. For now check out all of our draft profiles as we cover the entire 2016 NBA Draft.