On Saturday night a little birdie that usually knows things told me that Georgetown has "pulled off" of the recruitment of Class of 2014 forward Paul White. This news was a bit surprising, as we all know that Georgetown had been recruiting White heavily throughout the July period and White was apparently down to Georgetown or Arizona. Naturally my first reaction was to tell this birdie that he was an idiot, which he very well might turn out to be.
However, there are a couple of factors that lend some credence to this rumor. First, White unfortunately broke his arm in July. While my first reaction to his injury was selfishly more akin to "good, this will cause Arizona to look elsewhere," the reality is that the injury may have forced him to delay his commitment decision as teams likely want to see how he recovers and gets back into basketball form. Second, and perhaps more important for Georgetown, is that with one scholarship likely earmarked for a '14 forward, fellow Top 100 forward Ben Bentil has a similar skillset and appears to be a heavy Georgetown lean. Moreover, Bentil may pop for Georgetown within the next couple of months.
Who is Ben Bentil? Well, let's take a look! Here is a feature on Bentil by Georgetown recruiting site Hoyas 247:
Class of '14 four-star PF Ben Bentil holds a Georgetown scholarship offer and is a name that Hoya fans have heard about for quite some time. Bentil admittedly doesn't concern himself much with the recruiting process at this point but he took the time to speak with Hoya247 on a variety of topics.
Kevin Broadus and the Hoyas are one of the programs recruiting Bentil the hardest.
Bentil just completed what will be his final summer of AAU basketball for the WE-R 1 program he has been with for quite some time. He reflected on how he grew as a player this summer, the bond with his teammates and what they were able to accomplish.
"I think I grew a lot," said Bentil. "Playing with the same team for a few years in a row you get to be a family. Before the season we all planned on trying to win championships. While we didn’t achieve that as many times as we hoped we did win a major championship in Atlantic City and we all got better at the end of the day."
With AAU officially behind him, Bentil's next step will be to close out his high school career at St. Andrews in Middletown, DE. Much like with his AAU program, Bentil has one main goal for his final season of high school basketball.
"I would say my goal is to ultimately win the championship," said Bentil. "But I am just trying to get better every day and make my teammates around me better. I want to make sure I learn as much as I can."
Bentil has been described by others as a "physical force", a "prototypical 4" and a "true anchor/ball hawk". When asked to describe his game for those who have never had the opportunity to watch him play Bentil kept it simple.
"Mostly it’s about defense," said Bentil. "I am kind of like a defensive player. My offense is going to take care of itself most of the time so I try to focus on defense."
As a noted defensive player it is no surprise that one of his favorite things to do on the floor comes at the expense of his opponent.
"My favorite thing is playing in general, but I love scoring and getting stops," replied Bentil. "I like making the opponent uncomfortable and see them struggle to score the basketball."
Bentil plans on taking another visit to Georgetown later on this month.
Bentil is being recruited to Georgetown by Hoyas assistant Kevin Broadus and took an unofficial visit to the Hilltop in February. The Hoyas have been recruiting Bentil hard to this point and fit the mold of one of Bentil's biggest desires in a prospective university.
"I like the program and the school," said Bentil. "Academics are more important to me and Georgetown is mainly a great academic school. The ball playing will take care of itself but that is one thing that every player needs to think about though. I think academics are one the most important things and that basketball will take care of itself at the end of the day."
While Bentil doesn't know what he wants to major in once he gets to college at this point he does have an idea as to the direction he could see himself heading.
"Not yet," said Bentil when asked if he knew what he'd want to major in. "But since I was a kid I always wanted to look into business management. I am not sure whether I want to major in that exactly but I have always been interested in that area."
Georgetown's McDonough School of Business is recognized by many as a top 20 business school in the country so that should be something that helps the Hoyas cause. Bentil plans on making a return trip to the Washington D.C. campus in the near future, however a firm date has not been pinned down yet.
"I don’t know the exact date yet," said Bentil. "It’s going to happen sometime late August."
The recruiting process is different for every player. Some love the attention they receive from coaches, fans and media alike while others choose not to concern themselves with the circus it can be and instead focus on other things while the process plays itself out. Ben Bentil falls into the latter of the two categories.
"I don’t pay much attention to the recruitment part of it honestly," said Bentil. "It’s mainly my academics that are my focus because if I don’t get the grades then I can’t go to college and basketball is no guarantee. Going into my senior year I will pay a little bit of attention to it but it won’t be the biggest deal because even if basketball doesn’t work my academics can get me to college."
Ben Bentil told 247Sports Jerry Meyer recently that Georgetown and Providence are recruiting him the hardest at this point. Bentil is a four-star recruit and the 74th ranked prospect in the '14 class per the 247Composite. He is considered to be the 17th best PF prospect in his class and the top rated recruit in the state of Delaware.
There are more than just a few quotes in the above that stand out to me, but a kid who can hoop that also emphasizes academics sounds right in Georgetown's wheelhouse. Speaking of hoops, check out some highlights of Bentil below.
While it's tough to measure what his impact might be at Georgetown based on a highlight video set to some mean beats, Bentil's commitment to defense, his physicality, surprising shooting ability from the perimeter and what appears to be nice passing touch makes me want to give him a big hug and welcome him to the Hilltop immediately.
A Class of 2014 that includes Isaac Copeland, Tre Campbell, LJ Peak, Bentil and the big dog Elbert Robinson would make me very happy. Like really, really happy. No, really. Like really very extremely happy.