Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Tim Miles is looking to continue a trend this year that almost all Big Ten teams have been doing this offseason: Get big up front as soon as possible. And what a better way to do that then by adding center Barret Benson to a 2016 recruiting class, a four star recruit out of Illinois according to 247sports.com.
Benson, a 6-9 center weighing at 240 pounds, is also drawing attention from multiple Big Ten schools as a target for their respective 2016 recruiting classes. As other teams in the conference hope to grab Benson, he is taking all the attention in and weighing all of his options.
"Definitely at this point I'm completely open," Benson noted earlier this month via usatodayhss.com "Everyone is equal to me right now. I'm probably going to make a decision before the start of my senior season so I can play without worrying about anything."
Benson's game is all about length. He shows good effort on the offensive side of the ball with offensive rebounds, being able to tip the ball to himself for multiple second chance opportunities.
One thing on film that has stood out about Benson is the fact that his footwork in the paint is almost second nature to him . If a defender is looking to strip the ball or block a shot, their movement has no bearing on Benson. That doesn't speak to Benson's size, but more about Benson believing in his own ability to attack the rim.
In the paint, Benson has shown that he can weave through double teams while making a smart decision to kick the ball out or draw a foul on his way to the rim.
Opposing defenses know they have to stop him first and playing man defense probably isn't going to work out for them most of the time at the high school level. The double teams over time will give Benson a good test for what he will see at the college level. He also has developed good hands catching tough passes.
In terms of athleticism, Benson comes up a little bit short in that area. On dunks, Benson shows power in that regard, but he doesn't have a lot of elevation when he slams the ball home.
Having said that Benson has the ability to put the ball on the floor near the mid range area on some occasions and he does have deceptive quickness as he makes his way towards the basket. It's the kind of quickness that would certainly catch a defender off guard and Benson certainly has room to expand on that.
For a center, Benson also has a nice touch to his jumper. He has developed a jumper that ranges between 10-15 feet. Whether it is from the free throw line or near the base line, Benson has that part of his game down pat. That element of his game has allowed him to put the ball on the floor at times.
Centers who are capable making mid range jumpers at Benson's size tend to fall in love with those mid range shots from time to time and it is tempting with the amount of spread offenses run at the pro and college level. However, Benson will probably be making his value inside the paint.
The Cornhuskers are a work in progress and it is easy to see why Benson is on their radar. Benson would certainly give the team a good foundation going forward.