Mount Vernon Duo Heating Up

Bob Cimmino of Mount Vernon has had players before so he's no stranger to talent. This year, Cimmino has two members of the Class of 2004 that are receiving interest.

The last Big East player to pass through Bob Cimmino's Mount Vernon program was Ben Gordon, now a bonafide star at Connecticut. This year, Cimmino has a pair of guys receiving recruiting attention.

Keith Benjamin, a two guard and member of the Class of 2004, is the player most frequently compared to Gordon.

"A lot of people do [compare them], but I see some similarities, only because they're both great guards. The biggest difference – as of right now – creating off the dribble. Ben was more adept at that and attacking the paint and pulling up for the 10-12 foot shot."

Last season, Benjamin averaged 17 points an outing. He's being recruited primarily as a scoring guard. According to his coach, he's feeling some, but not tons of pressure to reach a decision.

"He feels pressure, I don't know if it's to start making a decision but he does feel pressure. The Big East schools are open and say they're recruiting three or four at your spot and its first come first serve.

Last week, Benjamin made unofficial visits to Villanova, Providence and Seton Hall. He's got offers from each of those programs, according to Cimmino. Others are starting to call but are still in the evaluation process with him. Programs like Illinois, Pittsburgh, Kansas and Kentucky have made contact.

Benjamin isn't the lone Mount Vernon standout drawing raves from the college scouts. Power forward Dexter Gray has offers from St. John's and Providence.

"He's an extremely hard worker. He jumps to the moon and he's good from about 16 and in. He's one of the best defensive players that I've seen and probably our best rebounding center ever. He's got a desire to take charges. To the average fan, that's not important but he's actually won games for us."

Richmond, College of Charleston, Fordham and Iona are some of the other programs that Gray is interested in. However, they won't get a chance to see him in July.

"Dexter has slightly fractured wrist so he'll be on the shelf for about three to four weeks."

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