Illinois appeals to Benson

Barret Benson got significant recruiting from Illinois over the weekend in New Orleans.

Four-star center Barret Benson was the focus of significant attention from college coaches during the first open recruiting period. Playing with the Illinois Wolves in New Orleans, Benson showed off some of his improvement, and had a solid weekend.

At 6-foot-9 and 220 pounds, Benson is a physical prospect on the low block. His good hands and understanding of angles on the post help him to get good opportunities, and now with the Wolves, he is hoping to show his significant improvement as a player.

“I think I have improved my body and my fitness,” said Benson. “I have gotten in better shape and gotten quicker and more athletic. Also I have been working on my skills from my face up game to making the mid-range jumper.”

Recruiting wise schools such as Purdue, Illinois, Northwestern, Stanford, Butler, Kansas State, and Indiana were tracking him closely this weekend.

Early on at the event it was assistant coach Dustin Ford that tacked Benson for the Illini. Later on in the weekend John Groce personally came to see Benson. That indication of him being a top target is something Benson noticed.

Also Benson indicated that he could see himself staying in-state, and that is something that appeals to him.

“They are an in-state program which is a plus,” noted Benson of the Illini. “It would help me give back to my state to go there, and Coach Groce and his staff are doing a great job with that program.”

At this point Benson says that he has no intention of making a quick decision on his college future, but he does have a good idea of what he is going to look for in a school when the time does come to make his commitment.

“The first thing for me is academics,” said Benson. “After that it comes down to my relationship with the coaches and how I fit into a school’s system.”

Benson is currently ranked as the No. 24 center and the No. 97 player overall in the class of 2016.

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