Huggins Winter Work Pays Off

The highest-rated prospect to make a decision on Wednesday was center Jason Bennett.'s No. 46 prospect ended his recruitment.

Bob Huggins has his trophy.

On Wednesday, 7-foot-2 center Jason Bennett of Arlington Country Day, picked the Kansas State Wildcats over the Auburn Tigers.

"He had a relationship with Bob Huggins before and I think that was rekindled when he went out there," ACD coach Rex Morgan told "I think the family went out there and he went and they were impressed with the people out there. I think he felt like it was a basketball area. Everywhere he went people knew him and they were so friendly."

Who wouldn't be friendly to a high school giant that averaged 12.5 points, 13.7 rebounds and 8.2 blocks during his senior season?

Huggins and his staff did a tremendous job to land Bennett but it didn't happen overnight. The groundwork for Bennett's recruitment was laid when Huggins was still at Cincinnati. Numerous times Bennett was close to committing to the Bearcats only to wait.

Finally, once Huggins was out of the picture so were the Bearcats. But, Huggins himself never disappeared. While out of work this winter, Huggins still was out evaluating players. The image of Huggins getting a round of applause at the Marshall County Hoopfest while Bennett's team played tells the story.

After the game, Huggins chatted Bennett up in the lobby of the gym and you knew that the groundwork his future recruitment had been laid.

Morgan admitted that Huggins' presence while he was out of work had some pop. "I think it kept Huggins in the picture and it showed how interested he was if he did get a job."

See, Huggins was never really out of work this winter, just unemployed. Being the recruiter that he is, the KSU skipper never really lost his passion for his profession and it paid off the first day of the signing period as K-State landed its first Top 100 prospect since Cartier Martin.

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