Rhodes Gaining Steam

It's a rare player who passes up on the opportunity to travel throughout the country during the spring and summer to compete at the highest level of prep basketball. But then again, Bennie Rhodes is an unusual kind of player.

For one thing, the 6-4 swingman is taking an extended tour of high school basketball. He played as a senior at Oakland (Calif.) Castlemont last season and was expected to attend Durham (N.C.) Mt. Zion for a prep year, but now he's listed as a Class of 2008 for Mt. Zion. Despite that, however, Rhodes said he has never played on the travel circuit, which explains why a player with his talent hasn't cracked many national lists.

From his perspective, he could attract the desired attention from colleges by opting for a different course.

"I thought I could get exposure by going to the elite camps at different schools," Rhodes said. "I just didn't believe in the AAU stuff."

In fact, Rhodes said he'd attended Arizona's elite camp in 2005 and elite camps at Florida and UCLA in 2006.

All that said, he plans to play with the So.Cal All-Stars next spring and summer.

"I'm real good friends with Brandon Jennings, that's why I'm going to play with those guys," Rhodes said.

This season at Mt. Zion will serve as a tune-up for that travel period, because Mt. Zion always plays a national schedule and features a handful of other Division I prospects. Already, Rhodes is hearing from a solid crop of major programs.

"I've gotten interest from USC, Kansas, Florida a little and N.C. State," he said. "I prefer the Pac-10 because I'd like to play closer to home."

Despite Rhodes' stated interest in playing his college ball out west, he said he'd make the decision that made the best sense for his career, no matter where that program is. Kansas is among the obvious considerations should the Jayhawks decide to step up their interest and make a scholarship offer.

"Coach Townsend is the main one I've talked to, but I've heard from Coach Self too," Rhodes said. "They said they're just keeping an eye on me right now and want me to be consistent."

Bennie Rhodes Scout.com Profile


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