Bender Talks about Future

6'10 Brandon Bender spoke to ITV Thursday afternoon about his future plans. Bender may play in C-USA next season...

May be back in C-USA next season

Former Ballard High and University of Louisville center Brandon Bender returned home this summer from Cincinnati State C.C. uncertain where his future path would lead him next fall.

Bender, who has spent considerable time at the Student Activities Center scrimmaging against his old teammates, told ITV Thursday afternoon that he had spoken with Coach Pitino about returning to the Cardinal program in the fall.

"I'd love to come back and play for Louisville," Bender told ITV. "I feel like I have a lot prove."

Bender indicated that the UofL staff made no promises and no offer of an immediate scholarship.

Meanwhile, another C-USA program may be moving to the front of the line for Bender's services.

John Calipari and the Memphis Tigers have offered the 6'11 center a scholarship, according to Bender. The Tigers, who lost 6'10 signee Kendrick Perkins to the NBA last month, apparently are seeking someone to come in and provide immediate help in the paint.

Bender informed ITV that he hasn't visited the Memphis campus and doesn't have a visit scheduled at this point. The Memphis coaching staff will be out of town next week evaluating high school prospects at the national shoe camps.

Since returning to Louisville this summer, Bender has shown solid improvement and is focusing on his conditioning this offseason.

"I want to get back into Rick Pitino shape," Bender said of his conditioning goals this summer.

Brandon also had high praise for two of Louisville's current frontcourt players, Nouha Diakite and Kendall Dartez, who he has often squared off against in unsupervised scrimmages this summer.

"He's like Dikimbe Mutombo on defense," Bender said of the 6'9 Diakite.

Wherever Brandon lands next fall, ITV wishes the Louisville native the best in the future.

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