Panthers Get It Done

After the visit to Pittsburgh, Keith Benjamin gave off vibes that it wouldn't be that long before he made a decision. Well, it wasn't long at all.

The Pittsburgh Panthers made a decisive move last week to lockdown Mount Vernon guard Keith Benjamin once he decided to rescind his commitment to Villanova. On Tuesday, news came about that the Panthers plan had come full circle.

According to Bob Cimmino, Benjamin's high school coach, his star guard is a Panther.

"He got very good vibes from all of the players and that was real important to him, in addition to the coaching staff," Cimmino said. "He's always wanted to play at a high level. He's elevated his game here since making the varsity as a sophomore."

Benjamin committed to Villanova a few months ago but after further reviewing the speed in which he decided and then seeing Derrick Snowden get injured which meant a possible return for a fifth season, Benjamin decided to look around. Though the relationship with Villanova never came full circle, the Wildcats did nothing but improve their standing with the players on the Mount Vernon side.

"I feel that we have a great relationship with the entire Villanova staff and program," Cimmino said. "If anything, when one of my players has reneged on them, it made me appreciate them even more as quality people. Coach Wright was tremendous in the whole thing and of course there's nobody better than Freddy Hill."

Benjamin will probably run some combo guard at Pittsburgh and Cimmino sees a young man on the rise. "He's a tremendous athlete. He's so young. He's one of the youngest seniors I've coached. He's still only 16. He jumps to the moon, likes to play "D" and he can hit the 3. His upside is tremendous and he's a student of the game."

And he'll be continuing his studies at Pittsburgh.


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