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Ambitions As A Friar: A Look At Ben Bentil's Sudden Rise As An NBA Prospect

After a sudden rise to be one of the best scorers in this year's class, Providence Ben Bentil is looking to make that transition to the NBA. Ridiculous Upside takes a look at his game and if he has what it takes to be a potential sleeper.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the 2015-16 NCAA season, there was a lot of doubt that the Providence Friars would even make it to the NCAA Tournament despite having the reigning Big East Player of the Year (Kris Dunn) as their starting point guard. That concern was mainly due to Providence losing the talent that was able to surround Dunn and become one of the country's best players. Losing leading scorer LaDontae Henton and starting center Carson Desrosiers to graduation, alongside key underclassmen Tyler Harris and Paschal Chukwu that transferred. Those losses gave the entire Providence roster the chance to rise up and take the opportunity to become the sidekick to the best collegiate point guard in the country.

However, it didn't take too long to find the answer to that question, as Ben Bentil started his sophomore season looking like a man on a mission. In Providence's non-conference schedule, Bentil produced against some of the best college teams, as he posted 21 points in an upset win against Arizona, and had a 20 point, 7 rebound performance in a loss to Michigan State. Bentil was able to make that type of impact due to his offensive versatility. As you can see from the clips below, Bentil has the ability to use his 230 pound frame in the low-post, while also going outside the paint to hit a mid-range or perimeter jumper.

Bentil was able to utilize those skills throughout the entire 2015-16 season, which led to him being one of the best scoring bigs in the country by averaging 21 points per game on a 56% True Shooting Percentage. Those averages actually puts Bentil as the 4th best scorer in this year's draft class, while also being more efficient than projected lottery picks Henry Ellenson and Brandon Ingram. That ability to still be efficient while having a major role in Providence's offense is an extremely impressive sign for a player with no prior experience in that kind of position.

Although Bentil hasn't established a real go-to move, he was able to be so productive through his diverse offensive skill-set. As an NBA prospect, the most appealing part of Bentil's offensive repertoire is his ability to spread the floor as a mid-range or perimeter shooter. While his 33% 3P% isn't too impressive, he did show a lot of development in that area as the season went on.  In February and March, Bentil shot a solid 37% from beyond the arc. That boosted efficiency was due to Bentil becoming more comfortable with his increased role inside Providence's offense. As that comfort level increased, he was able to fully display his diverse skill-set.

Bentil has a lot of potential as a pick-and-roll threat as he's able to mix that solid jumper with an ability to cut to the rim both on and off-ball. While not exactly the quickest player, Bentil can put the ball on the floor and attack the rim. Bentil can also work as an off-ball threat as he moves smoothly to the rim and has soft hands that allow him to quickly snatch the ball and the rim. Another way that Bentil's able to score inside the paint is through post-ups. Although it isn't a huge part of his game, he shows some potential, primarily on the left block, with a soft touch and nice footwork.

As of the time of this piece, Ben Bentil hasn't hired an agent which still gives him an opportunity to return to Providence. However, it might be best for him to stay in the draft as his momentum seems to get higher every time he steps on the court. Especially in the modern NBA where you really need to be able to stretch the floor to succeed, having someone with the skill-set of Bentil is a valuable asset to have. And although there's a lot of players that are in contention to be late 1st/early 2nd round picks, Bentil might have a case to say that he's the best of that bunch.