Tuesday, May 8, 2012 | 2:50 p.m.
- UNLV among the final two choices for Findlay Prep forward Anthony Bennett
- Findlay Prep’s Anthony Bennett cuts Florida from his list, visits UNLV
- Findlay Prep’s Anthony Bennett now the biggest recruiting target in the country
- Rebels recruiting in decent shape entering the spring signing period
- All UNLV coverage
Twitter is playing a big role in the conversation leading up to Anthony Bennett’s college decision, and now it includes a late-night talk-show host.
Bennett, a forward at Findlay Prep and the highest-rated uncommitted player in the country, recently cut his list in half. He’s down to UNLV and Oregon after cutting out Florida and Kentucky, the latter of which set off a mini-firestorm after spurned Wildcat fans flooded Bennett’s Twitter feed (@ABennett24) with negative comments that he retweeted to his nearly 9,000 followers.
Negative tweets are hardly a new thing. Last season Rebels Anthony Marshall and Oscar Bellfield would favorite or retweet disparaging remarks, many of which came from UNLV fans, and use them as motivation.
The tweets directed at Bennett caught national attention because they were particularly vulgar. They were from the vocal minority of a fan base that would not want to be judged on the acts of the few, just as UNLV fans wouldn’t want to be thrown in with those who attack their own players.
On Tuesday the discourse changed a bit as Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel), who attended UNLV for one year and delivered the pregame “Lights Please” introduction for a game last season, tweeted “UNLV needs you Anthony!” Another fan (@Salsaa_Stylez) had tweeted Kimmel asking for his help, in this case searching for a big name to represent UNLV fans who want Bennett to stay in Las Vegas. Earlier in the day, Adam Zagoria tweeted that Bennett favors UNLV and is "90 percent" sure of his decision.
And yes, it's a recruiting violation for Kimmel to send a tweet to a student-athlete in hopes of him choosing a certain school. But it's also a violation for you to do it, too, so it's not like this is a ground-breaking revelation.
Bennett has said that he will decide between the Rebels and Ducks this weekend. You can bet that every minute up to that announcement, someone on Twitter will send out another comment — good, bad or otherwise.