Keith Benson, a 6'11 redshirt sophomore for Oakland, is a developing post player in the Summit league. Emerging out of relative obscurity, Benson has posted some nice numbers this season to compliment experienced perimeter threats such as Erik Kangas. The first word that comes to mind when analyzing Benson's basketball abilities is raw. At a whopping 225 pounds, Keith needs to put on some weight through any means possible. At this stage, his lack of girth is the primary obstacle preventing him from actualizing his potential. On the offensive end, Benson establishes nice post position. In his contest against Oral Roberts, he was able to edge out a more muscular player and utilized his current assets to the best of his ability. Benson is very fundamental in securing this position, and tends to come off of picks and motion plays in order to firmly plant himself under the basket. Although this may work for him in the Summit league, his lack of bulk allows him to be edged out- this occurred several times in the contest. Moreover, because of this detriment, he predominantly relies upon turnaround jumpers in the post. While this may be a solid use of his current tools, he needs to diversify his game if he wants to become a top Summit League player and have any hope of a professional career. Furthermore, he received most of his points off of dunks- the vast majority of which were due to defensive confusion on picks. In transition, Benson is fairly quick and fluid. While he does not rely upon any form of a jumper, Benson has a soft touch on his free throws. This shows that there is potential for future development away from the basket.
On the defensive end of the floor, Benson is primarily a serviceable help defender. He is often able to utilize his physical gifts such as his tremendous length to disrupt players cutting to the basket. With that said, he is only an average leaper, but is fairly quick at collecting himself and jumping again. Because of his lack of bulk, he often allows deep post position. Therefore, as a man-to-man defender, he oftentimes gives away easy points. And, at this stage of his development, he is prone to biting on shot fakes and rarely ever stands his ground, thinking that he can block virtually any shot attempt. In regards to rebounding, he has decent box out fundamentals, but is usually tenuous at demonstrating this skill. Currently, the majority of his rebounds are attributable to his excellent size and length, which are a rare commodity in the Summit League.
Altogether, Keith Benson has a long way to go before he can be considered in NBA draft conversations. But, he is certainly making strides at his current level of basketball and should be a player to keep an eye on if he continues developing with the same learning curve.