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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Jimmy Kimmel tweets coveted recruit ‘UNLV needs you’

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Anthony Bennett (AP)

Among the numerous fans who have urged McDonald's All-American Anthony Bennett to consider their favorite school is one very recognizable name.

Comedian and late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel tweeted Bennett Tuesday at the request of fellow UNLV fans, telling the nation's top unsigned recruit, "UNLV needs you Anthony!"  Bennett is deciding between the Rebels and Oregon after trimming Florida, Kentucky and Washington from his list in the past week.

Kimmel, who briefly attended UNLV before transferring to Arizona State, apparently still supports the Rebels. At the very least, he delivered the traditional "lights, please" pregame introduction before a game at the Thomas & Mack Center this past season.

Under the strictest interpretation of NCAA rules, Kimmel's tweet constitutes a very minor violation because "boosters" aren't allowed to help recruit prospective student-athletes in any way. Nonetheless, hundreds, if not thousands, of similar messages from fans to recruits go unpunished each day because the NCAA has no means of policing Twitter, Facebook and other forms of social media.

It's highly unlikely Kimmel's tweet will have any impact on Bennett's decision, of course, but it looks like the 6-foot-7 forward may be UNLV-bound regardless. A source told SNY.tv's Adam Zagoria Bennett is leaning "90 percent" toward selecting the Rebels over Oregon.

Landing Bennett would be a huge coup for a UNLV program likely to begin next season in the preseason top 25 with or without him. The Rebels would boast one of the nation's most talented frontcourts next season, with Bennett, Mike Moser and Carlos Lopez available right away and talented Pittsburgh transfer Khem Birch eligible by mid-December.

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