Stampede coach on former player, top NBA Draft pick: 'Wow'

Idaho's Mike Peck coached Anthony Bennett at Findlay Prep outside Las Vegas.

clangrill@idahostatesman.comJune 29, 2013 

Mike Peck coached a number of Findlay players who landed in the NBA. But Anthony Bennett is the first former pupil to become a No. 1 pick, as he did Thursday night, and a surprised Peck said the Cleveland Cavaliers have the potential for a new marquee player.

"People don't realize he's only been playing basketball seriously since he was 14," Peck said. "And it's not like he eased into it. He got thrown into the highest level (at Findlay and then UNLV). … It's not like he started out with a beginner course and he was able to slowly transition and progress. Uh-uh, with him, it was more like, 'Jump in, it's 20 feet deep. Now swim.' "

Bennett proved to be a quick study and a rare talent. In his one season at UNLV, he was named the Mountain West Freshman of the Year and earned a spot on the Sporting News' All-Freshman Team.

THE BLAZERS' DRAFT

Portland, the Stampede's NBA affiliate, acquired four players Thursday:

• Shooting guard C.J. McCollum (Lehigh) was selected with the 10th overall pick.

• Jeff Withey, a 7-foot-1 center out of Kansas, was picked in the second round.

• Spain product Marko Todorovic, a 6-11 center, was taken in the second round.

• Allen Crabbe, a shooting guard out of Cal, was acquired in a trade with the Cavaliers.

Peck said Crabbe is the player most likely to see some time in Idaho next season.

COMING TO BOISE?

The Blazers and Jazz will play a preseason game Oct. 11 at CenturyLink Arena, a game that should include the NCAA Player of the Year.

Trey Burke was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the ninth overall pick and dealt to the Jazz. The 6-1 point guard led Michigan to the national championship game.

Utah acquired two other players via trade Thursday night: Rudy Gobert, a power forward/center from France, and Raul Neto, a guard out of Spain.

Chris Langrill: 377-6424

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