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Recruiting: Trotwood rising senior trying to impress D-I schools

There’s no questioning Dezhontae Bennett’s athleticism. You don’t average 10.3 rebounds per game at 6-foot-2, as the Trotwood-Madison rising senior did last season, without springy legs.

“He’s crazy athletic. It’s explosive. He goes up so fast and you know he’s going to dunk it,” said Trotwood coach Rocky Rockhold.

Still, while Division II schools are all over him, the big boys share a common question about how his game would translate to Division I.

“They all ask the same question: what position is he going to play? And my answer is always the same. He’s just a basketball player,” Rockhold said.

Bennett’s spending the summer working on his perimeter game in an effort to show scouts he’s a good enough shooter and ballhandler to spend a scholarship on. Wright State and Bowling Green are among those keeping tabs on his progress.

At Centerville, two rising seniors are out to increase their college stock, while one junior-to-be is already attracting Division I interest. Elks guards Austin Recker and Eric Meininger are each hearing from a handful of schools in Division II and Division III, and hoping to earn opportunities on the higher end of that spectrum.

Recker’s interest “has kind of been all over the place,” Elks coach Brook Cupps said. Meininger’s size (6-foot-5) and shooting ability have gained attention from DII schools such as Ohio Northern, but in order to gain more interest at that level or above, he’ll need to impress in front of recruiters in Indianapolis and Las Vegas in July.

Xenia’s best girls’ basketball player has a unique name and a skill to match.

Rising junior Unique Conner is a dominant rebounder, a 6-foot-2 post player who led the GWOC with 13 rebounds per game as a sophomore. Her size and ability on the glass have already attracted the attention of schools like Michigan State, Dayton and Xavier. More are sure to follow, especially as she continues to improve her overall skill set.

And she’s not the only Xenia player on Dayton’s radar; rising sophomore guard Makenna Taylor impressed UD coach Jim Jabir at a recent camp, Toliver said.

While many of his heavily recruited counterparts are already making verbal commitments, Middletown forward Vincent Edwards is taking his time. He may not take any campus visits until he travels to Purdue for an official visit on Sept. 14 … New Carroll boys coach Tim Cogan, doesn’t have the sort of treasure chest of talent he enjoyed coaching Fairmont’s girls, but he does see a potential college prospect in 6-2 rising senior Xander Smart … 2015 Franklin standout Luke Kennard visited Ohio State last weekend. “They would like Luke to go ahead and, obviously, commit to them if he felt like it,” his father, Mark Kennard, told “But they don’t do any kind of pressure tactics or stuff like that. They were excited to have him there. They said that Luke would be great in a Buckeye uniform.”

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