2016 NBA Draft Scouting Report: Ben Bentil

Feb 27, 2016; Providence, RI, USA; Providence Friars forward Ben Bentil (0) grabs a rebound in front of DePaul Blue Demons center Tommy Hamilton IV (2) during the first half at Dunkin Donuts Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 27, 2016; Providence, RI, USA; Providence Friars forward Ben Bentil (0) grabs a rebound in front of DePaul Blue Demons center Tommy Hamilton IV (2) during the first half at Dunkin Donuts Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports /

Ben Bentil was one of the nation’s most improved players this year. Jumping from fifth to first in total minutes for the Friars in 2015-16, Bentil went from ancillary piece on his own team, to leading scorer in the Big East. The last year has been a steady progression for Bentil’s draft stock, as well, as he’s compounded on his excellent college season by having one of the best performances at the NBA Draft Combine, which has propelled him from fringe draft prospect to probable 2nd round option.

Bentil’s leap can partially be attributed to being a beneficiary of the elite playmaking ability of Providence point guard Kris Dunn. He did a lot of his damage off of pick-and-rolls and dump-off passes from Dunn, but his offensive production spanned more than simply being a dive man. With a strong face-up game and the physical tools to be a good offensive rebounder, Bentil looks like a very versatile offensive player from the power forward position, which has drawn interest from NBA teams. There are concerns about Bentil’s long-term upside, though, and whether he can be a factor on the defensive end.


Bentil definitely benefitted from the presence of Dunn, but he didn’t average 24.6 points per 40 minutes just because Dunn was a good passer. Bentil excelled in the pick-and-roll game because of his agility and strength after the catch to finish inside. More importantly, the threat he poses in the pick-and-pop game makes him very attractive as a stretch four. Bentil is fantastic at flaring to the three point line off the screen, and he has the range and confidence to make this a significant threat at the next level.



Bentil also has a versatile face-up game, and his ability to create shots with the ball in his hands sets him apart from many 2nd round prospects. Providence loved to get him one-on-one looks out of flex sets along the baseline, where he would clear space with his rip-through move and dribble moves before settling in for a crisp 15-foot jumper:


He also can score well off of post ups out of this look, using a quick spin move to clear space and finishing with his well developed righty jump hook:


There are still major issues with Bentil’s offensive repertoire that he will need to work on. He struggles with decision-making, often foregoing passing to open teammates in favor of contested shots. He definitely has a scorer’s mentality, and that can hurt him as he becomes a black hole at times on offense. He posted just an 8.0 assist percentage, incredibly low for any player with a nearly 30 percent usage rate, and while his handle and shooting instinct helped him post a low turnover rate (9.3 percent), it also dragged down his shooting percentages.

Additionally, Bentil can be streaky with his shooting, as he shot just 32.9 percent from three despite his well-developed shooting form. Part of that is shot selection, but Bentil also took a big number of corner threes, and he doesn’t appear to have the same comfort level with those shots yet. That will be a major development point to keep track of for Bentil moving forward, as that’s a shot he’ll likely be asked to hit in the NBA. He hit 4-10 from the corners compared to 10-15 from everywhere else in the Combine shooting drills, and this should be a point of interest for any team that chooses to draft him.

Bentil also needs to develop his post game more. His spin move and jump hook are great, but he has no left hand to speak of, and his he struggles with contact under the basket. However, he makes up for this by being a quality offensive rebunder (3.1 OREB per 40), especially off of his post looks:


Bentil’s skill set needs development, but with his range and confidence on the offensive end, he should be able to build on his time at Providence to become a useful offensive player. With a better post game and a corner three, Bentil could become a high-usage bench scorer, similar to Mo Speights or Mike Scott.


Bentil is a very difficult player to project on the defensive end. Physically, he checks out as a capable defender. He is 6-8 with a 7-2 wingspan, has excellent strength, especially in his upper body, and he has the mobility to be able to defend in space and rotate on the weak side. But he was rarely asked to step up on the defensive end for the Friars, and he will have to overcome some significant bad habits to even be passable on this end.

Bentil’s best attribute is his post defense, which is very good when he’s engaged. Bentil does a solid job of denying positioning on the low block, and he uses his length well to contest shots without fouling:


Rashaan Holloway is 280 pounds, and while he’s no LaMarcus Aldridge down low, that’s an impressive stand by Bentil underneath. He didn’t always present such a challenge, but you can see how he could be a decent post defender if he can stay focused.

On the perimeter, Bentil’s defense is a different matter. He is rarely engaged when defending in space, and routinely will give up penetration. His defensive stance is flat-footed, and he almost never keeps his hands up when defending on the perimeter. Simply put, Bentil is the epitome of Mark Jackson’s “Hand down, man down.”


Bentil gives up on the play if the ball gets by him, and while he posted acceptable steal numbers (1.0 per 40 minutes), he too often opted to swipe at the ball rather than move his feet to get better positioning.

Bentil is also a disappointing rebounder for his size, averaging just 5.8 defensive rebounds per 40 minutes despite playing a majority of his minutes at the five. This can also be traced to effort, as Bentil doesn’t always box out and can be lulled to sleep by action happening on the ball, allowing his man to get a good seal under the basket when the shot goes up. Bentil should fair better when matched up with fours at the next level, but he will still need to grow as a defensive rebounder, especially if he doesn’t become more engaged when defending in space. Bentil could grow defensively in the right development system, but this will take significant time even if he does take steps to get better.

Overall Outlook

Bentil will be limited in the NBA by his lack of decision-making and defensive effort. Until he takes significant steps in both areas, his ceiling will probably be as a bench player. However, his offensive game is one of the more diversely polished among power forwards in this draft, and in a draft where there are so few players who project as on-ball threats to score, Bentil does stand out. If he can make some simple tweaks to his offensive game, and at least give an ounce of effort defensively, there’s a very good chance that Bentil could become one of the best 2nd round picks from this draft class.