Posted On: 08/20/19 4:22 PM

Tampa Jesuit is one of the most consistent high school teams in the state.

The Tigers return key 2020 guard/forward Bennett Anderson after going 23-6 this past season and making it to the Class 6A region semifinals, losing to Lake Wales 45-44.

Anderson averaged 8.9 PPG and says he felt that is decision making really grew during his junior campaign.

“Even being one of the few non-seniors on the team, our coaches gave me the ball, especially toward the end of the season and let me make plays. I feel like I really learned how to know when to find my teammates and when to go score myself,” Anderson said. “I also saw an improvement this year in my athleticism. I started to get more rebounds and started dunking on a consistent basis, but I would still like to get stronger to make even more of a difference athletically and on the boards.”

No offers have come just yet, but this is what Anderson had to say about his collegiate future.

“I’m really looking to prioritize academics in choosing where to play and whether or not to play in college,” he said. “I have emailed with some high academic Division III schools and have talked to the University of Chicago coach about making it up to their camp in October.”

This summer, Anderson played for Legacy Athletics for coaches Mario Lovett and Keith Bailey. He says the pair helped him play better defense, play tighter but still staying in front of players and to play faster and use his athleticism on the break.

Prior to this year, he played seven years for coach Rodney Porcaro and David Thorpe with the Tampa Tarpons. He says they taught him a high level basketball system at a young age and how to approach the game the right way.

In terms of his top strengths, Anderson alluded to his ability to see the floor and get the ball to his teammates (led his team in assists last year). He also said his mid-range jumper and his effort level on both ends of the floor are advantages for him. Anderson says he wants to continue to work on his ballhandling and 3-point jumper as he feels his game is pretty well-rounded.

Starting his basketball life at age 5, he says there were a few moments where he realized that he had talent.

“Just playing at the YMCA I noticed that I could do more than a lot of the other kids, but when I started playing travel ball I really noticed that I was a great passer and could make my teammates better,” Anderson said. “The next moment I realized my talent was playing JV as a sophomore. That is when I had to learn how to be a leading scorer. I really gained a lot of confidence that year and learned what I was good at and what needed more work. I also learned what it meant to be a leader, and I look to take that into my senior year.”

A down to earth and super bright kid, Anderson will thrive as the top option for Jesuit. It was noticeable during the SEBA summer league in June and with the team-oriented mindset that the Tigers employ, he fits the bill. Division III programs should jump all over an opportunity to recruit this kid. He can score, dish it and he simply makes everyone around him better and enjoy playing the game more.