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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Oakland C Keith Benson

06.22.11 at 9:34 pm ET
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WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).

Oakland center Keith Benson is regarded as the top mid-major prospect in this year's draft. (AP)

Keith Benson

Position: Center

School: Oakland (Mich.)

Height: 6-foot-11

Weight: 230 pounds

Stats: 17.9 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 3.6 bpg

What he brings: Benson has a lot of athleticism considering his size and can run the floor well. He is a solid guy in a half-court offense. He can post up and has a nice hook shot, but also he has shown that he can shoot a mid-range jump shot and create his shot on his own. Benson is a solid rebounder on both ends of the court and plays the game with a great deal of intensity. One thing that Benson needs to work on is his strength. At only 230 pounds, he needs to get stronger so he can hold his own in the paint.

Where the Celtics could get him: First or second round

What they’re saying: “From that day on, boy, we knew that this kid, that he’s a long way away but he’s got it in him. It was the most unbelievable thing I’ve seen in the game.” — Oakland coach Greg Kampe, after a dunk Benson had in practice

Notes: The Detroit Free Press ran a profile on Benson, who likely will be the first Oakland player ever to be drafted. In 2011, he was named Summit League Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. He is the Summit League record-holder in blocked shots (371). In 2010 Benson was the Lou Henson Award winner, given to the nation’s top mid-major player. His nickname is “Kito.”

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