Kent Besnon visited Milwaukee yesterday and told the Bucks, who will pick him as leadoff man in the June 10 NBA draft, they don't have to worry about him opting to play for Athletes in Action, despite his deep commitment to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes - but not to get too smug.

Like Mich Kupchak before him. Benson conjured the specter of Italy in case the Bucks' offer doesn't turn him on.

The 6-foot-10 Indiana U. centr brought along his adviser, former U. of Wisconsin coach John erickson, who was the Bucks' first general manager and now is president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Benson said he wants to play pro basketball and to "do extra (work) for the FCA." His back, which bothered him his senior season, " feels super," he said. Milwaukee coach Don Nelson said Benson's old Hoosier teammate, Quinn Buckur, will "help him get through the first year, which is the toughest."

Again calling to mind Kupchak of the Bullets, Benson offered, "I will play as hard as I possibly can . . . Dave Cowens is my favorite player. He exemplifies the way I want to play as far as hustle and team play" . . .

All of a sudden the Seattle scuttle-butt is forget jerry Tarkanian as coaching successor to Bill Russell. The Post-Intelligencer says that Thursday or Friday, they'll introduce as head mentor Bob Hopkins, Russell's assistant the past three seasons, with Lenny Wilkens coming in as director of player personnel. Word is that Tarkanian demanded a long-term contract; owner Sam Sachulman insisted his next coach would be on a one-year contract - and that long only because "you can't make them any less" . . . So Tarkanian can go back to worrying about the ongoing NCAA investigation of his Nevada-Las Vegas basketball program.

And evidently K.C. Jones, Nelson's Milwaukee assistant until quittin at season's end, can look elsewhere after undoubtedly checking out Seattle in his quest to put his Bullet experience to wrk again as an NBA head coach . . . Jones' old Boston Celtic teammate, John Thompson, will be toasted tonight (6 p.m. on) at the Foxtrappe Club, 16th Street NW, by the Black Alumni Association of Georgetown U. The Hoya coach will receive a plague in recognition of his service to be university, its minority students and its relations with the D.C. community . . . Mississippe State, spurned by Notre Dame assistant Dick Kuchen at the last moment last week, is due to announce its new basketball coach today and it looks like Ron Greene, nine years at U. of New Orleans. . .