Bennedict Mathurin may not be the most attractive name on the draft board, but he is still a top lottery pick. The consensus 2022 second-team All American was high on multiple draft lists last year. But it was his return for a sophomore year at Arizona proved to be fruitful in all 37 games played last season.
Here’s Mathurin’s draft profile, another potential breakout Wildcat on his way to the NBA.
Bennedict Mathurin 2022 NBA Draft Profile
After impressive the NBA Academy in Mexico City, Mathurin committed to the Wildcats with much fanfare. Starting in 12 of the 26 games in his freshman year, the Canadian-born wing averaged a modest 10.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.
The sophomore year turned the page for the Mathurin as he upped all his averages across the board en route to an award-worthy season.
Declaring for the NBA Draft last month, the Wildcat ends his college career as one of the few players to earn First Team All-Pac 12, Wooden Award All-American, Pac-12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player, and Pac-12 Player of the Year.
Mathurin has proved to be an outstanding shooter. He shot 45% from the floor and 37% percent from behind the arc. This was the new dimension of his game he added between his freshman and sophomore years, making him a natural fit in the NBA.
Along with his long-range capabilities, Mathurin also became an efficient distributor dishing 94 assists at a 1.8 turnover per game rate. Throw in his ability to fly off the bounce through traffic, and you have the makings of a potent rim runner.
Finally, as shown throughout last season, Mathurin is a natural clutch performer. Rebounds, steals, and assists, the Canadian became a stand-out propelling the Wildcats to early 1-seed talks before the NCAA tournament began.
However, for all his greatness, Mathurin suffers in one major key: free throws. His clutch play last year was hindered by his drop in percentage from his freshman year at the charity stripe. For him to stay on the floor, especially in the NBA, Mathurin will have to become consistent at the line.
Another weakness is Mathurin’s decision-making once pressured. While he was a microwave throughout some of Arizona’s games, Mathurin would constantly dribble into defenders causing unnecessary turnovers. It will be essential for him to keep his head up and pass out instead of forcing the action.
Finally, there will be a need to step up his defense to the next level. His length can help him become a great defender, but in his sophomore year, Mathurin would get too relaxed. A defensive-minded coach in the NBA could certainly unlock his gifts
NBA Player Comparison
Nicolas Batum was an explosive wing with a sweet jumper. Both players possess a feel for the game but also have inconsistencies in decision-making before entering the league.
Batum eventually became a three-and-D player while showing flashes of his leaping ability over a 14-year career. It will be up to Mathurin to keep his college energy throughout his tenure.
NBA Draft Projection
Top 15 pick.
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