His team trailing by three with under 15 seconds to go against TCU in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, Bennedict Mathurin sank a 3-pointer. And it may not have even been his most crucial play of the contest.
The Arizona guard, who has +25000 NBA odds to be drafted first overall this month, helped his team survive in overtime as well.
The Wildcats, up by a single point, missed an open shot with about 1:15 left in the extra period. This easily could’ve opened up a chance for TCU to take the lead.
Instead, Mathurin corralled an offensive rebound. He ripped the ball away from an opponent trying to take it. And amid TCU’s frontcourt trying to stuff him, he rose above it all and made the ensuing putback despite a foul.
Mathurin’s poise and athleticism will help him greatly in the NBA.
BENNEDICT MATHURIN. CLUTCH 😱@ArizonaMBB | #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/SRiCmSJIpv
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 21, 2022
Bennedict Mathurin Draft Odds
Mathurin is tied for the sixth-best NBA Draft odds to be selected first overall at +25000. Jabari Smith of Auburn is first at -165, while Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren is second at +115 and Duke’s Paolo Banchero is third at +1500.
The Orlando Magic have the first overall pick after going 22-60 a year ago. The Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets pick second and third, respectively.
|Name||Position||Team||1st Pick Odds (6/22)|
|Jabari Smith Jr.||F||Auburn||-300|
|Dyson Daniels||G||NBA G League Ignite||+50000|
|MarJon Beauchamp||G||NBA G League Ignite||+50000|
|Jaden Hardy||G||NBA G League Ignite||+50000|
|Nikola Jovic||F||Mega Mozzart (Serbia)||+50000|
|Blake Wesley||G||Notre Dame||+50000|
Bennedict Mathurin Draft Pick Projection
Mathurin would be a smart decision for the New York Knicks at No. 11 overall.
The Knicks, last season, were 23rd in offensive rating and yet 11th in defensive rating. In addition, they were 19th in net rating, 29th in assist ratio, 26th in effective field goal percentage and 29th in pace.
With an optimistic outlook going into the season, the Knicks were 37-45 and missed the playoffs. However, with players like Julius Randle and RJ Barrett on the roster, they hope to continue building for the future.
Mathurin could lift New York in all of those areas that need improvement. He’s also shown a consistent willingness to give great effort, which head coach Tom Thibodeau values.
BENNEDICT MATHURIN OMG 😱😱😱
FILTHY POSTER @ArizonaMBB | #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/zsmcFA9NxB
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 21, 2022
Bennedict Mathurin Stats
After a solid freshman campaign, Mathurin chose to return for a sophomore season. And it paid off.
This last year, he was the Pac-12 Player of the Year and a consensus second-team All-American. He was also the Pac-12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player, a first-team all-conference member and a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award and Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award as well as a semifinalist for the Naismith Trophy.
In his final year of college, he recorded 17.7 points per game on a 45% clip from the field, a 37% rate from 3-point range and a 76% mark from the free-throw line. In 37 starts and 32.5 minutes per outing, he averaged 5.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and one steal.
During the offseason, the Montreal native helped Canada take bronze in the FIBA U19 World Cup. He averaged 16.1 points and four rebounds per game in seven games while shooting 49% from the field.
In 2020-21, Mathurin made the conference’s all-freshman team. In 26 appearances and 12 starts, he averaged 10.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists. He made 47% of his shots, 42% from deep, and 85% of his free throws.
Bennedict Mathurin Draft Profile
Whether on defense or offense, whether he has the ball in his hands or is away from the play, Mathurin’s hustle is evident.
He’s an aggressive scorer who often plays above the rim, though that may not always be easy in the NBA at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds. But in college, he pulled off a great number of alley-oop dunks.
With his high-level acceleration, he can attack the rim in a hurry. Many of his best plays were in transition, so whichever team he goes to should maximize that skill.
He’s fast, but he wasn’t always in control, especially while dribbling with his left hand. That is something that can be fixed in the NBA.
The guard is smart and timely with backdoor cuts which can lead to easy buckets. He averaged 1.3 offensive boards in his college career, illustrating his desire to earn his team extra scoring chances.
Mathurin can hit midrange shots on the run and off-balance. However, he was best spotting up, especially when running off screens on plays designed for him.
Though he likely won’t be suited to play point guard, he’s an accurate passer. He can deliver the ball in pinpoint locations which helps his teammates score in the paint or shoot in rhythm.
Mathurin’s effort shows on defense, too, as he made some highlight-type blocks on multiple occasions. However, he could still learn to make an impact more often on that end.
Mathurin’s skill set should help him stand out in the NBA.
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