ARIZONA BASKETBALL

Two Arizona Wildcats appear in latest ESPN NBA mock draft

Dec 25, 2021, 10:00 AM
Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin (0) dribbles as he's defended by Tennessee guard Kennedy Chandler ...

Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin (0) dribbles as he's defended by Tennessee guard Kennedy Chandler (1) during an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

(AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Even though most teams are still shy of being 40% through the NBA season, its never to early to take a peak at mock drafts.

For the Phoenix Suns, the draft has lost some of its luster with the team expected to finish as one of the top seeds in the Western Conference.

The draft will still have some local flare with two Arizona Wildcats expected to go in the first round, including one player that is projected to go in the lottery as one of the top 14 picks.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony released his latest NBA mock draft and has placed Bennedict Mathurin of Arizona firmly in the lottery as the No. 11 pick, going to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Mathurin led all scorers in the Wildcats first loss of the season to No. 19-ranked Tennessee, scoring 28 points in Knoxville.

Mathurin leads the team averaging 18.3 points per game. He also averages 6.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals.

Listed as a 6-foot-6 sophomore, Mathurin had his highest scoring output of the season in an 83-79 win over Illinois where he dropped 30 points on 10-for-17 shooting, including 5-for-8 from 3-point range.

He has also logged two double-doubles on the season, matching his total from last season’s freshman campaign.

Joining him in the draft list is teammate Christian Koloko who is projected to go No. 30 overall to the Golden State Warriors.

Koloko leads the Wildcats with 6.9 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 3.3 blocks per game.

Listed as a 7-foot-1 junior, Koloko has poured in two 20-point games and three double-doubles on the year.

The Wildcats were scheduled for a busy week against No. 5 UCLA and No. 8 USC, but both games were canceled due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

Their next scheduled game is Jan. 3 against Washington in Tucson.

The NBA draft is scheduled for June 23 with the lottery drawing scheduled for May 17.

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