Arizona’s Bennedict Mathurin goes in lottery of ESPN’s NBA mock draft

Jan 27, 2022, 2:36 PM

Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin, center, shoots as UCLA guard Peyton Watson, left, and guard Jaime...

Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin, center, shoots as UCLA guard Peyton Watson, left, and guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. defend during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

It has been quite the season thus far for the No. 3 Arizona Wildcats, especially for their sophomore guard Bennedict Mathurin.

Mathurin was coming off a freshman season where he impressed scouts enough to garner some potential interest in the first round of the 2021 NBA Draft before ultimately deciding to come back to school for one more season. That was the right call in more ways than one.

The two-guard looks much improved as a sophomore and has built off that buzz. He’s averaging a team-leading 17.4 points per game, along with 6.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 0.9 steals a night.

This beginning to the season for Mathurin has him down as a potential lottery pick for the 2022 NBA Draft and that’s where ESPN has Mathurin for its latest mock draft, going 10th to the Atlanta Hawks.

His 17.4 points per game are good for third in the Pac-12 and he’s shooting 46.7% from the field and 39.3% at three-point range.

ESPN’s Mike Schmitz broke down the progression he has seen in Mathurin’s game this year:

Mathurin’s teammate, junior center Christian Koloko, is right on the edge of the first round in the mock. He’s slotted to go No. 35 to the Sacramento Kings after taking great strides this season.

Koloko compared to last season has increased his field goal percentage from 52.0% to 63.9%, his points per game from 5.3 to 13.1 and his blocks per game from 1.3 to 3.1.

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Arizona’s Bennedict Mathurin goes in lottery of ESPN’s NBA mock draft