NBA Future Watch: Bennedict Mathurin Basketball Cards, Indiana Pacers – Bennedict Mathurin, like others in his draft class such as Jaden Ivey, Johnny Davis and Keegan Murray, solidified himself as a high pick this year with a sophomore season that blew past his first-year baseline. Unlike Ivey, Davis and Murray, Mathurin hails not from the Big Ten, but the Pac-12. He played his college ball at Arizona, far from his native Montreal.
A competitor in football and hockey as well as the hardwood in his youth, Mathurin’s growing reputation on the wing in basketball led to a stint on the Quebec provincial team. He also garnered invitations to NBA Academy Latin America and Basketball Without Borders. As a four-star recruit in the 2020 class, Mathurin was recruited heavily by schools such as Baylor and Arizona, selecting the latter.
Mathurin was integrated slowly into the forefront of the Wildcat program, but a breakout on January 2, 2021, against Washington State – 24 points and 11 rebounds – provided the first tangible look at his potential. With 17.2 PPG on a Per 40 Minutes basis, .418 3% and .846 FT%, Mathurin had reason to entertain his draft prospects in 2021 but chose to return instead.
The decision paid off incredibly well. Helping Canada to the bronze medal at the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup was a springboard for Mathurin. He was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year as he boosted his PPG from 10.8 to 17.7 and his RPG from 4.8 to 5.6. After that showing, the decision to enter the draft was a no-brainer.
Prized for his athletic explosiveness and ability to score in transition from mid-range and beyond the arc, Mathurin brings a blend of plug-and-play skills and the promise of more as he develops. Refinement of his offense off the dribble is the first point of business. The further exploitation of Mathurin’s physical skills for wing defense is not far behind. A high court IQ is something that cannot be coached, and Mathurin’s outstanding shot selection bodes well for his capacity to fill in the rest of his skills.
Landing in Indiana with the 6th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Mathurin will be assured of substantial minutes early, even with a crowded wing dynamic on the roster. Like George McGinnis, Reggie Miller, Danny Granger and Paul George before him, Mathurin has the chance to serve as the face of the franchise in one of the sport’s most cherished regions.
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