Arizona Wildcats' Bennedict Mathurin, projected lottery pick, says he'll enter NBA draft

Arizona sophomore Bennedict Mathurin will enter the 2022 NBA draft, he told ESPN on Wednesday.

Mathurin, the No. 11 prospect in the ESPN 100, was Pac-12 Player of the Year and a consensus second-team All-American after averaging 17.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 33 minutes per game. He led Arizona to Pac-12 regular-season and conference tournament championships, helping the Wildcats to a 33-4 record and No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Mathurin is projected to be the No. 12 pick in ESPN's latest mock draft.

Born in Montreal, Mathurin was the first Canadian to join the NBA Academy Latin America in Mexico. He was named to the Pac-12's All-Freshman team and considered a potential first-round pick, but elected to return to Arizona for his sophomore year, despite the dismissal of the head coach that recruited him, Sean Miller. Under new coach Tommy Lloyd, Mathurin became one of the best players in college basketball and a potential top-10 pick, helping Arizona to its best season since 2015.

Mathurin fits an obvious mold as a pro prospect as a strong-framed, 6-foot-6 wing who can space the floor from well beyond the NBA line, shoot running off screens or pulling up off the dribble and finish explosively in the open floor. He's also has made strides as a ball handler and passer, while still only being 19 years old.

The NBA draft combine will be held May 16-22 in Chicago and the draft will be June 23 in Brooklyn, New York.

Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service utilized by NBA, NCAA and International teams.