Bennedict Mathurin is in the running for Rookie of the Year

A budding star in the NBA, former Arizona Basketball star Bennedict Mathurin is making a strong push for the Rookie of the Year!

Arizona Basketball star Bennedict Mathurin has played 29 games in the NBA to date in the 2022-2023 season. In those 29 games, he has scored in double digits in 26 of them.

He is currently averaging 17.8 points, (35.9 percent three-point shooting, 42.1 percent overall, and  80.6 percent from free throw), 4.1 rebounds, and 1.6 assists. That said, he has been able to accomplish all of this coming off the bench in 28 games.

In his latest game, against the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, with Steve Kerr at the helm, Mathurin scored 24 points, grabbed six rebounds, and dished three assists (+34). At one point, guarded by Draymond Green, one of the fiercest defenders in the NBA, Mathurin threw up a fallback three-pointer only to be fouled by Green, who was not happy about the call. The rookie’s successful free shot capped the four-point play.

Benedict Mathurin ranks No. 3 in most points per game while playing under 30 MPG this season with 17.8 just behind Jordan Poole (17.9) and Jaren Jackson Jr. (18.4), he’s the only rookie in the top three.

Former Wildcat and current Indiana Pacer TJ McConnell has also proved to be a great teammate to Mathurin, and the two play well together.

The former Wildcat is getting a lot of press recently including Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob on Twitter) who Tweeted, “Bennedict Mathurin drives to the hoop with road rage I don’t know how else to describe it.”

Bob Kravitz, The Athletic, opened his article on Pacers star rookie in a most spectacular way, “There is an unshakeable confidence, a necessary arrogance, almost a defiance in Bennedict Mathurin’s bearing. The Pacers’ rising rookie doesn’t merely think he’s going to be a star. He knows it. He knows it deep in his soul. There are no palatable alternatives: There are too many people to inspire.”

Tommy Lloyd knew exactly why the Pacers were drawn to Bennedict, “That’s one of the things that really attracted (the Pacers) to Benn. They feel like there’s an inferno burning inside that kid, and I would agree with that.”

Remember, it was Mathurin himself who exclaimed, “I don’t think anybody is better than me. [LeBron’s] going to have to show me he’s better than me,” before the NBA Draft.

Steve Aschburner, NBA, ranked the Top 5 of Rookies in week No. 1 of the 2022-2023 season and Mathurin came in at No. 2. Fast forward to today, and WSN.com has the betting odds of NBA Rookie of the Year and our Wildcat is +300 still in the No. 2 spot with Paolo Banchero in the No. 1 spot at -500. Sportsnaut.com is also ranking Mathurin at the No. 2 spot so far this season.

In two separate announcements, both Mathurin and his former Arizona teammate Dalen Terry have joined the Adidas family. In his announcement, Mathurin stated that one of his main objectives is to win an NBA Championship and added, “Every time I step on the court, to perform like it’s my last time playing.”

As for the fun stuff, recently Mathurin spoke to a little boy who drew a picture of him and tried his hand at Karaoke dressed as Frozone, singing “A Thousand Miles.” Although a valiant try, we say he should probably stick to basketball.

Now, if the Indian Pacers Head Coach Rick Carlisle could just start Bennedict, he may have a better shot at ROY. Either way, he’s part of our Arizona Basketball legacy, and it just puts a smile on a lot of our faces.

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