It’s all starting to come together for Canadian basketball freshman Bennedict Mathurin.
The 18-year-old, Montreal native is living-up to the NCAA basketball hype and superseding expectations by putting in the work and staying locked-in during this unprecedented shorten season for the Arizona Wildcats.
Earning his first college basketball start, Mathurin didn’t disappoint, notching a season-high 31 points in a dominating performance, as Arizona snapped a two-game conference skid in the 98-64 blow-out road win over the Oregon State Beavers.
The six-foot-seven, 195-pounds wing only missed two shots, draining 10-of-12 field goals, including a career-best six three pointers. Mathurin scored the first seven points of the game helping the Wildcats jump-out to a 21-4 lead over Oregon State and added eight rebounds as Arizona improved to 4-3 in the Pac-12.
“Ben has a lot of talent and as I have explained numerous times in our time together, you can kinda of see him developing almost week-by-week. Each week he’s a little more confident, more sure of himself.” described Wildcats head coach Sean Miller after the victory.
Playing his role to perfection, the Canadian guard has expanded his game from being ultized as a primary defensive and rebounder stalwart early on to seeing more minutes and becoming more involved in the offense over the last five games.
The top Canadian basketball prospect in the 2020 graduating class kicked-off 2021 with a big double-double just a few weeks ago against a tough Washington State squad with 24 points, 11 rebounds in a season-high 38 minutes.
Overall, Mathurin has reached double-figures in eight (8) of the Wildcats first thirteen (13) games and leads all Canadian freshmen in scoring at 12 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. Additionally, Mathurin ranks in the top ten for minutes played, field goal (.527%), three-pointers (488%) and effective field goal percentage (.636%) as per the 2020-2021 Basketball NCAA Stats Tracker.
Despite Arizona’s early non-conference success, unfortunately for Mathruin he will not get to experience the thrills and bright lights of the upcoming March Madness tournament. In an effort to get back on the good books with the NCAA, Arizona has self-imposed a 2021 postseason ban following its violations and allegations that were handed out in October 2020.
Therefore, the thirteen potential remaining games are extremely important for Mauthrin’s development and aspirations of taking the next step to become the latest Montreal basketball player to reach the NBA.