March Madness: Top NBA Draft Prospects — South Region
Bennedict Mathurin and two other Arizona Wildcats headline our Top 10 NBA Draft Prospects in the NCAA Tournament South Region
NBA scouts and general managers will be out in force over the next few weeks scouting all the prospects in the Big Dance.
While we believe that a player’s performance in the NCAA Tournament shouldn’t be a big factor in the overall scouting evaluation, there is evidence that it plays an outsize role in ultimate draft position.
Recency bias is surely one factor. So is that fact that this is when NBA coaching staffs, NBA owners and, occasionally, NBA GMs are getting more engaged in the scouting process. What they see here can leave an indelible scouting bias.
In other words, what happens over the next few weeks, rightly or wrongly, will likely significantly shake up our current Big Board 5.0.
Note that I’m ranking players based on their long-term NBA potential, not on their current production. Obviously several of the players in the “best of the rest'' are currently better than some players ranked above them.
On Monday, Rafael Barlowe broke down the Top 10 Prospects in the East Region.
On Tuesday, I broke down the Top 10 Prospects in the West Region.
And on Wednesday, Rafael broke down the Top 10 Prospects in the Midwest Region.
Today we finish up with the Top 10 prospects in the South Region. This region looks like the weakest when it comes to NBA prospects, with Arizona and Tennessee dominating our Top 10.
And don’t forget this is the last day to register for our March Madness Bracket Challenge, where you could win a lifetime subscription to NBA Big Board!
6’7” | 210 | Wingspan: 6’9”
Age on draft night: 20.0
2022 Draft Projection: 5-15
The Skinny: In 34 games, Mathurin is averaging 19.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 0.3 blocks and 1.1 steals per 36 minutes and shooting 46.0% from the field and 37.6% from 3.
The Good: The ultimate 3-and-D guy. Mathurin is an explosive athlete who has a beautiful 3-point stroke when his feet are set. He’s a straight-line driver who can produce big explosive finishes at the rim. He can guard both 2s and 3s and has an NBA body and ideal length for the position.
The Bad: Mathurin isn’t particularly adept at creating his own shot off the bounce, struggling when he has to improvise. Despite a strong athletic profile, he hasn’t had the impact defensively scouts were hoping for.
Bottom Line: He was a potential bubble first rounder as a freshman last year and made a great decision to come back for his sophomore year. Not only does he have a good shot at winning an NCAA championship, but scouts now see him as a near-lock for the lottery. With a really strong NCAA Tournament, he could get up as high as No. 5, I think.