[00:00:00] Dustin: all right, everybody. Welcome to the 277th edition of the holy Blackboard podcast. I am Dustin here in rip city and I got my man
[00:00:19] Dillon Sage: safe chilling here. Ready to talk about this process.
[00:00:24] Dustin: Yeah, I mean, this is the future Friday. We are looking at Benedick Mather in six, six, two hundred and ten pound guard out of the university of Arizona.
[00:00:34] He is 19 will turn a 20 on draft day. He is from Montreal. Canada a four-star prospect by rivals in the class of 2020. He chose Arizona over Baylor, some accolades so far this year, uh, for Benedict, uh, he was a 2021 preseason uh, pick for the first team all pack 12. Also on the pre-season watch list [00:01:00] for the Jerry West shooting guard award.
[00:01:02] And this past summer, he helped team Canada win bronze in the U 19 FIBA basketball games. For his home country, some notes on that, where you had a really breakout summer in the seven games that Canada played, uh, Mather an average 28 minutes scored 16.1 points per game, which was seventh best in that under 19 tournament, uh, four boards per game.
[00:01:29] He shot nearly 49% from the floor, which was the ninth best player of anybody in that tournament. And he was just one of two players in that tournament to have two games. Or more of 30 plus points. Uh, currently for the Arizona Wildcats, they are, uh, 19 and two. They are ranked fourth in the AP fifth in the coaches poll and through, uh, February 7th, when I put these statistics down, a Benedict is averaging [00:02:00] 16.5 points, uh, six boards to assist shooting 45.6% from the field 35.8% from three.
[00:02:09] 74.1% at the line doing all of this in 31 and a half minutes at a player efficiency rating of 19.5. And we are going to get into their big game against Illinois from December 11th, 2021. And this was actually a precursor for how good both teams were going to be. Um, Arizona, I don’t believe was even ranked in the pre-season top 25 yet.
[00:02:36] They were 11th at the time. Undefeated, uh, Illinois. Has a great big a pre-season All-American and Kofi Coburn. And this is just a really incredible atmosphere and environment to go into for, for such, I think an unproven and untested team. And it was really a fun game to watch whether you were scouting some more to not, I mean, just the ebbs and the [00:03:00] flows.
[00:03:00] There were at least six or seven major runs from each team. And just a fantastic game to watch, but Arizona ended up getting that victory 83 79. This was statistically Mather, its best performance of the season to date. He had played almost the entire game. Uh, I, I made a note of that in the notes. He basically got a minute of game time substitutions.
[00:03:25] Uh, so we played 39 minutes put up 30 points. Shot 10 of 17 from the floor, five of eight from downtown five of six with a line added in seven boards, uh, to go along with those a game high 30 points, uh, as I mentioned, Arizona state undefeated and is going to get, I mean, the way Illinois is playing right now in the big 10, that’s going to be a major resume builder for the Arizona Wildcats on their way to.
[00:03:53] Have a number one seed in marches, upcoming NCAA tournament. Let’s say let’s dive in [00:04:00] to a Mather and as a prospect who is projected by nearly every mock draft to go in the top 10, he is part of this loaded. Uh, wing draft class, along with Johnny Davis of Wisconsin, Jaden, Ivy of Purdue, uh, AGA Griffin, uh, of duke.
[00:04:18] I mean, th this is a, if you need a wing, this is the draft class to go out and get one. And this was really this wasn’t my first look at Mather in with him being an Arizona. I get the PAC 12 network. Uh, I watched their game against UCLA. I’ve watched them play a little bit against USC. Um, clearly with them being so high in the standings, they’re going to be on TV a bit.
[00:04:39] So it had a little bit of knowledge of Mather and for watching this game and we specifically chose this game because it’s always great to see maybe what the peak could be at that point. Like, you know, it’s not always going to be bat on a nightly basis, but you know, you mentioned it to me on texts. We want to see if this player can knock our socks off.
[00:04:58] Like what, what is the [00:05:00] ceiling, what is the sky going to be for this prospect? So this is the reason we chose that game and, and let’s get into a stage. What was, what was some of the notes that you had, especially right off the bat when it came to Benedict Mandarin?
[00:05:13] Dillon Sage: From what the media and draft Witter says, he’s supposed to be like a secondary ball handler.
[00:05:19] And when I watched him a few days ago against a USC, I thought of him and looked at him as that secondary ball handler. And I was completely and totally underwhelmed. But when I looked at him in this game, as that off-ball shooter, I liked him a lot more. He is a very good athlete, the way that he scored.
[00:05:41] And I know. We picked this game for a reason because the ball went in, but he showed different ways of scoring, like off the balance movement. He was hitting in a lot of different ways. He’s able to show his athleticism in that off-ball role. Cause he’s such a good cutter. Like [00:06:00] when he cuts, it’s really precise and it gets the rim and then he can use that.
[00:06:04] God-given athleticism to throw it down. If he can utilize all of the skillset that he has, but not being the primary. And I think that in Arizona, he has to be the primary because they don’t really have a point guard. So he’s doing a lot of work in the pick and roll and, you know, offerable shooting in the NBA.
[00:06:25] He’s not going to have to do those things so we can just be that off-ball score. And if you, an a team is creative enough, so he doesn’t have to use his bad hand. And can get to the room without having to dribble. He can be a very, very good prospect. It’s just that the, the NBA team has to know his strengths and weaknesses coming into it, utilize all of the gifts that he has in the shooting, in the, uh, cutting, using his athleticism to score the basket.
[00:06:59] Yeah. What
[00:06:59] Dustin: [00:07:00] really jumped out at me was, uh, his hot star. I believe he had like almost all of 11 of Arizona’s first points, or he had 11 early points and watching the game throughout. Nearly everything that he got was off of somebody else’s assistance. Like he is, it was almost like I was watching a little bit of Johnny Davis where he was getting moving without the ball, finding the open spots.
[00:07:22] And he was, you know, came off the curl quite a bit for those threes. And that’s where he did the majority of his work. I think I, I echo your sentiment with, I don’t think he’s going to be the type of Playmaker, maybe like a Jayden Ivy, uh, where you’re going to want him putting the ball on the floor. Um, I noticed that he really likes putting up those one legged runners.
[00:07:44] You got about four of those. So it’s like he gets to a spot and he doesn’t really know what he wants to do with. I think he has good intentions as a Playmaker, but, but there, there needs to be a lot of improvement. There was a back-to-back [00:08:00] turnovers in the first half I saw where he was trying to lob it into the bigs, which missed the mark completely.
[00:08:05] Um, he is. Comfortable dribbling in the open court, but I think he runs head on into the defenders quite a bit, showing that he, he, he just doesn’t have that, that counter, or he’s not seeing the game one to two steps ahead, but you do see the flashes when it comes to a Playmaker, he had a really nice pocket pass to his, his big man, uh, Christian, Coco, uh, to start the second half off of the pick and roll, uh, it was right in the bread basket.
[00:08:33] It bounced off his hands, but that was an easy pick and roll. Lay up that should have happened. And he had a really good hockey assist coming off of that hot start. When he was coming off of the curls, the defense really started to have to pay attention to him. So he made a laser pass into the post, which then was rerouted underneath the basket for a lay up for, for the Wildcat.
[00:08:53] So I think you have to credit him for that assist and with him being so young. You can see [00:09:00] that there is room for him to grow as a secondary Playmaker. I don’t think he’s ever going to be a primary at the two guard, but there was some good intentions there. You can see, you can peel back the layers and say, I can potentially see what this finished product is going to be, but, um, One thing.
[00:09:21] I noticed Sage and you said he was athletic and I heard that the B announcers really, uh, hammer that point home, I would say he’s athletic, but he’s, he’s not overly quick. And I don’t think he’s
[00:09:33] Dillon Sage: explosive at all. That’s why I said good athlete. I don’t think he’s. The crazy, like this year, he’s not in a sealed little, when it comes to athleticism, he has functional athleticism, but it’s not going to be like some crazy like top shot.
[00:09:49] Dustin: He’s not Jayden Ivy in the athletics. I think that that really has, uh, impacted him so far through this collegiate season. And it’s one of the biggest notes that I [00:10:00] had, not only this game, but, but watching him so far, is he struggled mightily at finishing around the rim? I mean, I’ve watched at least three games of him and I haven’t seen him finish in traffic.
[00:10:11] So he’ll put the ball down. And he just doesn’t have that elite explosiveness to finish with, with the dunk. So he’s trying to contort his body into these, these lay up packages and he’s getting, you know, defended really well at the rim. So. Maybe that’s why he was attempting all of those floaters, but he’s going to have to find a way to score when he’s in the paint.
[00:10:32] I mean, all successful guards in this league know how to get into the lane and finish. So that’s that’s, that was the, one of the biggest red flags for me was the ability to finish at the rim as a six, six guard.
[00:10:46] Dillon Sage: Yeah. And I think the lack of handle compounds, his lack of finishing with the ball in his hands, like.
[00:10:55] I saw him lose the ball on like straight downhill drives. [00:11:00] So not being able to have a competent dribbling, probably negatively affects how well he finishes at the rim. Just because if he’s not confident, dribbling in space, he’s not going to be confident enough to drive into the lane and try and finish.
[00:11:17] I do think like as a cutter, he is a good finisher, but. Anything with the ball in his hands is kind of risky just because that handle is so it’s not good enough, period. I don’t want to say bad, but it is a. Lackluster handle. So it makes everything so much harder when he can’t make it happen for himself.
[00:11:38] Like I could see him doing stuff in transition when he is the guy just running and he gets fed by a point guard. And, you know, the, this Arizona team does not have a real point guard in my eyes. He he’s put in that position where he has to. Be part of the orphans in initiating. And that’s kind of just not fair to [00:12:00] the player that he is right now.
[00:12:01] He’s just not that type of guy. I think his passing and his vision is fine. It’s just, you’re not putting a guy who’s fine at that stuff in the league. We need him to have like a pretty high usage rate for us to win. So it’s, he’s putting in a bad position, but again, if you just look at the shooting and the ways that he scores that is a lot of NBA equity in his game already, don’t put him in that position where he asked to, you know, make that decision with the ball in his hands as he’s dribbling.
[00:12:35] Dustin: Yeah, I would say that one of the biggest things that stood out to me, um, in a positive light was he looks the part. Oh, absolutely. Like you go to a game, if you had no idea what the players were on the floor, like that guy has an NBA player, especially at his position. I mean, he’s got the perfect height.
[00:12:55] He’s got an athletic slender build. Like if you’re doing a creative player into K, like he just [00:13:00] looks fucking cool. Like, I don’t know how else to put it there. He looks the part and he gets really high elevation on, on his jump shot. And. Got pretty decent form. However, I noticed a couple of times he would, um, either, uh, jumped forward or jumped to the side when, when he was on, uh, the curl or, you know, getting ready to pull it from three.
[00:13:23] So I think that’s something that may have to be tweaked because when you get so high, I mean, clearly you’re able to move in in, um, while you’re elevating. So it’ll be interesting to see how he’s able to. Work on that over the course of his career, because I mean, using that much elevation on a jump shot can be tiresome over the course of what will be a 48 minute game in the league Sage.
[00:13:48] I thought he had decent form on his jump shot, but does it look like he releases it just a bit on the way down,
[00:13:56] Dillon Sage: you know, I kind of get what you’re [00:14:00] saying, but I need to watch more than two games, two games of him to really understand his jump shot. I mean, like in this game we picked it cause he shot it at a made it, so it doesn’t matter if the, if the ball goes in, there’s been some foot, some, uh, weird jumpshots that if it goes in, it doesn’t really matter.
[00:14:19] But I think that I need to watch more of him in terms of his form to really. No, what what’s wrong with it or in what’s right with it. And I’m not really a shot doctor. So, you know, as long as it goes in, I’m happy. It doesn’t need to be, you know, beautiful. It just needs to go in. So yeah, I, I’m not too sure on is his form.
[00:14:42] Dustin: Offensively, uh, on Benedict Mather. And what did you think of his defensive potential? How we performed in this game? Both off ball and on ball. I hate
[00:14:51] Dillon Sage: the softball defense. I like legitimately, I think, I think the two reasons why. In that UCLA game were [00:15:00] negative on Benedict is that we have the secondary Playmaker guy in our heads.
[00:15:06] Or at least for me, I shouldn’t talk about this for you, but I had the secondary ball handler in my head and good defender off ball and on. And then when I watch him, like he just sits in watching. In help defense and, oh my God, I
[00:15:19] Dustin: had that on my notes. I said he watched he’s a ball watcher, like none
[00:15:22] Dillon Sage: other.
[00:15:23] And when you look at him and you think, oh, he’s in a, he’s in a clamp up. No, he
[00:15:28] Dustin: did. He had two plays where he took the ball away from the defender. And then he basically was like a free safety and intercepted the entry pass to Kofi Kofi Coburn. But the rest of the time you’re absolutely right. Say he was, he was not only ball watching, but I made a note that.
[00:15:46] He rarely raises his hands above his waist off ball. Like he’s not active. He’s he’s not putting a, a butt on somebody and trying to box them out. Uh, I don’t know if it was because of the. Only getting a minute of substitution time [00:16:00] to rest, but I noticed that the entire game, so
[00:16:03] Dillon Sage: that would notice that two full games where he just wasn’t.
[00:16:06] One of my notes says Benedict, doesn’t make the offense, feel him at all. Defensively, like he’ll make some plays, but he’s not engaged off.
[00:16:17] Dustin: Yeah. He’s not, not an engaged defender. That is, that’s a great point.
[00:16:21] Dillon Sage: I feel like he just has bad feel of where to be like when you watch a guy like Johnny Davis, he uses both hands in off-ball coverages.
[00:16:31] And I don’t think Benedict was in the right position. On the off-ball like when they were, when he was at help, he was just not in the right position a lot and would like point at his guys to direct them where to go. So I guess he communicates well with this inactive Venice defensively, but he just isn’t in the right place.
[00:16:50] Doesn’t use good technique. Like I put his role at a point of attack defender cause his off-ball defense sucks in my note notes. [00:17:00] So it’s, it’s, it’s a thing it’s happening. Both games that I’ve seen him. He might have a few plays here or there, but like it, it’s generally a bad defense and bad effort and bad feel for me when I watch him, uh, on that side
[00:17:17] Dustin: of the floor.
[00:17:18] Absolutely. And I would say even as a point of attack defender, I saw a few times where he would make one move, the defender would go by him and he would just give up, like he would just give up and kind of turn around, uh, And it makes me almost wonder, is he a player you need to rev up? You know, we always talk about players and maybe you have to like calm down.
[00:17:36] Like you’d rather coach them to calm down. Cause they’re so juiced up. Is he a player that is going to have to go to the right coach that can push those right buttons to get him engaged? Because clearly the talent is there, but it’s a little worrisome to me. You’re playing a really great team on the road in a fantastic environment.
[00:17:55] And, and I just, I didn’t see what I needed to see on the defensive end of the ball from him. [00:18:00]
[00:18:00] Dillon Sage: I don’t know, man. Cause there were times and I guess I’m using the UCLA game as a reference and it
[00:18:06] Dustin: was also a huge game in the pack, 12 in another fantastic. Yeah.
[00:18:11] Dillon Sage: And the one in the one play that I saw that, that I remember is in blocking like a, a fast break.
[00:18:19] So he absolutely positively has the skillset to be a good defender. It’s just that he hasn’t done it in any of the games we’ve seen and I’ll admit it, it was only two full games, but in those two full games of 48 minutes or 40 minutes, 80 minutes, it’s just not there. As a defender. And I think that’s a humongous reason why you and I did not like him as a prospect is the defense, the, the, the off-ball defense.
[00:18:48] Like he, he’s not, I don’t know where his role is. If he’s going to use that level of effort on the, in the NBA. I mean, his role is going to be on the [00:19:00] bench shilling next to Jonsi Billups. If he’s going to use that type of effort in an NBA game.
[00:19:08] Dustin: One of the last things I noticed. And it was kind of hilarious to me because it was something that I’ve seen players do.
[00:19:13] When I played city league basketball, the dude raises his hand and calls for the ball. Like I’ve never seen before in my life. Like, I know every single, like I want the ball, like, he was just like, and he would make a pretty good decision with it. Like he wasn’t chucking, but he was like, dude, just give me the ball.
[00:19:29] Like I want the ball. Like we just get in a stop. Like I’m over here. Hey, I’ve maybe got one guy on me, like. I have never seen that before in, just in scouting a prospect. So that was a little,
[00:19:43] Dillon Sage: he plays off offense, kind of like a two K rec player where if you hit a, you call for the ball. So like,
[00:19:52] Dustin: oh, you do that in my player too.
[00:19:54] If you like a shooting guard and you want somebody,
[00:19:56] Dillon Sage: yeah, you hit, Hey, you spam a or you spam X. Like that is [00:20:00] how he plays on offense. He made decent decisions with the ball in his hands, but. He’s. Yeah, he’s aggressively hitting a, trying to get the ball from his point guard and I get it like his point guard.
[00:20:12] Isn’t the best, uh, Point guard in the, in the college game. So I guess they making decisions as good, but you know, if he’s playing with Anthony Simons and Damian Lillard, he is going to be at best the third option on the court. So I’m, he might need to chill and just be happy with the usage that he has already, because it’s a, uh, it’s a lot with Arizona.
[00:20:38] So. Yeah. How do you F he is the worst prospect that we’ve, uh, scouted this, this draft season, since we’ve been going with the top peer dyes. I, I think that he is a, a full tier, maybe two tiers down from like the Johnny Davis’s and the Jane IVs of the world. He’s still,
[00:20:58] Dustin: he’s a tier three, but he, I [00:21:00] mean, he’s a guaranteed lottery pick.
[00:21:01] I would have no problem. The new Orleans pic was like 13 or 12 and Mathers on the board. I think he has enough potential where you, you roll the dice late lottery. I mean, let’s, let’s, let’s be honest there, especially if you get a really good big w with, with your own pick, um, at the top of the draft, it’s just, you’re absolutely right.
[00:21:22] I think he’s not just one tier below. I think he’s two tiers below. Uh, both Johnny Davis and Angie Nivea in my, my opinion right now. But I D I would say from where he began as a freshman to his development over the summer, um, to currently at Arizona, he is, he is on that progression. And it is also, like you said, Hard to see how these players, uh, play in a collegiate environment.
[00:21:48] He doesn’t have the best point guard. Uh, he probably wants, feels like he’s the best option for them with the ball in his hands. And there are certain things that, that do translate. I would [00:22:00] say the red flag for me was the lack of explosive. And the, kind of the, the laissez-faire, uh, defense where it’s just, it’s just too nonchalant for me.
[00:22:10] I need to see a guy who’s it doesn’t matter if you’re playing at the Y. If you’re playing in college or you’re playing, you know, pre-season game in the NBA. I want to see a guy locked in defensively, especially with where Portland has been and where they’re trying to go in terms of two way talent
[00:22:25] Dillon Sage: and the tools that he has.
[00:22:27] He absolutely has the tools to be a good defender. Absolutely. It’s just in the times that we’ve seen him, he has shown it. Me it’s flashes. It’s it’s flashes of brilliance mixed in with just blah defensive, uh, attention and effort. I had a really difficult time with his comps. Um, I, I don’t have a, I don’t have a low one because it was just.
[00:22:53] Random wing and yeah,
[00:22:55] Dustin: I had a very difficult time with the 50 and the 99. So [00:23:00] I’ll say my low encompass he’s out of the league before his, after his rookie contract. I mean, that’s just, just how it is. There’s a lot of lottery picks who don’t make, make it to their second contract. And I think that’s a fair assessment of a inconsistent player with, with a lot of potential.
[00:23:16] Uh, were you able to get a middle of the road comp.
[00:23:27] Dillon Sage: It’s a starting wing or no, it’s like a rotation wing player that is, is middle of the road comp. The one that I feel pretty good about is Andrew Wiggins at his. You know, 90th percentile, both of them have issues dribbling the ball. But when Andrew Wiggins is put in, uh, on a, a team with Stephan Curry and clay Thompson and Draymond green, and he can be the fourth option, he looks pretty damn good at that, in that role.
[00:23:55] So I think wiggy is like a top [00:24:00] here, uh, comp.
[00:24:03] Dustin: I think that’s a really solid comp even you could say like his, maybe his ceiling is what wiggy is doing this year. I think that’s a really solid comparison. The one that came to me right off the bat was the middle of the road and it was one of my least favorite blazers of all time was Derek Andrew.
[00:24:21] And Derek Derek Anderson was out of Kentucky. He also looked the part. I mean, he had that sleek athletic build six, six, and he was brand Jordan before being brand. Jordan was a thing and his downfall was. He had a similar jump shot where he released a little bit on the way down. He tried to hang in the air way too often.
[00:24:41] He tried to be MJ, unfortunately, and he was just so inconsistent. He would have games where he looked like an all-star guard and then he would add games where he’d probably shoot like five of 17. Um, I think you maybe get an, a player who. Better than who they are. You know, Derek Anderson wasn’t really a Playmaker.[00:25:00]
[00:25:00] Uh, he wasn’t known for being a good defender, even though he had all of the tools, uh, But what also stands out with Derek Anderson’s best year was under Greg Popovich in San Antonio, came to polo. We didn’t really see it. So I think with Mathern it’s going to have to be right place, right situation, right coach.
[00:25:17] But I saw a lot of Derek Anderson in, in Madeline’s game. Um, so, so that, that really concerned me because I remember not enjoying the Derek Anderson experience as a blazer fan in the early two thousands.
[00:25:31] Dillon Sage: So mid the mid pier is Wiggins on the Timberwolves, the high tiers Wiggins on the golden state warriors.
[00:25:40] I mean, when you have those red flags, it kind of creates like the, the, the archetype of what you could be and Wiggins absolutely has those. So a better shooting, Andrew Wiggins is that. Absolute peak. There was one where I was like, okay, he could be Jerry [00:26:00] Stackhouse, like that all star role role-player type of thing.
[00:26:04] But I don’t know. I feel like Wiggins is of much better comp for them.
[00:26:08] Dustin: Yeah. Stackhouse had much more athleticism and explosiveness man. Like I don’t, I don’t see the, the, that first step or just that ability to rise up and finish over somebody at the, at the cup. Like Jerry had coming out of UNC.
[00:26:21] Dillon Sage: I think I have met tier four.
[00:26:23] Um, your tier three.
[00:26:25] Dustin: Yeah, I think he’s a lottery pick. I think he’s a guaranteed, guaranteed lottery pick.
[00:26:31] Dillon Sage: I mean, it sounds like we’re being very low on him for the last 10 minutes, but he is a very good prospect if the role is right for him, if he goes to like San Antonio or one of those teams with the creative coach, I think he could hit that Wiggins without Wiggins ceiling.
[00:26:52] I don’t think Chauncey Billups is the right coach for Bennett Matheran and gets drafted with the 11th pick or [00:27:00] whatever. I’ll be fine with it. And I’m trying to better myself, but today, without the luxury of knowing where our Pixar. I don’t think he is the right guy for the Portland trailblazers, with the current coaching staff involved in him.
[00:27:13] I think that Chauncey is going to stick him like at the point of attack defensively and try and make him like just a corner center. And it’s not going to go well, because I think one of the ways that he shows us value is in a, in a scheme where there’s a lot of like options to go off of, not just sit and watch whoever the main ball handler is trying to try and score.
[00:27:38] Dustin: I mean, we, we can’t like gush about Eric. We have every prospect, we have to be realistic with, with what we’re seeing with our eyes. And it just happened to be the first few prospects we did on this series have been the tier one tier two guys. So now we get a little bit into the late lottery where Portland could be picking, especially after that, that CJ McCollum trades.
[00:27:57] Um, I think it’s always good to know [00:28:00] what the highs and what the lows are because you know, it can’t, you’re not going to draft Tracy McGrady or Kevin Garnett every single year. Like you’re going to get maybe every seconds and you’re going to have to see how, how Wiggins.
[00:28:12] Dillon Sage: Yeah. So, uh, next week I would like to do the, uh, Kentucky versus LSU game because there was two prospects in it.
[00:28:20] A very, uh, interesting point guard kind of there was going to be comps to Derrius, Garland, and rising
[00:28:27] Dustin: up the boards to
[00:28:28] Dillon Sage: Kevin G. Kennedy Chandler. And then, uh, Eastern from LSU. I,
[00:28:34] Dustin: are you talking about Kentucky or Tennessee? Because I was talking about Ty Washington.
[00:28:38] Dillon Sage: I’m talking about Tennessee, the LSU.
[00:28:41] Dustin: You said Kentucky LSU.
[00:28:42] Dillon Sage: Oh shit. Well,
[00:28:43] Dustin: Tennessee will be doing an SCC podcast. Yes.
[00:28:47] Dillon Sage: Yes. We will be doing an sec podcast and, well, I’m keeping this in cause I don’t care, but yeah, like, uh, LCC has a lot of good teams and a lot of good ballplayers. So.