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    Carpetbagger was impressed with the performance of ‘feisty’ Dominic Mathurin


    As an Arizona Wildcat, Bennedict Mathurin built a reputation for having a strong and inspiring spirit that often rose to the occasion when it was needed most.

    Mathurin had the monster dunk and other points in Arizona’s overtime win over TCU in the NCAA Tournament. Mathurin also had 15 trips to the free-throw line against UCLA after which he led them to victory in the Pac-12 Tournament title game.

    So quickly after being drafted, Mathurin took to the court and his team with a steady hand.

    Indiana Pacers hosted Mathurin while they were on a “round the world” shooting drill. Prospects are asked to hit five 3-pointers from five different spots and walk away when they ring a bell if they have done so 20 times in a row. However, Mathurin wasn’t able to ring a bell.

    He continued to fail at ringing the bell even with senior executives watching. So he asked if he could return to the gym for another workout.

    Pacers GM Chad Buchanan said, “We’ve never had a draft prospect come in, finish his workout, then shower and go eat and come back — and want to work out again,” he added, “That was a very good sign for us that this guy really likes being in the gym, a great indicator for a guy who’s got a great path of development.”

    Rick Carlisle agreed with Mathurin to spend a few hours at the gym later that night, and it was reported by that he and Mathurin spent an hour discussing footwork and other aspects of the game.

    Buchanan states: “He’s a very tough-minded player who has overcome a lot in his life on and off the court. He’s a feisty bulldog, gritty competitor and he’s not afraid to challenge his teammates. He’s not afraid to challenge the opponent. In order to survive in the NBA, he needs some of those traits as a rookie.

    “We got to know Benn through the draft process and really liked his personality. There was obviously a lot of enthusiasm from his side for us. He looks at our team and sees himself as a great fit, as do we. And coach Carlisle sees a lot of potential in him.”

    Coming back from my sophomore year, Mathurin knew there were a lot of things that he needed to get better at. The best way for him to improve was to just keep practicing and focus on the drills so he could be a top pick in the draft.

    “Carlisle and I had a great conversation. He told me what he was looking for, what he thinks about my potential, and what I would like to bring to the team.”

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