Evaluating Bennedict Mathurin, Remy Martin, and Josh Christopher

January 26th, 2021

By Alan Lu

Yesterday, I took the time to watch Josh Christopher and Marcus Bagley play in a Pac-12 conference basketball game, as it was between Arizona State and Arizona.  Arizona got off to a hot start early on, and they never looked back or relinquished the lead.  It took almost seven minutes for Arizona State to get their first set of points, and while Josh Christopher threw down a monster jam to cut Arizona’s lead to 19, and Remy Martin starting making a bunch of shots late in the second half, that was not enough for Arizona State to overcome their insurmountable deficit, as Arizona ended up winning by double digits.  Arizona’s guard play was impressive, and their big men also played well.  Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared in this game.

Bennedict Mathurin played very well when he was on the court, and he was able to throw down a high-flying dunk early on, but he ended up spraining his ankle midway through his team’s win over Arizona State.
(Photo:
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press, via The Arizona Republic)

Arizona’s freshman swingman, Bennedict Mathurin played well when he was on the court, and he made solid plays on both ends of the floor to help his team get the win over Arizona State.  He ended up getting hurt while trying to make a defensive play on Remy Martin midway through, and he ended up missing the rest of this game.  The diagnosis was that it is just a sprained ankle, and so he will likely be back on the court soon, so it’s not likely to be a serious injury.

Mathurin excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  Early on, he caught a lob pass off of a backdoor cut, and he managed to score on an alley-oop layup.  He also managed to score on an athletic, one-handed jam on a drive in transition, and he also scored on a speedy layup another time.  Every once in a while, he would go too fast and miss on a rushed shot around the basket, but he generally excelled as a scorer at the rim int his game. He didn’t take many threes, but he missed on a quick, spot-up three on his lone three-point attempt from beyond the arc.

He also showed off satisfactory playmaking skills.  He was able to drive in and threw a nice, no-look pass to a roll man to notch an assist.  Also, Mathurin did a tremendous job of rebounding the basketball.  He was very active at crashing the glass, and he was able to get plenty of defensive boards to help his team.

Plus, Mathurin also defended well.  He was able to steal a ball away from an opposing ball handler.  He also was active in the passing lanes to make it difficult for his opponents to get their passes through.  He also rotated to contest a shot in transition to force a miss, but he ended up landing on his opponent, as his opponent had slowed up, and the collision led to Mathurin having to leave the game with a sprained ankle.

In general, Bennedict Mathurin played well on both ends of the court, and he made solid plays when he was in this game.  He excelled at making hustle plays to help his team get the win.  He is a very athletic swingman that may be a very underrated prospect, and he could be an intriguing option for NBA teams to consider in the late first to the second round range of the upcoming draft.

Arizona State’s senior point guard, Remy Martin started off slowly, but he really heated up in the second half, as he scored 24 points, and made 4 threes in his team’s loss to Arizona.
(Photo:
Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports, via 247Sports)

Arizona State’s 6-0 senior point guard, Remy Martin had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Arizona.  He started off slowly, but he really picked it up by making a bunch of shots in the second half, and he showed off stellar shooting skills and some range by making a barrage of threes and mid-range jumpers to try to help bring his team back in the game.

Martin shot the ball very well, especially from beyond the arc.  He did a very good job of dribbling off screens to make pull-up threes, and he can do so from way out.  He also used a pump fake to make another three, and he also ran off the ball to make a corner three.  He struggled to shoot the ball early on, but he really found his stride in the second half.  He also dribbled to his left to make a pull-up jumper from around the left elbow, and he excelled as a floor spacer on offense.

He struggled to score when he would look to go all the way to the hoop to score off the dribble.  Martin was able to use a quick crossover move to score on a left-handed drive off the glass.  He also managed to score on an open layup on a drive in transition.  However, he also had a couple of right-handed drives blocked, as he struggled to get his shots up against longer, more athletic opponents around the basket, and he also missed wildly on a fast-break drive another time.

Also, he displayed adequate playmaking skills in this game.  Martin can throw solid passes off the dribble, and he can quickly push the ball and get the ball to his teammates to set up scoring chances for them.  He also was able to throw an interior pass to get an assist early on.  However, sometimes he would tend to rush his passes when driving to the hoop, and he had a couple of them get intercepted.  There was another play when handling the ball where he got the ball ripped away to lose it to an opponent. Though he didn’t grab many rebounds in this game, Martin was able to leap up to get a pair of defensive rebounds, and both times, he would push the ball quickly up the floor

Defensively, he looked to be about average at best.  On one good play, Martin was able to intercept an errantly thrown pass to get a steal.  However, he struggled to defend opposing ball handlers, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

In summary, Remy Martin played very well in his team’s loss to Arizona.  He really excelled as a shooter and scorer in the second half, especially down the stretch to try to help bring his team back in this game.  While he does sometimes play too fast and out of control, which lead to a handful of misses and turnovers, he also is a good shooter that can put up points in a hurry.  He could project well into a backup point guard role in the NBA, and he could be a solid pick for an NBA team in the mid to late second round range of the 2021 draft.

Arizona State’s Josh Christopher threw down a big-time dunk off of a drive that sparked a late game run for his team in their failed comeback bid, but Christopher did not actually play well overall, as that jam turned out to be the only field goal he made in the entire game.
(Photo:
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press, via Galveston County Daily News)

Arizona State’s freshman guard, Josh Christopher did not play very well in this game, though he did throw down a thunderous, high-flying dunk off of an aggressive drive to the hoop late in this contest.  He was at his best when driving hard to the basket, and he showed a fairly good ability to do so, as he would tend to barrel his way to the hoop to get to the free throw line.

However, he really struggled to shoot the basketball.  He missed on all of his threes, as well as on a pull-up, mid-range jumper, and he tended to miss wildly on drives in transition.  He threw up an airball on a floater on a break, and he even had his shot blocked hard out of bounds another time.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Christopher can find open shooters on drive and kick plays, and he will sometimes look to find the open man.  He did telegraph one pass that got deflected once, but he did a good job of not turning the ball over on offense. Also, he did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  Christopher was active at crashing the glass to get defensive boards, and sometimes he would bring the ball up afterwards.

Defensively, he looked to be fairly average.  He is an active, aggressive defender that can get stops for his team.  He was able to poke a ball away from an opposing ball handler out of bounds to nearly get a steal once.  He also held his ground when defending a taller player in the post, as he forced his opponent to throw up an air-ball on a fadeaway jumper.  However, he struggled to defend opponents off the dribble.  He got beat off the dribble once to allow a score, and he also would commit reach-in fouls by trying too hard to go for steals in this game.

Overall, Josh Christopher’s performance was both intriguing and frustrating in his team’s loss to Arizona.  He is a big-time athlete that really soared to score on a magnetic dunk off of a drive late in this game, as that illustrated his vast upside.  However, that turned out to be his only made field goal, as he made just 1 of 8 shots, and scored just 5 points before fouling out.  He tended to take a lot of rushed, contested shots, and he will really need to work on his shot selection.  Right now, his draft stock may be in the mid to late first round range, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he were to experience a draft day slide. 

Regardless, if he can improve his shot selection and jump shot, he could be a good player in the NBA in the long run, but that is a big if.  He will likely need a good team, like the San Antonio Spurs or the Boston Celtics, to provide a sound infrastructure to help his shot selection and shooting woes.  In a favorable scenario, a team like that could help him harness his skills to help him be a solid role player similar to former veteran guard, Aaron McKie in the NBA.  Otherwise, the flaws in his game might suggest that if a team were to take him in the first round, he could likely end up having a short career in the NBA before ending up out of the league in a few years.

Arizona’s 6-10 Lithuanian freshman big man, Azuolas Tubelis played well in his team’s win over Arizona State.  He is an athletic, high-motor player that excelled at making plays on both ends of the floor, and he was able to score 16 points and he also grabbed 12 rebounds to help his team get the victory.

Tubelis did a very good job of scoring on hustle plays.  He did a very good job of running the floor to score in transition, as well as on rolls and cuts to the basket.  He was able to catch a lob to score on an alley-oop dunk off of a cut, and he also ran the floor to score on a dunk.

He also showed a fairly good ability to score in the post.  Tubelis was able to score on a fadeaway jumper after grabbing an offensive rebound, and he also scored another time around the basket.  There was one play where he tried to use a hesitation move after getting the ball down low, but he ended up getting his shot blocked. He also was able to make an open, mid-range jumper from the right elbow to show some range in this game.

On the downside, Tubelis was quite turnover prone on offense.  For the positives, he has fairly good court sense, and he would find cutters to set up scoring chances for them.  He was able to throw an accurate lob, and he also can pass out of the post.  However, he would also sometimes throw inaccurate passes that would go astray, and he also dribbled a ball carelessly off of his foot that went out of bounds.  He also was called for setting a moving screen late in this game.

Tubelis did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  He has a keen nose for the ball, and he has a very good motor, as he would outwork his opponents constantly on the glass to help his team get rebounds, especially on the defensive side of the ball. He also played solid defense.  Tubelis was able to block a shot off of a drive due to possessing solid length and timing.  He also would tend to make good rotations, and he also was able to contest a three to force a miss.

Overall, Azuolas Tubelis had a solid showing in his team’s win over Arizona State.  He is an agile, energetic big man that excelled at making hustle plays on both sides of the ball, and he also showed off some passing skills and a mid-range game.  He did struggle with some turnovers, though.  Right now, he has flown under the radar as a draft prospect, but he is a skilled big man that could thrive as a role player in the NBA.

Arizona’s 6-0 junior point guard, James Akinjo also put forth a solid performance in his team’s win over Arizona State.  He made solid plays with the ball in his hands, and he scored 16 points, and dished out 6 assists in this game. Akinjo did a fairly good job of scoring the basketball.  He can score on crafty drives to the hoop, and he can use either hand to do so.  He also drew numerous fouls upon his defenders when handling the ball to get to the free throw line.  He also is an agile playmaker that can split double teams to get to the hoop.  However, sometimes he would miss on quick, contested shots. 

He also showed a decent ability to knock down jumpers.  Akinjo can use dribble moves to score on pull-up jumpers from both the mid-range and behind the three-point line.  He did struggle more to make mid-range shots though.  Though he didn’t take many threes, he was efficient in knocking down long-range shots from beyond the arc.

Plus, he also displayed good playmaking skills.  Akinjo tended to throw crisp, accurate interior passes to notch assists.  He was able to throw accurate lob passes, and he would often find teammates on the move to set up scores for them.  He also passed well off the dribble, as he can get the ball to them in an assortment of ways.  He didn’t commit many turnovers, but he did commit one when he was called for a charging foul when handling the ball in the backcourt.

Though he didn’t grab many rebounds, he was able to collect a pair of defensive boards in this game.  He also played satisfactory defense.  Akinjo was able to rip a ball away to get a steal.  He also contested a mid-range shot to force a miss.  However, on another play, he ended up biting on a pump fake, which led his opponent to score on an open three-point shot.

Overall, James Akinjo played well, and he excelled at making plays on both ends of the floor to help his team get the win over Arizona State.  On the season, he’s struggled to make two-point shots, and he will need to improve in that area to increase his draft stock.  Still, he showed that he can be a reliable table-setter to help is team on offense, and in a favorable scenario, he could project into a backup point guard role in the NBA someday.

Arizona’s redshirt senior guard, Terrell Brown put forth a very good performance in his team’s win over Arizona State.  He excelled at making plays on both sides of the court, and he scored 18 points, and he also had 4 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 assists to help his team get the victory.

Brown did a good job of scoring on aggressive drives to the hoop.  He can make shots using either hand, and he would score on crafty floaters and tough layups.  He also did a very good job of drawing fouls upon his defenders to get to the free throw line often.  Sometimes though, he would struggle to score in traffic, especially when he wouldn’t get foul calls.  He also struggled to make pull-up jumpers from the mid-range. He also did a good job of making threes in this game.  Though Brown didn’t take many threes, he made them efficiently, and he was able to utilize a crossover move to make a three-point shot from beyond the arc.

Also, he displayed fairly average playmaking skills.  Brown can pass off the dribble and in transition, and he can spot open teammates when he plays under control.  However, sometimes he would commit ball-handling turnovers, as he would sometimes struggle to handle the ball when faced with considerable ball pressure.  He also threw an inaccurate lob pass that was dropped out of bounds.  He also took too long to throw a pass inbounds, which led to a five second violation and a team turnover another time. He also did an adequate job of rebounding the basketball, and he was able to get his team a handful of defensive boards in this game.

Brown also played solid defense. He did a tremendous job of intercepting passes to get steals, and he also was able to contest a deep three to force a miss another time.  On the other hand, he would sometimes not quite be in position defensively, which would lead him to commit fouls when guarding opponents on drives to the basket.

Overall, Terrell Brown played very well in his team’s win over Arizona State.  He’s put forth fairly modest stats this season, but he had put forth fairly solid numbers before when he was previously at Seattle University.  Right now, he may be a long shot to be drafted, as he does not have gaudy stats nor much draft stock, but he is a skilled, agile combo guard whose skill set could enable him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA next season.

I had also tuned into this game to watch Arizona State’s freshman swingman, Marcus Bagley play.  While he was able to have some good moments, he tended to fade into the background too much, as his performance was okay, but still rather lackluster in his team’s loss to Arizona.

Bagley didn’t take many shots inside the arc, but he was very effective as a scorer around the basket.  He has a fairly quick first step off the dribble, and he drove hard right to the hoop to score off the glass.  He also ran in to score on a tip-in after grabbing an offensive rebound.

In this game, Bagley struggled to make threes consistently, but he was able to make an open corner three off the catch calmly late in this game.  He did miss on his fair share of corner threes, and he also missed on a pull-up three after using a jab step another time.

He also displayed fairly average playmaking skills.  Bagley would look to find the open man, and he was able to notch an assist.  However, he can sometimes be inaccurate with his passes, and he threw one ill-advised jump pass off the dribble that ended up getting intercepted.

He also was able to get his fair share of rebounds in this game.  He was fairly active at crashing the glass to help his team get offensive rebounds.  However, he did commit a foul on a put back once when guarding a taller player around the basket.

Also, he showed off fairly average defensive skills.  Bagley was able to rotate to alter a shot in the post to force a miss due to possessing solid athleticism and timing.  He also ran in to nearly steal a ball away when guarding an opposing ball handler early on.  However, sometimes he would be out of position, which would lead him to commit fouls.  Another time, he and his team lost track of a cutter, which led his team to allow an opponent to score on an alley-oop dunk.

Overall, Marcus Bagley didn’t have his best game, but he is an energetic player that showed off versatile scoring skills, and he also was active defensively.  He’s been fairly inconsistent this year, but his scoring ability and athleticism could enable him to be an intriguing option for NBA teams to consider in the second round range of the 2021 draft.

Arizona’s 6-7 freshman swingman, Dalen Terry played very well in his team’s win over Arizona State.  He played very well on both ends of the court, and he especially was impactful on the defensive end. On offense, he excelled as a scorer off the dribble, as well as off of hustle plays.  He was able to score on a quick, crafty reverse layup off of a baseline drive, and he also ran the floor to score on the break.  He also did a terrific job of drawing fouls upon his defenders to get to the free throw line.

On the downside, he was quite turnover prone on offense, and he would tend to throw inaccurate passes that would go astray. He also was able to chip in to help his team get rebounds on both ends of the floor.  Terry also played very good defense in this game.  He excelled at blocking shots off of drives, and he also defended the three-point line well.  He even was able to block a three-point shot to force an airball.

Overall, Dalen Terry played very off the bench, as he scored 8 points on 2 shots, and he also had 3 blocks and 3 rebounds in his team’s win over Arizona State.  He is an athletic, skilled point forward that could be a prospect to keep an eye on.  He will need to be more aggressive in looking for his own shots on offense, but his ability to create shots for his team and defensive prowess could make him an intriguing long-term prospect for the NBA.  He’ll likely need to stay in school for at least another year or two, but his athleticism, defensive skills, and upside could enable him to thrive as a role player in the NBA someday.

Arizona State’s 6-9 sophomore forward, Jalen Graham played well off the bench in his team’s loss to Arizona.  He probably should’ve started the game and logged more minutes, but he was able to score 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting, and he also had 11 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 1 steal in his team’s losing effort.

He’s an athletic, high-motor big man that excelled at scoring in the post as well as off the dribble.  He has a fairly quick first step that enables him to score on high-post drives, and he also managed to score on a powerful, one-handed dunk from the low post.  He also can score off of rolls and cuts to the hoop.  However, he would sometimes take tough, contested shots that would lead to misses.

He also rebounded the ball very well.  Graham also played satisfactory defense.  He also was able to block a couple of shots to help his team protect the paint, and he also ran in to intercept an entry pass to get a steal.  Sometimes though, he would struggle to handle stronger opponents in the post, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Graham had a very good showing in his team’s loss to Arizona.  He played very well off the bench to try to help Arizona State get back in the game.  He will need to extend his shooting range and add more muscle to be able to defend stronger opponents down low.  Right now, he will likely need to stay in school for another season to hone his game from an offensive standpoint, but he could be an intriguing prospect for the 2022 draft, if so.

Arizona’s sophomore center, Jordan Brown played fairly well in his team’s win over Arizona State.  He primarily excelled as a low post scorer and defender in this game.  He has solid strength, footwork, and scoring touch to score down low, and he would score in the post as well as on a roll to the rim.  He also did a good job of intercepting passes to get steals and deflections. Brown was fairly active on the glass, and he was able to get his team his fair share of rebounds.  He didn’t collect an assist, but he did commit one turnover, as he was called for setting a moving screen once on offense.

Overall, Jordan Brown had a fairly good showing in his team’s win over Arizona State.  He didn’t take many shots, but he was very effective as an inside scorer, and he also played well from a defensive standpoint.  He will need to extend his shooting range and improve his rebounding moving forward, but he has been a solid role player for Arizona, and he currently projects to be a borderline second round candidate for the 2021 draft.

NBA Scouting Live
error: Content is protected !!