Jun 24, 2022 - Sports

U of A's Mathurin drafted sixth by Pacers, Terry 18th by Bulls

NBA commissioner shaking hands with a player during the draft.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver (left) and U of A's Bennedict Mathurin on draft night. Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Arizona Wildcats star Bennedict Mathurin is bound for Indianapolis after the Pacers took him with the sixth pick in the NBA draft Thursday.

Between the lines: With his athleticism and jump shot, Mathurin could have a quick impact on a Pacers squad that's looking to bounce back from a down season in which they missed the playoffs after posting a 25-57 record.

  • Mathurin joins a Pacers team that includes Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield and Myles Turner.
  • Mathurin is the highest draft pick — and first lottery pick — to come out of the University of Arizona since the Phoenix Suns took Deandre Ayton with the top pick in 2018.
  • There are already two former Wildcats on Indiana's roster: T.J. McConnell and Gabe York.

1 touching thing: Mathurin had a necklace with him at the draft with the word "Domixworld" as a tribute to his older brother, Dominique, who died in 2014 after being hit by a car, the Arizona Daily Star wrote.

  • "My brother is everything for me," Mathurin told ESPN after the Pacers drafted him. "He's the reason why I wake up every morning. ... And me wanting to be the best."

1 surprising thing: Wildcats shooting guard Dalen Terry went to the Chicago Bulls with the 18th pick, which was higher than just about any mock draft put him — including Axios' mock draft, which had him going 29th to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Dalen Terry celebrates during an NCAA tournament game.
Dalen Terry was drafted No. 18 by the Chicago Bulls. Photo: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

1 more surprising thing: Arizona big man Christian Koloko was projected in mock drafts to go in the middle of the second round, but the Toronto Raptors took him with the third pick of the second round.

Our thought bubble: As a U of A alumnus, it's my duty to point out that with the conclusion of this year's draft, there are now >>>12<<< former Wildcats in the NBA.

  • In addition to this year's draftees, Mathurin's new Indiana teammates and Ayton, Arizona boasts NBA players Aaron Gordon (Nuggets), Josh Green (Mavericks), Andre Iguodala (Warriors), Stanley Johnson (Lakers), Zeke Nnaji (Nuggets) and Brandon Williams (Trailblazers).

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Phoenix.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Phoenix stories


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Phoenix.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more