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It wasn't all that long ago that Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse was in awe of Bennedict Mathurin at the Canada Men's National Basketball Team's training camp last summer.

Back then, Mathurin was still in college, an 18-year-old freshman at Arizona who was competing against grown men for a spot on the Canadian team.

"He's a nice player, man," Nurse said. "He's made some really strong plays. He's not a million miles away from being ready for this team."

A year later and Mathurin is suddenly among the very top prospects in the 2022 NBA Draft and has reportedly met with the Raptors during the pre-draft process, according to Adam Zagoria.

Mathurin, a Montreal native, is a 6-foot-5 guard who solidified himself as one of college basketball's very best players this past season, averaging 17.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.5 assists while earning PAC-12 Player of the Year and second-team All-American honors.

"He projects as a quality two-guard, with elite run-jump athleticism and enough shooting ability to plug and play early," wrote Sports Illustrated's draft expert Jeremy Woo. "He’s hard to stop in transition and proved he could take over games on a number of occasions this season, although he can be pretty streaky. The main question teams have is how much he can improve as a playmaker, as improvising doesn’t come naturally to him. Without that element he profiles better as a supporting scorer than as an offensive anchor. Still, between his rebounding, open-court play and potential to improve guarding the perimeter, there’s enough of a secondary skill set here to buy into. He’s earned a spot in the mid-to-late lottery."

Considering Toronto's first draft pick isn't until No. 33, a meeting with Mathurin is likely more about getting to know a Canadian prospect than anything related to this draft in particular. The 19-year-old should be far gone by the time the Raptors are on the clock, but he's someone to keep an eye on down the road should he become available via trade or free agency at some later date.

Further Reading

Raptors put E.J. Liddell to work reviewing tape during pre-draft interview

Report: Raptors have met with lottery-bound draft prospect Dyson Daniels

Can Toronto's unusual roster succeed in the playoffs? Take a look at the NBA's conference finalists