If Arizona wing Bennedict Mathurin needed any extra motivation heading into the Sweet 16, he got it today.
The Naismith Trophy finalist list was released Tuesday, and Mathurin was left off of it. The Naismith Trophy is awarded to the nation’s top player.
Mathurin was previously named one of 10 semifinalists for the award.
Of the remaining four finalists, only one is still playing in March: Kansas’ Ochai Agbaji. The other finalists are Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis, Iowa’s Keegan Murray, and Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe.
Other players who missed the cut include Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren and Drew Timme, Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn, Ohio State’s E.J. Liddell and Auburn’s Jabari Smith.
Mathurin is still in the running for the Wooden Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding player, and the Jerry West Award, given to the nation’s top shooting guard.
Mathurin surely helped his candidacy for those awards with his 30-point performance in Arizona’s Round of 32 victory over TCU Sunday. The Montreal native is averaging 25 points over Arizona’s last three games.