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You’d be hard-pressed to find a player in the country who was more improved during the 2020-21 season than Florida point guard Tre Mann. After an unimpressive true freshman season that saw Mann struggle to find a role in the offense, he burst onto the scene as a sophomore.
With Keyontae Johnson‘s collapse ending the season of the Gators’ best player early, Mann smoothly stepped into the on-court leadership role. He was easily UF’s best facilitating point guard since Chris Chiozza this season, and he was Florida’s leading scorer.
For his efforts, he’s seeing consistent first-round draft projections, with many expecting Mann to go toward the end of the lottery. In a piece for NBA.com written by Eric Fawcett, Mann is listed as one of the best shooters in the entire draft.
Late game. Shot clock winding down. One on one. In these high-stress moments at the end of games, what kind of shot are you most likely to see? The step back.
This shot has taken over basketball, the quintessential scoring move for every guard looking to bury their opponent in the final moments of the game. The best player in the draft at this move? Tre Mann.
There is a smoothness to the way Mann plays the game as if he’s gliding across the hardwood, and when it comes to creating space for a step back, he can lull defenders to sleep before exploding off his front foot, getting into his shooting motion and drilling it. Mann hit 41 percent of his step back jumpers last season (via InStat) which speaks to his touch from the outside. Overall, Mann hit 40.2 percent of his 3s last season and the high degree of difficulty for the majority of his attempts makes this percentage admirable. NBA teams who are looking for guards that can create their own shots will love what they see from Mann.
As Fawcett describes, Mann’s game is made so dangerous by his efficacy with the step-back. That shot is definitely playing a big factor in his rising draft stock, and if he turns into a solid starter in the NBA that will likely be a major reason why.
Mann will almost certainly be a first-round pick, but where he goes in that range has some fluidity. Some mock drafts show him going as high as No. 14, while others have him falling into the 20s. Regardless, he should be UF’s first drafted player since 2013 and first-round pick since 2012.
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