It’s one guard out and one guard back in for the Gators as Tre Mann announced that he would be returning to Florida mere hours after Andrew Nembhard announced he would be transferring.
Coming out of high school Mann was on NBA radars as a potential one-and-done talent but his freshman season didn’t go exactly as planned. There was definitely a feeling out process through the first weeks of the season and a concussion further set him back, allowing Ques Glover to jump ahead of him in the depth chart.
Once back and healthy Mann’s confidence offensively improved and he started to hit more shots but what was more impressive was his work on the defensive end. After struggling to grasp Florida’s defensive scheme early in the season he was able to figure it out and near the end of the year he was actually one of Florida’s best defenders, especially as a help side player. In a number of key possessions he was able to rotate over to help one of his teammates, forcing awkward misses or drawing charges which demonstrated his toughness.
After the season ended he utilized the rules allowing him to enter the draft to test the waters and after putting the feelers out to NBA teams he ultimately decided to return. All along it seemed like it was his plan to return to college but the opportunity to speak to NBA teams was a chance to grow and get valuable insight.
Some media members speculated a transfer might have been in the works, a theory rooted in the fact that Mann wasn’t always used in a manner consistent with how he played in high school. What made him such a sought after recruit was his work as a scoring ball handler but at Florida next to Andrew Nembhard he was used off the ball as a spot up player. Ultimately it seems like he is comfortable with his role in the system and how he’s going to be utilized and that helped him make the decision to stay a Gator.
As a sophomore he’ll still have some competition for minutes in the backcourt. Cleveland State transfer Tyree Appleby will be the projected starting point guard as a redshirt junior but Mann will certainly want to compete for that spot. Noah Locke will be penciled in as the starting shooting guard but he doesn’t bring the ball handling ability of Mann and if Coach White wants more offensive creation on the floor Mann could be a better option. More than likely Mann will be in a sixth man role like he was in last season and hopefully he can be an instant-offense option who can come in and use his scoring touch to change the momentum of games.
Tre Mann never fully realized his potential as a freshman but if there is any player on the Gators poised to take a leap it’s him. No player had as big of an improvement from the start to the end of the season as Mann and if he continues that same upward trajectory he’ll be a fantastic Gator this upcoming season. Near the end of the season we saw flashes of what made him a five-star recruit and if he is able to bring more consistency, something that should be expected as a returning player, he’ll be a weapon.