Has Tre Mann been talked about enough? Honestly, he probably hasn’t been.
Florida’s offseason has been one for the ages and there have been lots of positive storylines exciting fans. Getting top-10 player Scottie Lewis on campus, landing the most sought-after grad transfer in the country Kerry Blackshear Jr., and even hearing that Andrew Nembhard was going to dip out of the NBA draft and return to Gainesville for his sophomore season.
What probably hasn’t gotten enough play is the fact the Gators are going to have Tre Mann, a hometown hero who decided to stay in central Florida to play for the team he grew up cheering for. More than that, he’s one of the best guards in class. A consensus 5-star, McDonald’s All-American, and 21st ranked player in the class.
And not only that, but he brings the exact skill set the Gators need, someone who is potent at scoring the basketball and someone that can be a one-man offense when needed. Florida has lacked electric guards who could create their own shot over the last few seasons and it’s played a role in their sometimes vanilla offenses that have ranked 61st and 41st in the country the last two years. In Mann the Gators have someone who can pull up from anywhere on the court or dance around a defender to get into the paint for a layup. He has the athleticism to sky over defenders when needed and with all the defensive attention he draws he knows when to dump it off to a teammate for an easy look.
With this skillset he has a niche role within the Gators’ incredibly deep lineup. Andrew Nembhard is more of a traditional point guard who picks apart defense with precision passing and elite basketball IQ and Noah Locke is someone who thrives in catch and shoot situations but not as much with the ball in his hands. The perfect compliment to that is Mann who will pressure the defense with his individual creation abilities that will make him a change of pace guard certain to catch defenses sleeping.
While high school stats aren’t always the best indication of what a player is going to accomplish you’ve still got to note that Mann’s jump off the page at you. Here are his career high school numbers.
One thing that should be noted about his 3-point percentage is that he obtained that 36% mark, a good high school percentage on it’s own right, while taking over 7 3-point attempts per game. To be able to maintain a good percentage on that kind of volume is incredibly impressive and shows a positive indicator that he’s going to continue to score the ball at a tremendous rate in college. That 3-point percentage is also backed up by the 38% he shot on the EYBL circuit while taking over 7 3-point attempts per game. Not only was he letting those shots fly in high school and on the EYBL circuit but he was doing a lot of it off the dribble, difficult attempts that should lower percent but didn’t seem to for Mann.
So we’ve seen what Mann did in high school but what can we expect from him in his freshman season at Florida?
To make some kind of projection of what we could expect I decided I would look at recent history to try to find some insight.
In the search for an accurate forecast I looked at the last 10 years of college basketball and recruiting classes. I then found each player that fit the criteria of being similar to Mann. That criteria was:
1) Being ranked between 16th and 24th in the class. Mann is ranked 21st, but recruiting classes aren’t always equal so the range needed to be widened a bit to account for the differences in talent from year to year. I’ll note that most players in the study are from between 20th and 23rd.
2) Play a similar style to Mann. Point guard or combo guard.
3) Are between 6’2” and 6’5”. This eliminates the speedy 5’11” guards and long 6’6” athletes. Almost everyone from the study is 6’3” or 6’4” (Mann’s height or almost that) but there were a couple 6’5” players to make the cut.
I wanted to look at their stat lines and then average them out to see what could be expected from Mann.
Here were all the players that qualified for the study. I want you to take a good look at this list.
Devon Dotson (Kansas)
Immanuel Quickley (Kentucky)
Andrew Nembhard (Florida)
Coby White (North Carolina)
Trae Young (Oklahoma)
Kobi Simmons (Arizona)
Jalen Brunson (Villanova)
Jalen Adams (Connecticut)
D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State)
James Blackmon (Indiana)
Isaac Hamilton (UCLA)
Jabari Bird (California)
Tyler Ennis (Syracuse)
Anthony Barber (NC State)
Gary Harris (Michigan State)
BJ Young (Arkansas)
Nick Johnson (Arizona)
Dion Waiters (Syracuse)
Doron Lamb (Kentucky)
Ryan Harrow (NC State)
John Jenkins (Vanderbilt)
Look at this list of names and look how many star players there are. Top picks like Trae Young, D’Angelo Russell, and Coby White. College standouts like Jalen Brunson and Anthony Barber. NBA talent throughout like Gary Harris, Dion Waiters, and Tyler Ennis. There are some really great players that fall to this point of the recruiting rankings.
Now that the similar players were identified I averaged out their freshman year stats to find out what could maybe be expected for Mann next season. Here is what I found.
On first look these numbers actually look like they could be a decent guess for Mann. Truthfully, I think Mann is easily capable of scoring more than 11.7 points per game and I could see him getting more like 15.7 (James Blackmon) or 15.3 (BJ Taylor). The thing is, of course, than Florida is extremely deep and Mann won’t be relied upon to be the one-man wrecking crew that he is able to be when he wants/needs to embarrass opposing defenses. You know Kerry Blackshear Jr. is going to be prominently featured in the offense and Andrew Nembhard is also going to have the ball in his hands a lot. Let’s remember too that Noah Locke was a 15 point per game scorer last season until he injured his groin, and Keyontae Johnson is going to get his too. For that reason 11.7 could be an accurate number for Mann but I’m sure he’s going to explode for a few games in the 20s when he catches fire and the Gators need him to go off. However, it’s not like all the players in this study were instantly given the keys to be the focal point of an offense and many of them played on excellent teams full of good players so the comparison could be quite solid.
Considering Mann was around the 36% 3-point mark in high school it was interesting that 36% happened to be the forecasted total for him. He’ll be taking a lot of threes, with a good deal of them difficult I’d imagine, and 36% is probably a good mark to predict for him.
Dishing out 3 assists per game is another reasonable number for Mann as he does a great job at attracting attention and he’ll have the shooters to find and punish defenses and he’ll also have Kerry Blackshear Jr. and Keyontae Johnson available to drop the ball off to at the rim. The Gators didn’t have much secondary playmaking behind Andrew Nembhard last year and Mann changing that is going to really help out the offense.
Forecasting what a player is going to do statistically as a freshman is difficult but the numbers found in this article should give some indication of what could be expected. Tre Mann is an explosive offensive talent and the big shots he’ll hit could be more important than the raw numbers he puts up but ultimately he’s a win-first player who is going to value a deep NCAA Tournament run over counting stats. Mann is going to excite fans and terrify opponents and whatever he decides to do for numbers, I’m here for it.