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2021 NBA Draft scouting report: Tre Mann

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Virginia Tech at Florida Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Peachtree Hoops’ NBA Draft scouting report series winds down with a look at Tre Mann out of Florida.

This is an interesting draft class for point guards, once you get past the projected top-five or so overall picks. Additionally, the better scoring guards in the class collectively possess underwhelming passing skills. Considering that, one might think that the remaining traditional point guards would have a shot as being drafted earlier than later come draft night. But that’s not how most outlets are projecting things to go.

Tre Mann might be the most interesting of the group from an evaluation standpoint. He spent two years at the University of Florida after being a highly sough after college recruit. His freshman season was a struggle from start to finish, but he showed more of what was expected of him last season when he put up 16 points and 3.5 assists per game on a .459/402/.831 shooting performance on his way to being named first team All-SEC.

To clarify before we dig in on him a bit, I think he’s a better NBA prospect than Sharife Cooper by a decent margin. And his skillset, in my view, will translate offensively to the point guard position more seamlessly than some of the other lead guards projected to be drafted ahead of him such as Davion Mitchell and Miles McBride.

For Mann, it starts with his ability to create his shot by way of the pick and roll including a unique ability to punish defenders that choose to go under the screen:

And it’s not just the shot, it’s his dribble package and the way he operates and manipulates defenses with a set of nicely subtle techniques.

An example:

On the surface this may look simple and basic, but that operation of leaning right, as to get his defender on the left foot, before using a soft crossover to move left toward the ball screen is pretty advanced stuff for a 20-year-old.

When it comes to crossovers, all too often ones that aren’t more violent than this one, for example, are viewed as being unimpressive. In many cases, NBA defenders are better manipulated by way of the more subtle versions of actions like this.

Here he manipulates both defenders put into the ball screen action:

He quickly diagnosis that the defenders haven’t worked out their coverage and uses a stronger crossover to cause his defender to run straight into the defensive big which creates a path for dribble penetration.

Here there is no ball screen, but he sees the lack of organization by the defense in semi-transition and uses his ball handling skills to set up a step back three:

I don’t want to use the name as a broad comparison, but this is the kind of stuff Steph Curry does before he takes what, on the surface, sometimes looks like a ridiculous shot over three defenders.

Chase him over the screen and he’s fine getting to his floater:

He’s comfortable putting the skills to use working against a defender one-on-one as well:

On the perimeter he is usually looking to work toward his left foot to initiate the shot. In the midrange, as seen here, he likes to get to the right foot in the Chris Paul template.

He also has a bit of craft in getting to the rim and finishing:

He’s not what we would call a natural three-level scorer, but he has, at least, a little of everything needed to attack in the pick and roll or in isolation based upon what the defense is conceding at any given level.

It’s perhaps a bit more impressive that he demonstrated all of this playing in the offensive system run by Florida under head Mike White, who would often expect play to stop after the ball moved across half court as to verbally instruct his team what to run.

Mann’s skillset, I would think, would be better featured by giving him the opportunity to regularly attack defenses before they are set. He would benefit from being empowered to getting in an attacking rhythm and staying aggressive.

Offensively the outstanding questions largely relate to his ability to create for others. He managed 83 assists last season while committing 68 turnovers. Statistically, that’s not nearly good enough. But he played with really turnover-prone big men last season and just didn’t have the best supporting cast.

Those facts don’t erase the concerns around his ability to distribute the ball, but, for me, moves this area toward something to watch as he moves to the next level as opposed to writing it off as something he can’t do.

He occasionally flashed some high-level passing:

That’s pretty impressive.

And this one will work at the next level in hammer action:

The baseline set of offensive skills are all there. He’s an advanced ball handler that knows how to manipulate defenders as to get to shots that he knocks down with consistency. His reads in the pick and roll are solid across the board. And the indications that he can further develop as a passer can be seen.

He may struggle to apply all of it at the next level, specifically, because he not’s the most explosive athlete. If defenders get up on him, for example, he doesn’t have an explosive first step to use in trying to work past them.

He’s not an impressive leaper, which may further impact his ability to finish at the rim. The skillset is already so refined, however, that there is reason to be optimistic that he keeps figuring those part out.

He has useful size for a point guard (6’3, 175) but no extra length (6’4 wingspan). The offensive skillset will help him overcome that to a degree but could more significantly limit him on defense.

Florida played a heavy switch-based scheme so there isn’t much material available to observe him defending ball handlers alone in space. But, at the NBA level, his lack of length and athleticism will make it a challenge on that end of the court, which impacts any projected back court pairings teams may have to contemplate.

He’s an attentive and helpful team defender, in general:

He will have to really commit to consistently applying himself as a defender at the next level as to create sufficient two-way value.

Most outlets reflect Mann being selected at the tail end of the first round or very early in the second round. It seems to me that he would generate a lot of potential value in that range and warrants consideration to go earlier than that.

He’s not without flaws, but his baseline skillset would translate quite nicely if he can keep figuring out the other parts of the game.