The Arizona Wildcats are counting on Nico Mannion to be their point guard of the future, and the limelight probably isn’t too big for him.
The 2019 signee evidently thrives under pressure.
Mannion scored 37 points and banked in a deep 3 as time expired to lift Pinnacle High School to an 82-80 win over Shadow Mountain on Friday.
“We just wanted to get the ball into his hands,” Pinnacle coach Charlie Wilde said (via azcentral). “There’s no special play that we ran. We just put the ball in his hands and then hoped something special would happen.”
To make it even more special, Mannion hit the game-winner over ASU commit Jaelen House, the son of former Sun Devil standout Eddie House.
Take a gander at what was an insanely difficult play to pull off (extended highlights can be watched at the bottom of this story):
Here’s another look:
Mannion, the No. 1 point guard in his class, is predictably off to a hot start in his final season at Pinnacle. The 6-foot-3 point guard is averaging 22.3 points, 5.7 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.0 steals per game, per MaxPreps.
Arizona coach Sean Miller raved about Mannion when introducing UA’s 2019 recruiting class on Tuesday.
“Nico is somebody that walks in the door with great size and athleticism and, I think, a complete and total understanding of how to play the position,” he said. “I wouldn’t consider him just a pass-first point guard, I would call him an all-everything point guard. He can score in transition but he also knows how to get others involved.
“I give Nico a lot of credit because he was the first to jump on board. True to being a great point guard, you lead from the front both on offense and defense, but oftentimes you lead off the court as well. He paved the way for others to join him.”