Nico Mannion, one of the top high school point guards in the country, might reclassify from 2020 to 2019, and the Arizona Wildcats are one of the teams recruiting him the hardest, according to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com.
“I’m up there pretty often during the season when they have games,” Mannion told Zagoria. “I go up and watch games. They’ve been great. The way they recruit it’s good. It’s good facilities. I’m close with coach Sean (Miller) and Coach (Mark) Phelps.”
Mannion is the No. 23 player in the 2020 class, No. 3 point guard, and No. 2 player in the state of Arizona, per 247Sports. He attends Pinnacle High School in Phoenix.
Mannion’s father, Pace, played in the NBA for six seasons. Miller watched Mannion this past weekend in Indianapolis at an Under Armour event.
Zagoria asked Mannion if Arizona’s involvement in the FBI investigation has impacted his interest in the school and he said, “I would say at first it did but everything that’s going on now, they said they’re fine now. I trust them 100 percent, Sean and (Mark) Phelps, so I’m not worried.”
Depending on what happens with 2018 point guard Brandon Williams — who is picking a school Saturday — Arizona might need major help at point guard after the 2018-19 season. Justin Coleman is set to graduate, which could leave Alex Barcello as the only returner at the position.
Landing Williams’ could change the calculus, but there is still a chance he is a one-and-done anyway, meaning Mannion would be greatly needed (assuming he reclassifies to 2019, of course).
No matter, there is always room for a player like Mannion, and it appears Arizona is doing everything it can to keep him close to home.
Four of the seven predictions in the 247Sports Crystal Ball believe Mannion will attend Arizona, though the three most recent predictions believe he’s headed for UCLA. Marquette, Villanova, Kansas, and several other schools are pursuing him as well.
Here are some of Mannion’s highlights from Indianapolis. He has a tantalizing combination of skill and athleticism.