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North Carolina, Kentucky enter mix for Nico Mannion

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Two elite schools have entered the 5-star point guard’s recruitment

Kelly Kline/Under Armour

Nico Mannion was expected to narrow his list of finalists to five or six schools Wednesday, but he decided he’s not ready to make a move like that just yet.

He has a good reason.

Mannion told reporters that Kentucky and North Carolina have entered his recruitment, so he wants more time to mull things over. The Phoenix native now says he will cut his list once travel ball ends this week, per Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star.

Mannion is currently playing — and dominating — in the Under Armour Finals in Las Vegas.

Neither Kentucky nor North Carolina were in Mannion’s Top 10 back in June, and neither have officially offered him, according to 247Sports.

Still, North Carolina coach Roy Williams and Kentucky coach John Calipari have been in touch with Mannion and his family.

“My dad talked to Roy Williams and I talked to coach (John) Calipari for like 30 minutes,” Mannion said in an interview with 247Sports. “It was a really good talk.”

Mannion reclassified from the 2020 class to 2019 last week. The 6-foot-3 point guard is the No. 17 player in the country, per 247Sports composite rankings.

The Arizona Wildcats are considered the favorite for his services according to folks in the industry, but they will clearly have to outduel college basketball’s blueblood programs to keep the local product in state. (Duke is in the mix, too.)

A couple experts also view Arizona as the frontrunner for Mannion’s AAU teammate, Josh Green. The 6-foot-6 forward is the No. 11 player in the 2019 class.