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Sean Miller: Nico Mannion’s ‘future as an NBA point guard is very bright’

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 14 Gonzaga at Arizona Photo by Chris Coduto/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Nico Mannion declared for the 2020 NBA Draft on Tuesday, and Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller addressed his departure by releasing this statement via the team’s Twitter account:

“Nico Mannion was a SPECIAL PLAYER in his year with our program. He was the MVP of the Wooden Legacy and was named to the Pac-12 All-Conference and All-Freshman teams. There are very few players his age that have the playmaking skills and scoring ability that he does.

“Nico is an exceptional teammate, a very coachable player and a fun person to be around. His future as an NBA point guard is very bright! All of us at Arizona wish him nothing but success!

“Personally, I will miss his humble and quiet nature and his consistent, focused approach to becoming the best player he can be.”

Mannion is projected as a first-round pick by all major media outlets, though his range varies depending who you ask.

The former five-star recruit averaged 14.0 points, 5.3 assists, and 2.6 turnovers per game in his lone season at Arizona, but unexpectedly struggled with his jumper, shooting 39 percent from the field and 33 percent from 3.