Nico
Mannion
Position: PG
Height/Weight: 6-3 / 190 lbs
School/Club: Arizona
Status: Freshman
Birthday: 03/14/2001

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About Nico Mannion

Nico Mannion is a talented all-around guard whose vision, promising shot-making ability, and strong feel for the game allowed him to make an instant impact in the Pac-12 at Arizona.  A second-generation pro, Nico’s father, Pace, was the 43rd overall pick in the 1983 NBA Draft and played 6 seasons in the NBA before spending nearly a decade in Italy, where his son was born.  Gaining a following very early in his career, Mannion returned to his roots averaging 19.9 points and 4 assists per game for Italy at the 2017 FIBA U16 European Championship.  Making his senior national team debut in July of the following year, the Siena native carried that momentum into appearances at the McDonald’s All-American game and Nike Hoop Summit following his senior year at Pinnacle High School (AZ). 

Widely regarded as one of the top-10 prospects in the high school class of 2019 after reclassifying from 2020, Mannion faced steep expectations at Arizona.  Emerging as a focal point for Sean Miller’s Wildcats, Mannion averaged 14 points and 5.3 assists per game to earn All-Pac-12 2nd Team honors and put his team in position to earn an NCAA Tournament bid.

  • Standing 6-foot-3 with a developed 190-pound frame that has come a long way in recent years and a 6-foot-2.5 wingspan, Mannion has average size for a point guard to go along with good leaping ability and quickness.
     
  • An instinctual playmaker who operated extensively out of the pick and roll as a freshman, Mannion makes shots from all three levels, has excellent footwork, delivers some creative passes on the move, and limits his mistakes off the dribble.  Scoring more easily some nights than others, he was aggressive pushing tempo, but proved most reliable taking advantage of opportunities off the ball in part because Arizona faced as much zone as nearly any team in the country.
     
  • A competitive defender, Mannion was generally solid last season doing a nice job reeling in his desire to be aggressive in the passing lanes.  He gave up very few open shots but was not always able to effect shooters.

Defensive Analysis

  • Showing good anticipation defensively, Mannion held his own for stretches last season.  Making an effort to close out and stay engaged off the ball, he will nonetheless need to learn to get to spots earlier to make up for his lack of length. 
     
  • Hunting rebounds to create opportunities to push the pace, Mannion showed some toughness in spurts, but has room to get stronger to better challenge opposing guards on the ball.

Career Highlights

  • 2019-20 All-Pac-12 Second Team and All-Freshman Team choice.
  • Recorded 169 assists in the 2019-20 season, the third most ever for an Arizona freshman.
  • 2018-19 McDonald’s and Naismith All-American as a high school senior.
  • Led Pinnacle High School to back-to-back Arizona state championships in 2018 and 2019. FRESHMAN (2019-20)
  • Averaged 14.0 points, 5.3 assists and 2.5 rebounds.
  • Ranked second in the Pac-12 in assists per game.
  • Finished second in the nation in total assists among freshmen.
  • Made 53 three-pointers, second most on Arizona.
  • Scored 20 or more points six times.

High School

  • Top-15 prospect and consensus five-star recruit.
  • Averaged 30.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 2.8 steals as a senior.
  • Scored a game-high 28 points for Team World in the 2019 Nike Hoop Summit.

Strengths

  • Creative point guard with a solid outside stroke.
  • Strikes a good balance of scoring and playmaking.
  • Can make all the necessary lead guard passes.
  • Competes hard on the defensive end.

Personal

  • Born in Siena, Italy. Holds dual citizenship.
  • Father, Pace, played six seasons in the NBA and 13 in the Italian League, where he competed against such players as Mike D’Antoni and Manu Ginobili.
  • Mother, Gaia, is Italian and was a professional volleyball player in Italy 

Quotable 
“The first time I played with him, I kind of knew he was going to be good. His IQ is off the charts. He was very advanced. He just sees the game different than everybody.”
-- Arizona teammate Dylan Smith