With the major July events out of the way, Roy Williams has now begun the annual tradition of handing out scholarship offers to rising high school seniors. On Monday night Tre Mann became the most recent player of interest for the North Carolina coaching staff. The 6-4, 185-pound point guard recently began receiving attention from various programs after he announced that his original short list of Florida, Tennessee, and Kansas weren’t actually a final short list at all. (Note: Recruiting is weird).
⚠️ I’m officially reopening my recruitment ⚠️— Tre Mann (@tre2mann3) July 14, 2018
Previously down to three, top 30 PG Tre Mann is opening up the recruiting process. Who is jumping in? Who is trying to get in on Armando Bacot? Who was watching who? @DMcDonaldRivals from the A-Town https://t.co/mgNte0Cb9C pic.twitter.com/hqefaSLJNH— Eric Bossi (@ebosshoops) July 22, 2018
Regardless, after averaging approximately 22/5/3 at Nike’s Peach Jam in July, other programs stayed engaged. Renowned high school talent evaluator Jerry Meyer stated that Mann may be the best shooter in the class (see below). With his performances in July and praise like that, Mann may soon find himself among a higher tier of recruits than his current mid-30s to mid-40s rankings.
Tre Mann might be the best shooter amongst highly ranked prospects in 2019. Darius Garland level prospect or better. 5-star talent.— Jerry Meyer (@jerrymeyer247) July 14, 2018
Mann plays for the E1T1 (Each 1 Teach 1) program out of Florida, along with other potential UNC target C.J. Walker. The team name brings back memories of Howard Garfinkle’s famous motto at the original Five-Star Camp that ran for 42 years until it closed down in 2008. It was also the program that produced former UNC stars Joel Berry and Tony Bradley, so UNC already has an established connection. That could prove beneficial as Mann only has three official visits remaining. Check out the highlights of Walker and Mann in action.
Most important is the skill set that Mann would bring to Chapel Hill. Over the past few years a trend has emerged of UNC offering “combo” guards (a term that this author thinks is completely pointless). To avoid a conversation on the evolution of the guard positions, let’s just say a “combo” guard is comfortable at both the “1” and “2” spots.
Many times on the high school and/or AAU level, these players are primary scoring threats who possess the ability to facilitate. Marcus Paige started the trend, and Joel Berry kept it going. It’s still early, but Coby White seems to be the next Tar Heel tapped to carry on that legacy. “True” point guards in the mold of Cota, Felton, Lawson, and Marshall are harder to find in the current generation of high school athletes.
Though listed as a point guard, early assessments indicate that Mann’s scoring abilities would help him slide into combo-style guard role, giving North Carolina maximum flexibility on the perimeter in 2019. Currently listed between 6’1 and 6’4 depending on your recruiting service of choice, (likely due to a growth spurt between evaluations), he skews towards a point guard in college. I would expect that’s where most college programs are recruiting him to play. Nonetheless, dependent on how Leaky Black and Coby White are used, the 2019 backcourt will be stacked with options at the position.
That may benefit the Heels as recent backcourt combinations of Marcus Paige, Nate Britt, and Joel Berry II have proven that multiple ballhandlers on the court can be successful in UNC’s system. There is certainly an argument that you need one undisputed leader on the court, but that does not mean that a backcourt can’t have some versatility and overlap in their capabilities. Mann’s ability to handle the rock or give some run on the wing seems like a natural advantage – both for Mann and the Tar Heels.
Mann joins Cole Anthony as the only other guard currently holding a scholarship offer from UNC. Small forwards Wendell Moore, and Keion Brooks Jr. also hold offers. With a few more expected over the next few days, it’s clear that Roy Williams has made the perimeter his primary focus for the 2019 recruiting class. With the expected loss of at least three key perimeter contributors (Kenny Williams, Cameron Johnson, and Nassir Little) next season, it’s hard to argue with that approach.