ARIZONA BASKETBALL

Arizona PG Nico Mannion falls to Warriors in 2nd round of NBA Draft

Nov 18, 2020, 9:52 PM
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)...
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

It took until the second round, but the third Arizona Wildcat of the 2020 NBA Draft, Nico Mannion, is off the board thanks to the Golden State Warriors.

Mannion, who played his prep ball at Pinnacle High School in Phoenix, was drafted 48th overall. His head coach, Steve Kerr, is also a former Wildcat point guard.

As a freshman last season, Mannion was the primary ball-handler and facilitator for Arizona, which was aiming for a return to the NCAA Tournament before the season was canceled. He posted 14 points per game, and his 5.3 assists average was the second-best in the Pac-12.

Though his three-point percentage at Arizona was just under 33%, Mannion showed better ability from beyond the arc in high school and immediately could challenge to back up point guard Stephen Curry.

Mannion’s performance in prep basketball grew his profile into an NBA prospect. At age 17, Mannion became the fourth-youngest person to play for the Italian national team, and he led Pinnacle to back-to-back championships.

All three Wildcat freshmen who declared for the draft were selected, the first time since 2001 that more than two Arizona players were taken in the same draft.

Wing Josh Green was selected No. 18 by the Dallas Mavericks and forward Zeke Nnaji went to the Denver Nuggets with the 22nd pick.

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