5 N.B.A. Draft Prospects to Know
Tre Mann didn’t expect to spend two seasons in Florida. A 5-star McDonald’s All-American rookie and high school consensus, Mann believed he would be in Gainesville for less than a year before moving to the NBA
Instead, Mann’s freshman season was a struggle. After starting the first four games, he missed the next two with a concussion. He was transferred to the bench for the remainder of the year, averaging just 5.2 points per game and a negative assists-to-turnover ratio. By the end of the Gators’ season, Mann realized that going to the NBA was no guarantee.
Depressed, he found a familiar source of inspiration: himself. He started watching his own highlights on YouTube. “I’ve been doing plays my whole life,” Mann said. “Getting buckets for myself, getting buckets for my teammates, that’s what I do. “
Last June, while Mann was training for his second season, he tested positive for the coronavirus. For two weeks he lost his sense of taste and smell, as well as most of the muscles he had built up after the season. With Florida facilities closed due to the pandemic, Mann found an open gym an hour and a half from his home in central Florida and has been commuting daily to get back in shape. .
When he returned to campus in the fall, he was surprised to learn that not only had he regained his full weight, but had also grown two inches. “I felt taller in all kinds of ways,” he said. On the court, he became Florida’s main playmaker, leading the team in points (16), assists (3.5) and winning shares (3.3). He also secured the Gators’ first round victory of the NCAA Tournament over Virginia Tech with a 3-point clutch recoil in overtime.
“When I talk to NBA teams about my freshman now, I tell them it was a blessing,” he said. “I did not transfer. I did not run away. I faced adversity and fought against it. I know I will face even more challenges at the next level, but I am ready to take them.
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