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Report: Tre Mann to withdraw from 2020 NBA Draft, return to Florida

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The Gators’ rising sophomore completes their 2020-21 roster.

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi State at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Gators guard Tre Mann will withdraw from the 2020 NBA Draft and return to the school for his sophomore season, per a report from Jon Rothstein.

Mann declared for the NBA Draft in a bit of a surprise in late April, given that his freshman season was largely spent coming off the bench for Mike White and only slowly finding the form as a scorer and shooter that made him a coveted recruit in the 2019 class. From our article on his decision to enter the draft:

Mann, a consensus top-50 recruit in the 2019 recruiting class reputed to be an elite-level shooter, came off the bench for almost all of his freshman season in orange and blue and took much of the year to develop into even a useful reserve. Mann didn’t hit two threes in a single game until January 28 — his seventh game launching three or more triples to that point in the year — and never scored double-digit points in consecutive games.

He also only played sparingly as a backup ball-handler — a role he’ll likely have to be good at to have a legitimate shot at making the NBA, given his wiry 6’4”, 170-pound frame — and generally not well, averaging more than one turnover and less than one assist per contest.

Still, there were flashes of excellence for Mann as the season wore on. He scored 13 points in both a decimation of Providence and a close loss at Kentucky, and had 11 points in Florida’s home comeback against Georgia. Mann drilled at least one three in six of Florida’s final eight games, and while he shot just 32 percent from distance in SEC play, that was a massive improvement on the form he showed prior to it.

Clearly, Mann did not get enough feedback during whatever parts of the coronavirus-jumbled pre-Draft process he took part in to remain in the running to be drafted. And so he’ll be back in Gainesville this fall, looking to make the level of play he reached near the end of his freshman campaign something he can produce consistently.

The Gators will get to continue to try coaxing that better form out of Mann as a sophomore in what should be an expanded role, as starting point guard Andrew Nembhard’s transfer to Gonzaga opens up a lot of minutes in Florida’s backcourt. While Cleveland State transfer Tyree Appleby seems likely to inherit Nembhard’s role as the starting point man, and Noah Locke is a, uh, lock to be the Gators’ two guard, Mann should be in the running to be Florida’s sixth man in 2020-21 — assuming, of course, that such a season of men’s college basketball is staged. In that role, he could end up playing in excess of 20 minutes per contest if he can develop as a player.

Mann’s return would also seem to finalize Florida’s roster for the 2020-21 season. While Nembhard and Virginia Tech graduate transfer Kerry Blackshear Jr. leaving Florida means the Gators have lost arguably their two most important starters from a year ago, the returns of Keyontae Johnson and Scottie Lewis — each of whom declined to enter the 2020 NBA Draft — alongside Locke give the Gators their other three starters back. And in Appleby, Mann, Omar Payne, Ques Glover, and a talented freshman class, Florida should have the complimentary pieces around its stars to contend in the SEC and nationally.