Sean Miller on Nico Mannion: He's an 'all-everything' point guard

Anthony Gimino

When five-star point guard Nico Mannion committed to the Arizona Wildcats on Sept. 14, coach Sean Miller had the centerpiece of a 2019 class that he has built into the No. 1-rated group in the country.

"I give Nico a lot of credit because he was the first to jump on board, and true to being a great point guard, you lead from the front both on offense and defense and also often times you lead off the court as well," Miller said Tuesday.

"In so many ways, him and his family made it OK to come to Arizona this fall. He paved the way for the others to join him ...

"Nico is somebody that walks in the door with great size and athleticism, but also I think a complete and total understanding of how to play the position. I wouldn't consider him just a pass-first point guard, but I would call him an all-everything point guard. He can score. He can really finish in transition and he really knows how to get others involved."

Mannion, from Phoenix Pinnacle High School, won't look like other Arizona point guards under Miller because of his size (6-3, 180), savvy and offensive skills.

"His size and athleticism stand out, but I think his ability to be both a playmaker and a scorer in many ways separates him," Miller said.

"Through several of our seasons, we've had kind of your consummate pass-first point guards, and then we've had smaller point guards and we've had combo guards, but I think Nico embodies the qualities of today's point guard."

Armed with four letters-of-intent -- minus recent commit Zeke Nnaji, a four-star power forward -- Miller discussed his recruiting class for the first time Tuesday.

Miller didn't rule out adding somebody else after the season -- that might depend on how many early departures/transfers there are -- but said the staff will focus on the 2020 class.