Having spent the last week week checking out the beautiful cities of Boston and New York, my time spent near a computer was nearly nonexistent. However, on the rare occurrences that I was able to check a computer, I couldn't help but notice yet another terrific performance by Mangisto Arop against the top talent in the world. After watching the highlight tape from the Nike Global Challenge, and reading your comments about what type of role that Mangisto will have this upcoming season, it got me to thinking about the outrageous potential that Manny possesses. It's just incredible to remember that his commitment came out of nowhere, as the other schools pursuing him at that point were Montana and Portland. In the year and a half since, Manny has transformed himself into a unique blend of athleticism and skill, which will allow for him to push for immediate playing time as a freshman.
Gonzaga may have a star in waiting in 6-foot-6 wing Mangisto Arop. The Canadian star was outstanding in three games in Portland and played a major role in his country’s run to the title game. Arop averaged 19.3 points and 8.6 rebounds all the while shooting 60 percent from three. Gonzaga always has a legitimate NBA prospect on it’s roster and even as a freshman, Arop could be a guy that pops into top 20 pick discussion next summer.
Seeing this quote, especially from a writer like Justin Young, only continued to establish the fact that Gonzaga has a sure fire NBA prospect in Mangisto Arop. One of the main reasons that Manny is thought so highly of is because of the length he possesses, and how effectively he uses it. In the highlight tape from Oregon Live, Manny displayed a step back jumper that was virtually unguardable. This is the type of offensive move that you tend to see the top scorers in the NBA use, because by creating space from the defender, it gives the offensive player a clear look on a midrange jumper. Very few guys entering college as a freshman have the length and confidence to create space effectively on the offensive end, and this gives Manny a huge advantage. As he continues to add consistency on his three point shot, Manny will be one of the most difficult guys to guard in the country. He has already shown the athleticism to slash to the rim, as well as shown the ability to consistently hit the midrange jumper. With a consistent shot from behind the arc, defenders will not have an answer for Manny.
Although Mark Few has been known to have his fair share of surprises, it's becoming difficult to imagine Manny not being part of the rotation next season. It would be very hard to imagine Manny breaking up the presumed starting backcourt of Meech, Steven, and Matt, but factoring him in with that group gives me a lot of confidence in the talent level of the guard/wing group. That group of four guys offers every type of offensive talent that the staff could want to have at his disposal. While Manny will be a rotation player his freshman year, it seems like he will be poised to burst onto the national scene as as sophomore. The graduation of Matt will open up a spot for Manny in the starting lineup, alongside Meech and Steven. From that point on, Manny will have the opportunity to blossom and emerge as the next great guard that Gonzaga can offer, and also begin to establish himself on the NBA radar.