Thursday, April 5, 2012

Evan Manning likely KU bound

Free State senior guard Evan Manning hooks a reverse layup around Shawnee Mission West junior forward Mitch Witter (40) and junior forward Nick Thayer during the first half on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011 at Free State.

Free State senior guard Evan Manning hooks a reverse layup around Shawnee Mission West junior forward Mitch Witter (40) and junior forward Nick Thayer during the first half on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011 at Free State.


Former Free State High guard Evan Manning will likely be a walk-on for Kansas University’s basketball team next season.

However, nothing yet is official, Manning told the Journal-World on Thursday. recruiting analyst Eric Bossi indicated on Twitter on Thursday morning that the 6-foot-2 guard from New Hampton (N.H.) School would play for KU as a non-scholarship player next season.

Bossi’s Tweet read: “Saw @emanning15 at the airport this morning. Congrats to his father Danny on the Tulsa job and good luck to Evan who will walk on @ Kansas.”

When contacted at the airport by the Journal-World, Evan Manning — who attended his dad’s press conference at Tulsa on Wednesday and flew back to New Hampshire Thursday morning — said nothing was official and he needed to talk to KU coach Bill Self.

Self cannot comment on recruits, even walk-ons, in accordance with NCAA rules.

Sources indicated Self has told Manning he could walk on if he wished to do so.

Manning was a part-time starter this past season for 26-9 New Hampton School.

“The last time we talked, he’d not made a decision. He was going to play for his dad at Tulsa or do what he originally planned on doing, going to Kansas,” New Hampton coach Peter Hutchins said Thursday. “He’s an incredible kid, very mature, one of the best teammates we’ve had at New Hampton since I’ve been part of the program (nine years). He understands basketball and how to lead and comes prepared to work every day.”

Evan’s sister, Taylor, is a walk-on on KU’s volleyball team.


Vernon Riggs 6 years ago

Never turn down a Manning. Welcome Evan. Rock Chalk.

Mike Bratisax 6 years ago

Great these kids are invaluable to programs like KU. Tough kids to practice against and who also do well in the classroom.

NebraskaJayhawk 6 years ago

Small audience for that comment. Funny nonetheless.

Michael Auchard 6 years ago

"Hear me roar" ... with approval. Well played.

dylans 6 years ago

The winter is coming, but I can hardly wait. Good books. How's the HBO series?

RISEABOVEHATE56 6 years ago

LOL!!!! Just like how websites jump on something that they dont really know about just to get people to view the website or article.

Its kinda weird how has Evan Manning joining the team as a walk on then say that nothing is official yet

They need to get there stories right before they put an article up

Is Evan Manning joining the team as a walk on or not

Dont jump to facts that you dont even know about.

Jeff Coffman 6 years ago

I think it is pretty clear that there are rumors that he is joining the Jayhawks. That there has been the opportunity to join as a walk on. I think it would have been a done deal, but someone dear to him is now in Tulsa and the question of whether or not he will go to join that program. I'm always interested when a Manning can join the team. I think it would have been disappointing if KUSPORTS waited until all the facts were out before presenting a developing story. The story heading clearly says "likely", which by defintion doesn't say he is or isn't, but is expected to.
I like the article.

RISEABOVEHATE56 6 years ago

Its time for the Kansas Jayhawks to land a 5 star recruit in Shabazz Muhammad. He would be a perfect fit along with Perry Ellis

00000 6 years ago

And a walking recruiting violation.

Jeff Coffman 6 years ago

I think he eliminated KU from his list; however, Tony Parker is still available. I've heard both of them are most likely UCLA bound; however, agree with the Five-0 (Hawaii's police I guess), that Shabazz is a difficult recruit and might not be worth the risk.

brooksmd 6 years ago

Didn't the NCAA put out a cautionary notice about their investigating Shabazz on his amateur status?

jgkojak 6 years ago

We need guards next year - we really only have EJ, Tharpe and McLemore-- we need a couple small guards to practice/sim other teams, etc.

Scott Oswalt 6 years ago

Exactly what I was thinking. We are stacked at every position!

Andy Hess 6 years ago

Anrio Adams, yes. Andrew White is 6'7". not a guard at all. small forward.

Freedman Moor 6 years ago

Those guys still have not signed.

Mike Bratisax 6 years ago

Sooner or later someone will say he is a three but I agree with you.

Vernon Riggs 6 years ago

In Self's offense, the #1, #2 and #3 are more guard-oriented. You would have to include Merv on that list too.

texashawk10 6 years ago

Niko Roberts and Christian Garrett aren't on the team anymore? They don't play in games much, they still work their tails off in practice to help make the team better.

Vernon Riggs 6 years ago

Off the subject (kind of), has anyone heard anything on Nino Jackson? Did he reclassify to 2013 or he still in this year's recruiting mix? I know that Self was watching the point guard from Garden City JUCO before he committed to Memphis. A point guard from Idaho is listed as a Kansas target on Rivals or Scout. Are still looking for a scholarship point guard? Is there a chance that Rio won't qualify?

Tony Bandle 6 years ago

All I know is when you click on his schools list on!!

JeanMarie 6 years ago

lonestar - KU has backed off recruiting Nino, as have all of the major college programs. I'm not sure what the issue is, but it seems to be off the court behavior.

Eric Williams 6 years ago

not to mention he was gung-ho for KU until he got national attention then he back-pedaled and opened up his recruitment.

I don't think Self wants Nino so badly that he's willing to let Nino play him for a fool.

jkoehn 6 years ago

Geron signed LOI with Memphis BEFORE he had a run in with the law 3x in one week! Got booted off the team.

6 years ago

This has to be a tough decision between two great opportunities for Evan. Like jgkojak says, we could sure use him to help our team get better in practice, however he could probably see some decent playing time at Tulsa. Either walk on at what is likely his favorite school growing up, or play for his dad. We wish him the best no matter what he chooses!

tyler513 6 years ago

Evan, is terrible at basketball. That being said, he'll still be better than Niko.

jakejayhawk 6 years ago

Really? These young men take classes, do their schoolwork, practice hard, and stay out of trouble while pursuing their dream and this is your comment? I could not be happier about following a program that attracts men like this. I only wish it did not attract some tyler513. Yeah, I know, I know; you have the right to post your opinions. Well you might want to remember that some opinions are better left unsaid.

Welcome to Evan if he chooses to honor us as a part of the Jayhawk Nation!

tyler513 6 years ago

Really? I do take classes, do my schoolwork and would practice hard too. I've played and beaten Evan twice in my life. He just isn't a very talented basketball player. It's just that his dad is a legend here. I know of 2 guys (one of whom is Anthony West) that have been at the Ambler Rec Center 7 days a week for the past 4 months working as hard as I've ever seen anyone work to get one of those walk-on spots and now Evan just gets a spot on the roster because he is daddy's son. I think that is stupid. And it pisses me off.

CardHawkFan 6 years ago

Well, sorry young man. You are just going to have to stay pissed off. I think Bill Self has earned the right to pretty much pick whomever he wants as walk-ons. If I remember correctly, Anthony walked on, but eventually decided not to stay with the team. That was his decision and took a lot of guts to focus on studies instead. At least that is what I know...

It is kind of the way this world works and you will learn that in doesn't hurt to know someone. My guess is there is a good chance that if he interested that Bill's son, Tyler, could probably walk on next year if he chose, too. Not our decision and I am pretty sure no one cares if we don't like it...and it doesn't bother me. Let it go, trust me!

dansmullet 6 years ago

Just because he goes to school and tries hard doesn't mean he's good. I know people who love the game and play everyday yet still barely draw rim on a 15 foot bank shot.

Mike Bratisax 6 years ago

tyler513, Let's say everything you have posted is true (I have no reason to doubt you) is this the forum you really want to address this issue?

Doesn't KU have open tryouts every year?

It sounds like sour grapes here.

tyler513 6 years ago

Exactly! They do have open tryouts and now there will be one less spot because a kid that wouldnt get picked for some pickup games gets to play because he feels like it.

I wouldnt make the team even if I gave it my all, I'm 5'9" on a good day. However, a family friend was a walk-on back in the 70's under Ted Owens and everytime he talks about it he beams with joy. I'm just not sure that it has the same impact on Niko and Evan because they've basically grown up in that environment. I just think that the walk on spots should go to the deserving player rather than a "thank you" to coaching friend (that was mainly directed towards Niko because with Evan there is definitely more to it than that).

Sam Constance 6 years ago

"I just think that the walk on spots should go to the deserving player"

You seem to be defining "most deserving" based on what someone does on the court in an organized tryout.

Who's to say that's the best measure of "deserving" for a walk-on role? I imagine for players who spend very little time on the court, and almost none in meaningful minutes, pure basketball ability isn't necessarily the most important factor. As noted below, there are other things to consider:

  • Being a hard worker
  • Having a positive attitude
  • Willingness to do all the small non-basketball things to help the team
  • Represent KU basketball well off the court and in class

With all those intangible things, it makes sense why someone with a family member who is close to Self to vouch for them a huge advantage. Maybe slightly unfair, but that's life. It's also unfair that you are only 5'9" instead of six feet tall.

There's probably a reason that, throughout our history, a lot of our walk-ons have been connected to the coach in some way. Because for a walk-on, pure basketball talent isn't the only factor. If it was, I imagine there are a lot of people who KU could have gotten who were technically better at basketball than our walk-ons.

HawkKlaw 6 years ago

I hear ya, young fella. As a guy who is also 5'9" on a good day and has no family connections to KU, I sympathize with you. Just so you know, it will always be like this.

I know it wasn't really your point, but I can tell from your tone that you are a little disappointed that you don't get a legitimate chance just because you're 5'9". Don't be. People that know and play basketball (you and I) know that you don't have to be tall to make a ball go through the hoop, to get steals, to make excellent passes, to dribble well, etc. But us short guys will never be seen as equals on the bball court, fair or not. (That's why I root so hard for guys like Naadir.) To me, Tall = Slow, so I never really understood why taller kids were favored. It was never difficult for me to beat taller guys at one-on-one or get steals from taller PGs. Just don't let it get you down.

It's not how good you are, it's who you know. Keep your head up, and don't let anyone ever tell you that you can't do it.

dylans 6 years ago

Spud Webb won the slam dunk contest. Dude was 5'6"!

Martin Rosenblum 6 years ago

Ed >Danny>Evan

Don't forget, walk-ons get rings too, young fella!

Vernon Riggs 6 years ago

Walk-ons can also become valuable gameday contributors.

Mike Bratisax 6 years ago

Just ask Conner..maybe the second best walk-on ever at KU.

Tony Bandle 6 years ago

If you say Moody was the first, I think I'll throw up!! Try the football guy from '88.

Vernon Riggs 6 years ago

Clint Noremore from Wichita East. Played at WSU his first year until they dropped their football program.

Then two of my favorite walk-ons in the early 80's were David Verser who spent a few years playing WR in the NFL and Tyke Peacock who won the Gold or Silver Medal in '84 in LA..

FoCoCoHawk 6 years ago

Clint Normore gave me a speeding ticket on Tennessee once. I ended up thanking him.

BillSelf4Prez 6 years ago

His son plays for Free State. I don't think he starts, but he averages around 2-4 ppg. And i think he's a sophmore?

cojayhawk99 6 years ago

Who cares if Evan Manning isn't as good as other walk-ons? It is completely up to Bill Self. He doesn't have to have a single walk-on if he doesn't want to. He certainly doesn't have to have open tryouts. It's his team and he can take whoever he wants for whatever reason he wants. He doesn't owe walk-on hopefuls anything.

Jonathan Allison 6 years ago

Before passing too much judgment about KU's walk-ons how about taking a look at the Kentucky bench.

How many of them are there because their daddies are UK boosters? All of them.

On an unrelated note, I believe that Bill Self would rather pick his practice team players rather than leave it up to open tryouts even though he may come out with more athletic of talented players using open tryouts. But even when they do have open tryouts it doesn't hurt to know someone. Junnemann was recommended by Wayne Simien, and was known for being of very high character. Witherspoon before him was selected after open tryouts, he was a very high characted guy too.

I don't think that Bill Self is as concerned about his walkons because highly skilled and athletic as much as his is about them being a positive influence in the locker room and extremely hard working in class, in training, and in practice, and having guys who will be terrific ambassadors for KU and for the basketball team.

TysonHawk37 6 years ago

I completely agree w/ you plasticJHawk. Having great character guys on the roster can help a team in more ways than people realize. Just because someone has more talent doesn't mean it's going to help the team. Especially if they are negative or self-centered types. I'd take a less talented individual w/ great character and positive energy on my team every time.

TysonHawk37 6 years ago

I completely agree w/ you plasticJHawk. Having great character guys on the roster can help a team in more ways than people realize. Just because someone has more talent doesn't mean it's going to help the team. Especially if they are negative or self-centered types. I'd take a less talented individual w/ great character and positive energy on my team every time.

FoCoCoHawk 6 years ago

Walk-ons: Wear your rings proudly!

"Yeah, it says 'Big 12 Champs' but I really got it for being beat up everyday by the better players and never once complaining about it. And I graduated."

plasticJ, you just enriched my sense of loyalty to KU immensely.

KEITHMILES05 6 years ago

It is very obvious to any reasonable person the reason Manning can walk on here is because of his dad. Same for Niko Roberts and of course Christian Garrett is on team to lure DeAndre Daniels who ended up going to UConn. Going on strictly BB talent these guys would never sniff the court.

Bill selected a walkon earlier in the season and he played a few games then quit. Never did hear the story why but he seemed to be decent talent and at least had height and basketball body.

Bob Forer 6 years ago

I can't think of that guy's name, but I understand he quit the team to concentrate on his studies.

AaronHawk19 6 years ago

They are walk-ons! They are not supposed to sniff the court at Kansas! It took three players leaving early and three recruits being declared ineligible for even an invited walk-on like Conner to sniff the court. Many of these young men go to a place like Kansas because they want to coach someday.

Sam Constance 6 years ago

I'm disgusted that this thread has turned into a congressional investigation on whether Evan Manning actually "deserves" an invited walk-on spot or not. Of all the manufactured issues to get riled up about... smh.

Let's not forget we're talking about walk-on positions. Guys who rarely get a chance to play a single meaningful minute in their entire time on campus. I think the angst over whether we're getting the "best" walk-ons is a bit ridiculous.

Sure, Manning taking a slot might prevent some other kid from having the joy of being a walk-on, but I imagine that Evan Manning will feel that same joy.

Also worth noting: the fact that Evan Manning's dad is a close personal friend and colleague of Bill Self probably instills a certain amount of confidence in Self for having Evan on his team. In other words, he may be slightly less skilled at basketball than some other walk-on options, but he's also a "known quantity" in terms of attitude, effort, long-term dedication, etc.

Maybe on some level that is unfair to the other potential walk-ons, since they don't have a family member who is close with Self, but I think it's a mistake to assume that Evan will be on the squad just because he shares a last name with Danny. Knowing what we know about Self, I imagine that the relation between Danny and Evan is more of a correlated fact, rather than the causing factor for his inclusion.

It's probably better that tyler513 learns sooner than later that sometimes, knowing people in key places helps you get opportunities in life that you might not have had otherwise. It's not worth getting so worked up about--especially for something as low-stakes as college basketball walk-on. It's not like Manning is even taking a scholarship that another kid might've earned. It's merely opportunity.

bradynsdad 6 years ago

Uconn declared ineleligble for the 2013 tourney. I wonder if Daniels is wishing he had picked ku? Or for that matter if Nash or chol regret where they went. Not being arrogant about ku I just really wonder if they think about it.

johnsont1 6 years ago

They can transfer without sitting out a year if they choose..

rockchalk010 6 years ago

He didn't even start for his high school team..

Bob Forer 6 years ago

I don't understand the negative comments directed at Evan. Danny Manning is not only the greatest player even to wear Crimson and Blue, but he is also one of the best individuals who have ever represented Kansas University and the State of Kansas on a national level. He is kind, humble, friendly, and caring. A good and decent man beyond reproach. A class act through and through He is universally loved and respected amongst the Jayhawk faithful. I have no problem with his son walking on at KU, either on the basis of legacy, talent, or both. We owe Evan the same respect we show his father. Anything short of unequivocal acceptance of Danny's son as a future Jayhawk is simply inappropriate.

Joel Hood 6 years ago

I get the nepotism angle, but this goes back a long way (Jeff Johnson, son of Monte, Niko Roberts, son of Norm, Brad Frederick son of Bob, Scott Williiams, son of Roy, Chase Buford, son of RC...) It is what it is...

Sounds like Evan has worked pretty hard at this prep school. Best of luck to him and to other kids that want to walk on.

Martin Rosenblum 6 years ago

All I know is that if his puke ends up in a trashcan during Boot Camp and he has survived the drills and mental aspects of what every other player and potential player must endure, he deserves to be issued a number.

His daddy won't be there to help him. His skills and stamina will be all he will have to draw from. Even as a walk-on, I'm sure the NCAA has certain obligations to equality and fairness that they impose on schools. Bill won't compromise if he thinks it will affect the program. Plenty of sons play at schools where their dads are on the staff. Being a "legacy", a kid like Evan would have even higher expectations to meet than the average walk-on prospect. I bet he's not the type of kid who wants a free ride.

Bob Forer 6 years ago

Agreed. He was raised by a fine man. I doubt he is the type of kid who wants a free ride. And if I am wrong, I know he won't get any passes from Bill Self.

Jean Robart 6 years ago

The article is confusing. It says under the picture that Evan Manning is a Free State senior, and in the article says he is from New Hampshire. Which is right? And if he is in the picture, why not point out which player he is?

Bob Forer 6 years ago

The caption refers to Evan as the player who is attempting a reverse layup. Watch much basketball?

Although the article could be more specific, if you read between the lines, the caption is dated February, 2011 when Evan was a senior. Apparently, after graduating last year he choose to enroll at a New Hampshire prep school for the 2011-12 school year. Brady Morningstar did the same thing before walking on with the Jayhawks his freshman year.

Jonathan Allison 6 years ago

I believe that Morningstar actually came to KU on scholarship as a recruited scholarship student athlete.

april28 6 years ago

Sometimes, people on this board are so dense, it's actually painful to read their comments. Is it really that difficult to understand Danny Manning's son getting a non-schollie walk-on, never play in a game spot on the KU basketball team?

I'm glad he'll be part of the program. He may be a future head coach at KU one day. A bench warmer for KU did a pretty good job at UNC and a non-player at UNC did a pretty good job at KU. Quality people inside the program is never a bad thing.

Bob Forer 6 years ago


And especially when they are already a member of the Jayhawk Family.

Kye Clark 6 years ago

Man, that Tyler really is a tool. Obviously a young fan who doesn't fully understand and appreciate the tradition and Danny's part in that tradition. If Danny wants Evan to come here and let Bill work him to death on the practice squad, Danny should get that. And he should get it without any snot-nosed kids whining about their friends at the rec center.

Bob Forer 6 years ago

We also need to remember that folks made similar complaints after Brady Morningstar was invited as a walk-on after graduating from Free State followed by one year of prep school. Sure, Brady probably would have not been invited to walk on had his father not been Roger Morningstar, but after that he worked just as hard or harder than any other player and emerged as a starter in his last year. Evan will have to live by the same rules. He will have to earn it. I have no problem with that.

Bob Forer 6 years ago

I believe he was initially. Google "Brady Morningstar and walk on" and you will find several links with descriptive summaries that read "former walk on."

Kye Clark 6 years ago

He was initially a scholarship player. He may have given up his scholarship at one point to make room for somebody, I know several times there was speculation that if we could land someone but would be over the limit on scholarships that his dad would pay his way, but I don't know for certain that even happened once.

Citing "descriptive summaries" of google links isn't going to convince anybody. I did, and you're right you get some hits. I took it a step further and actually read some of the articles. Most of the stories aren't even about Morningstar being a former walk-on. The most popular hit was a link to several articles from espn's national blog mentioning Brady, but no mention of him being a former walk-on. The fourth listing is actually you, posting in the comment section about being a former walk-on.

To give some credibility to your claim, I did find two articles both referencing the same instance of a Big 12 official working a preseason scrimmage this year and saying "the best player on the floor was former walk-on Brady Morningstar." That is the only reference I found to this, and I'm not sure it's accurate or not.

Bob Forer 6 years ago

Thanks for the doing the work I should have done. Got a little lazy and made some assumptions, which I thought were consistent with the foggy memory of this fat old man.

Lance Hobson 6 years ago

Morningstar was a project that Self always believed in and ended up costing us. He was at KU forever and never really came through in big games. He played some nice defense and won some games for us, but Self's reliance on him was to his detriment. Had he gone with EJ or some other more talented players vice waiting for BM to finally shine, we would have gotten past VCU. Seeing what EJ did this past few weeks just validated that theory for me.

brooksmd 6 years ago

I think there were 4 other players on the court that affected the outcome of the VCU game also. Plus a few stupid comments prior to the game.

Sam Constance 6 years ago

Ended up costing us?

Get lost idiot.

Lance Hobson 6 years ago

Taking this a little personally, huh? Go cry yourself to sleep.

Jeeveshawk 6 years ago

Good recruit to land. With luck he will develop into a Brady Morningstar type player, but he will probably just be a scrub. However he will still be very important to the team no matter how much playing time he earns.

Jeeveshawk 6 years ago

Good recruit to land. With luck he will develop into a Brady Morningstar type player, but he will probably just be a scrub. However he will still be very important to the team no matter how much playing time he earns.

Bob Forer 6 years ago

You never know. With a red shirt on top of his year in prep school he might, by the time he is a senior he could blossom into a leader that can give us a good 15 minutes or so off the bench. Can't think of a better way to train for the elite coaching ranks than spending five years as a member of a Bill Self squad.

Jeeveshawk 6 years ago

Good recruit to land. With luck he will develop into a Brady Morningstar type player, but he will probably just be a scrub. However he will still be very important to the team no matter how much playing time he earns.

dynamitehawk 6 years ago

if you can't get excited fantasizing about the likely epic James Fraschilla vs Evan Manning battles then you just don't enjoy the last two minutes of basketball... Jerks.

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