Advertisement

Advertisement

Friday, April 6, 2012

Evan Manning to join KU as walk-on

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.

Advertisement

Former Free State High guard Evan Manning — the son of former Kansas University All-American Danny Manning — will play basketball at his dad’s alma mater.

Evan Manning, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound senior combo guard who averaged just under 10 points a game this past season at New Hampton School in New Hampshire, on Thursday night accepted coach Bill Self’s invitation to join KU’s team as a walk-on.

“It is a dream come true. It is such a unique opportunity. It’ll be cool to wear Kansas across my chest. It’s unbelievable,” Manning told the Journal-World on Thursday night.

Manning, who was offered this non-scholarship spot several weeks ago, most recently had the opportunity to walk on at Tulsa University and play for his father, who worked on Self’s staff the past nine seasons.

“My dad is my No. 1 supporter,” Evan Manning said. “He’d love for me to play for him at Tulsa, but realizes how cool it is and what a great opportunity it is for me to play at Kansas. It’s always been a dream of mine to play for KU and coach Self and be in Lawrence — to play in Allen Fieldhouse. It’d be awesome if my dad was still here, but I’m the biggest Tulsa fan out there right now. He (Danny) will do big things there.”

Manning’s sister, Taylor, is a junior-to-be at KU. She was a walk-on on the volleyball team this past season.

As a part-time starter for 26-9 New Hampton, Evan Manning averaged about nine points and six assists a game. His playing time was reduced when a standout guard returned from injury.

“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),” New Hampton coach Peter Hutchins said. “He understands basketball and how to lead and comes prepared to work every day.”

Manning received the “Coaches’ Award” at the team’s postseason awards ceremony.

“It’s going to be a challenge. It’s something I look forward to, to embrace my role as practice player,” Manning said. “I know the role I’m going into and what I need to do to help the team win basically. Tough times are ahead, but fun times. I’d say I need to work on my strength and ballhandling, everything really. I’ll do what it takes to improve in all areas.”

Norm to return?: Florida assistant coach Norm Roberts, who worked as an assistant for Bill Self during the 2003-04 season before becoming St. John’s head coach, may be returning next season as a replacement for Danny Manning. A source close to ESPN.com said Roberts is mulling an offer to join the KU staff. Sources told the Journal-World Roberts has been at the top of Self’s wish list since the vacancy opened. Roberts, whose son Niko is a sophomore on the KU team, assisted Self at Oral Roberts, Tulsa, Illinois and KU. Self has a policy of not commenting about job openings.

Self on where Thomas Robinson figures to fall in this year’s NBA Draft: “He’s going to go, I would hope, low end, go in the top five, six,” Self said.

As to when the 6-10 junior will announce ... “We haven’t had that talk yet, but to be honest with you, that’s something for him to tell people and make an announcement about it,” Self said. “I’m not going to in any way, shape or form encourage him to stay. I’m not going to let fans know that there is a possibility he might. If he does, he does, but that would be a shock to me. But the thing is, he’s earned the right to move on. This kid finished second for national player of the year, consensus All-American, he’s going to get his jersey hung, won the league, took his team to the finals. And in the finals, everybody talks about Anthony Davis, who was great. Thomas had 18 and 17. Missed two dunks, had 18 and 17. He’s a stud, and it’s time. So many of us have said or believed you’ve got to strike while the iron’s hot. Iron’s hot for him.

“We’ll see what happens, but it needs to be his decision and his way of expressing it to a group of people that would I’m sure be very, very happy for him either way.”

KU’s basketball banquet, which conceivably could be that forum, is set for 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Holidome. It is sold out.

Comments

KEITHMILES05 2 years ago

I too have to give pause for this blood line deal in with these walk ons. If Self really wants to get true practice players then there is no DOUBT others are better.

0

martyks 2 years ago

Sullinger was exposed by KU as a guy who had trouble passing out of a double team or showing any moves against a taller guy... and there are a lot of taller guys with quicker feet than Withey (which is NOT a put down for Withey by any means).

0

jakejayhawk 2 years ago

Anyone notice that Jerod Hasse has become a head coach? I didn't see it mentioned on this site but found it at ESPN. Another Jayhawk head coach! He is now at UAB.

0

martyks 2 years ago

I have totally mixed feelings about this. Who doesn't love Danny? Still, is this kid taking the place of some one with more talent without his father's name greasing the skids? If so, it's a heartbreaker for at least one young man out there. This isn't England. Blood lines should not be honored. One should have to make the team based on his level of play. I'm not assuming the kid would not make it on his own though... so yeah, mixed feelings... mostly because I have seldom seen him play.

0

Krohnutz 2 years ago

I need to go back and check on who were the most successful recruiting assistant coaches. Seems to me that Norm was one of them, but my memory on recruiting gets crappy and I refuse to pay Rivals money.

Somebody with a fresher memory rattle off some names he brought in....

I know they're out there somewhere....

0

Jason Keller 2 years ago

Holy crap, let's hope Norm Roberts is a better assistant than he is a head coach. He finished his 6th year at St. Johns at 105 - 185 and made 1 NIT tournament where he was bounced the first round.

0

WilburNether 2 years ago

I think Robinson will and should enter the draft, for the practical reason that he had a great year, and might actually slip in draft position if he stays. (See Sullinger, Jared.)

However, he has some weaknesses:

1) He showed in the Purdue game that he cannot defend on the perimeter. He wasn't called on to do that very much in college, but he'll have to do it all the time in the NBA.

2) I'd like to see a comprehensive shot chart of his from the second game on in the NCAA Tournament, and count the misses from within three feet of the basket -- against defenders and defenses that are not nearly as good as he'll see in the NBA.

3) He is still VERY slow at sensing, recognizing, and reacting to a double-team, and making the right pass out of it. (See Aldrich, Cole.) That may not be as much of a problem in the NBA, where he won't be double-teamed very often. (See Aldrich, Cole.)

The fanbois think that because he's one of ours, he's perfect, and no one should dare to say otherwise. The fact is that his game does have flaws. But given that idiot NBA general managers draft not on performance, but potential, Robinson will be a lottery pick, and should not take the risk of seeing his draft stock drop if he stays.

0

Tony Bandle 2 years ago

What's a little disturbing about the picture above is the basket is actually still about five feet above the top of the ball!!

0

gchawk 2 years ago

Welcome Evan, happy to be continuing the Manning name at KU. Just out of curiosity, why did Evan leave Free State and go to New Hampton? Norm, we'd love to have you back.

0

NebraskaJayhawk 2 years ago

One more year, TRob. One more year! The NBA can wait...

I know...Selfish. But hey, some guys want a title more than money.

0

Tony Bandle 2 years ago

That Bill Self...he's a genius!!!!!!

First time in NCAA history whereby a player [Niko Roberts] was used to help recruit a coach [Norm Roberts} :)

0

Cole Hogan 2 years ago

Is it just me? or does it seem like Self is not entirely dening that Thomas might Stay? I dont know, obviously, everyonethinks he should go, but it just seems like Self is maybe trying to allude to something...

0

KGphoto 2 years ago

Has there ever been a high school with a better name than Free State?

0

nuleafjhawk 2 years ago

I'll bet the only reason Self ever hired Danny Manning in the first place was to eventually get this kid to play for him!!!

Smart, smart man.

(all in fun! much love to Danny!!)

0

jaybate 2 years ago

Does KU now have its next two head coaches after Self lined up? :-)

0

dynamitehawk 2 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 games.

0

jaybate 2 years ago

Should we start a new designation for walk-ons that don't have to try out?

I nominate "no-try-outs," which will be shortened to NTOs.

Or "coaches-in-training," aka CITs. :-)

0

Bob Forer 2 years ago

Welcome aboard, Evan. I know you will make a fine Jayhawk.

0

HawksFan417 2 years ago

About to be breakin' ankles out here. #TeamEthan

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.