Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Evan Manning relishes his first KU trey

Evan Manning

Evan Manning



Kansas guard Evan Manning looks to pass inside against Oregon State guard Challe Barton during the first half on Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Evan Manning’s three-pointer with a minute remaining in Saturday’s 89-57 victory over American University was Kansas University’s 15th — one off a single-game school record.

“Everyone on our team can shoot,” Manning, KU’s 6-foot-3 freshman out of Free State High and New Hampton (N.H.) Prep, said, expressing no surprise at KU’s 15-of-24 shooting (62.5 percent) from beyond the arc.

“Our guards are great shooters, and our inside guys. Whenever somebody gets open, we want them to shoot because anybody can get hot,” Manning added. “Whenever a team can get hot and keep shooting, you definitely want to do that. We also want to get easy baskets. If we can make threes like that, then do it.”

Six Jayhawks hit threes versus American. Like Manning, fellow freshman Perry Ellis connected on the first three of his college career.

“Making a three felt good after the last one I shot was an airball,” Manning said of an off-target three against Richmond on Dec. 18. “It’s definitely good to make one.”

Evan — son of KU’s all-time leading scorer, Danny Manning — hit a layup with 1:05 left in the Richmond game for his first points as a Jayhawk. His three in the American game came with 58 seconds remaining off a pass from fellow walk-on Tyler Self.

“The fieldhouse is such a familiar place. I practiced here all the time growing up around here. Making a shot here is pretty cool,” said Manning, who visited Allen Fieldhouse a lot during his dad’s nine-year stint as member of Bill Self’s KU staff. Danny has moved to Tulsa, where he’s first-year coach of the Golden Hurricane.

“He is learning on the fly. That can be expected of a first-year coach,” Evan said of Danny, whose Golden Hurricane take a 7-6 record into today’s home game against Buffalo. “He is liking it there and coming into his own. He’s battling quite a few injuries now. He’s enjoying coaching the game and overall experience.”

Evan Manning is also soaking up a lot of information in his first year as a major-college player.

“Coach Self is a basketball genius. I always listen to him,” Manning said. “Definitely Elijah (Johnson, starting point guard) ... he is a great role model the way he plays. He is a great person to look up to. I’m really happy. This is my dream school. I’m glad I came to KU. I love it and have loved every minute of it.”

Manning said that in practice he “guards the 2 or 3 position, so it’s usually Travis (Releford) or Ben (McLemore).”

On offense, Manning says that he usually runs the point.

“Whenever you are point guard, you try to be a leader. Whenever I am on the court, I try to be a general,” said Manning, who averaged just under 10 points and six assists last year for 26-9 New Hampton after averaging 7.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 2.4 assists his senior year at Free State High.

He’s the Firebirds’ single-season record-holder for steals with 64.

“We’ve got four great seniors. Each bring something different,” he added of leaders Johnson, Releford, Jeff Withey and Kevin Young. “Kevin knows the offense inside and out. Jeff is the enforcer. Elijah is our floor general, leader. Travis is really playing well, great defender and scorer.”

Of late, everybody has been impressed with backup point guard Naadir Tharpe, who has 22 assists and no turnovers over the last four games.

“I think he is gaining confidence in himself and what coach wants him to do and his abilities,” Manning said. “Everyone on our team knows what he is capable of. It’s no surprise to us, and he’s showing it to everyone else. He can do anything, shoot it, make assists, get to the lane, create havoc.”

Practicing against such talented players has definitely been challenging for Manning.

“I never experienced anything like that prior to college,” Manning said. “I’ve seen practices here, but I’d not been on the court. It’s a whole different ballgame when you are out there. It’s physical, fast — first one on the floor (for loose balls) — whoever gets it, it is a momentum builder.”

Self, who has known Evan for many years, is pleased to be coaching him now.

“He is from Lawrence, Kan., has a fairly-popular last name. Everybody kind of knows his family. This guy is going to make a name for himself.

“He’s an absolute stud,” Self said of Evan in introducing him to campers at last week’s holiday clinic in the fieldhouse.


REHawk 1 year, 3 months ago

HEM, clearing my head after a sound night's sleep, maybe I do have a #9, #10 regarding positives toward Evan's future minutes. He is gifted with genetics for the game, both mentally and physically, and has been close to basketball all his 19 years. I would imagine that he is one among very few freshmen who tends to think like a coach; a listener whose game is designed to fit the puzzle, even though he is not blessed with his father's height or classic physical constitution. Another factor which nibbles at the edges of my 2012 Jayhawk hoops awareness goes back to the exhibition season, even before that to the European tour. Bill Self seemed pleased with Evan's early play, before the injury. Probably just because Evan understood what Self was trying to do at that juncture and was ahead of Rio and Milt in the mental aspect of SelfBall. But Bill seemed prone to insert him into those games, and seemed pleased with his early development. There COULD be a Morningstar or Teehan residing inside Manning, a player who eventually might develop into an important contributor, if the chips should fall for him in a more opportunistic fashion than they did for Jeremy Case. Evan's spending a year at prep school, then matriculating to KU as a hopeful walk-on, would seem to indicate that he and his father see a ray of hope for playing time, once his body matures and his game develops. If Bill Self should offer him a redshirt after his sophomore or junior season, we will know that, at age 23, he will be an essential piece in the Jayhawk winning puzzle. Speaking of CASE, before I tie myself into an inescapable knot, I had best again rest my case.


jaybate 1 year, 3 months ago


I said I didn't know why I felt Evan had a shot to impact 3-4 yrs out, its just a bunch and a look at how he moves, plus Self saying the kid is a stud who can shoot.

I know he is a long shot.

And I know he hasn't shown much, but he's coming off a boot.

You can win this on logic.

But I think RE Hawk and I are both speaking from hunches only, not from logic on this one.

Once in awhile everyone gets to take a flyer.



REHawk 1 year, 3 months ago

HEM, I have no #9, #10, etc. to offer. Much of what I write is based on gut feeling rather than hoops coaching experience or technical acumen. I have been generous today in my feelings about Evan's Jayhawk future minutes; obviously offbase, at least in terms of his high school play. I will stay quiet about the lad unless or until someday he glows in a game, proves once again that Self can work some extraordinary magic. (Even then, I will try not to pounce.)


chriz 1 year, 3 months ago

"Coach Self is a basketball genius." Those are strong words coming from the son of one of Self's former assistant coaches, who is likely very brilliant himself and spent countless hours with Bill Self. Says a WHOLE LOT about Self not only as a mind but as a coach.


texashawk10 1 year, 3 months ago

Does it really matter that much if the garbage time player are any good or not? They're not the ones making the starter better in practice and if they're in the game, then KU's going to win by a lot of points anyway.


Jack Wilson 1 year, 3 months ago

I posted above under jb's original Manning post on Evan Manning .. I won't repost it. But after reading the other posts, please someone tell me how you extrapolate a player that was an average high school player at best becoming a rotation player at KU his junior and senior seasons? Help me with this.


jaybate 1 year, 3 months ago

Part 2

Expectation: Our perimeter guys are going to find out what its like to try to offend against themselves. Temple's perimeter guys will put the wood on our guys and try to disrupt them. Could get very muddy. But Jeff is going to make it very tough for a not very good shooting team that depends heavily 55% shooting by their big, Anthony Lee, and on penetration shooting by perimeter guys Wyatt and Randall. If Jeff is on his game, we should win. If Jeff gets in early foul trouble, and Temple will challenge him strong and often early to get him fouled up, then this will be a dog fight that will come down to whether Ben Mac can get untracked against a stifling, banging defense. Temple will probably win if they come out of their trey slump and we have an off day from trey. But I believe KU will shoot back to its average, rather than implode from trey, and I expect our strong inside defense to make it harder for them to score inside, than they can make it harder for us to score inside. This is the kind of game that Perry Ellis, were he not to get too intimidated by the level of violence on the floor, could prove to be a real difference maker with inside scoring.

Conclusion: KU by 10, because of better shooters, stingier inside defense, and Temple has not had to guard this weird new offense KU is running.


jaybate 1 year, 3 months ago

"jaybate Intelligence Estimate: Temple Owls"

Part 1

Coach: Fran's a man. Posted extensively on him a few days ago. Phillie Baller.

Team: Long, strong and mature 8 man rotation with starting 5 that wins with defense by strangling the perimeter (held opponents to 30% from trey) and guarding the interior hard and strong. Lousy trey shooting team so far, but Fran believes Wyatt and Randall can break out of horrible slumps, or he wouldn't have the pulling the trigger so much.

Achilles Heel: Not a good shooting team at all. 41% FG and 31% 3FG, but they do shoot 73% FTs and despite their length and strength, not an exceptional glass vaccers.

Perimeter: They are as long as we are: 6-4 Wyatt PG, 6-6 Hollis-Jefferson, and 6-6 Scotty Randall, plus 6-2 Will Commings. These guys can match our starters defensively in size and strength and experience. This will be a great test of our manhood and want-to on the perimeter. Ben Mac has never experienced defensive pressure like this before. If they keep shooting lousy, we hold a big edge, but we are do for a down shooting game and they are do for an up one. Trey shooting could be decisive in this game, not because either team will relie on a bunch of treys to win, but rather because who ever gets that rare open look in this game and makes them will have a decisive edge.

Interior: 6-9 230 Anthony Lee starts and shoots 55% FG inside. Fran often goes small at the other big (6-6), but gets 17 mpg out of 6-9 220 Jake O'Brien. O'Brien is really interesting, because he is a step out an pop big shooting 44% from trey on 45 3FGAs. O'Brien apparently can't go huge minutes, but he will definitely pull one of our bigs out to 22 feet. Fran's got a couple of little used 6-10 sticks that could come in an foul a little.


Jonathan Allison 1 year, 3 months ago

I like watching Evan, Tyler, Niko, and Christian Garrett get in at the end of games. Maybe none of those 4 will ever make a difference in a game, who can say now? But it's not their role. Their role is to practice alongside Landen Lucas, Justin Wesley, Rio, AWIII, Perry, and Naadir to help the team to get better. Who really cares if they can contribute in-game this year, the rules are different in practice. They are told to slap, hack, and foul the starting five, and if they are even getting shots off in practice then Bill Self probably is tearing into EJ, Travis, and BMac.

No need in pointing out the walk-ons struggle to score at the end of games. This team has all the depth it needs with 10 contributors in EJ, BMac, Rele, Young, Withey, Naa, Perry, Jam, Rio, AWIII.

I'd love to watch this team scimmage in practice.

And I envision Evan at least surpassing a certain recent scholarship KU guard who's career per 40 minute stats went something like this: 14.8 pts, 5.4 assists, 2.5 steals, 2.3 to.

Jeremy Case played only 5mpg for his career, but he played in some pretty big minutes and some pretty big games in his senior season at KU. I also didn't realize that in his senior year is a/t ratio was 4.7 (28:6)


He likely would have been much more important on a team like the 08-09 team or the 10-11 team, but he never got "a break in the point guard depth" as Jaybate mentions that Evan will need.

Evan doesn't have near the expectations of Case, largely because Evan is a walk-on who never had eye-popping stats in HS, and Case was on scholarship and billed as a 3pt marksman


Boouk 1 year, 3 months ago

"Everyone on our team can shoot." "Our guards are great shooters." I'm pretty sure Anrio Adams hasn't made a shot beyond 15 feet this season.


jgkojak 1 year, 3 months ago

Agree, the mop-up crew this year isn't pretty-

Evan is legit, and I think he could be a Morningstar-like player who gets significant minutes as as a Jr/Sr.

But the rest - Niko and Tyler, I am not impressed by what I've seen so far -

however, I think the coach has a right to spend some time w/his son, so I'm not gonna go too hard on the situation


rockchalker5 1 year, 3 months ago

This mop up crew might be the worst I've seen at KU. Not trying to disrespect, but they are really hard to watch.


KUbsee69 1 year, 3 months ago

"Evan — son of KU’s all-time leading scorer, Danny Manning — ..."

Gary ... this should say "KU Men's all-time leading scorer". Lynette Woodward is KU's all-time leading scorer, with 698 more points than Danny.


KEITHMILES05 1 year, 3 months ago

Manning is the only borderline decent walkon at the moment. Roberts is hideous and has no respect for the game and is always chucking the ball or doing dumb fouls. With this group practicing against the scholarship players it probably doesn't help them that much to up the starters game. This is by far the worst group of walkons Self has had but it's his choice who he chooses.


Tony Bandle 1 year, 3 months ago

I wonder how the Manning/Manning scoring combination ranks right now for NCAA Father/Son totals. I'm guessing pretty high.

Any other Pop/Kid Combos come to mind???


REHawk 1 year, 3 months ago

While on the subject of 3 pt. shooting from walk-on bench players, I am sitting here chuckling about Bill Self's comical exasperation at Tyler's airball in the final half minute of the American game. From his postgame comment, I imagine that the look was directed at his son's mother Cindy. If so, I wish the camera could have caught that moment of parental inneraction!


wrwlumpy 1 year, 3 months ago

Ken Davis picks Ben as Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year.


REHawk 1 year, 3 months ago

I have watched Bill Self work his magic on earnest hardworking players whom many of us considered borderline possibilities. Evan appears to be that 'tweener who has cherished the opportunity to have landed in the right place. Sometime down the pike he is going to contribute 15 or 20 minutes of significant play in the realm of Winning Jayhawk Basketball. He has already spent a year at prep school after his h.s. graduation (a la Brady), so by the time he is a college junior he will be nearing the age when the physique and neural connectors are receptive to optimum input/output...on the road to one of those 23 year old seniors whom Bill Self craves. I would not, at this time, discount his future significance.


wrwlumpy 1 year, 3 months ago

Yes I know that this is way too early. But it is always nice to be in this position with this coach and this team.


wrwlumpy 1 year, 3 months ago

For a few games, Evan had more minutes that Rio. Looking at the mop up crew, I see them more as Conference insurance for those with 4 fouls. I could see Evan being one of those that makes a difference for a short spell in the early quarters as he did when Coach was pissed at all of the guards. Jaybate's Bibby comparison could happen for a 3rd and 4th year walk on. A few have been awarded scholarships, like Moody and Nooner. When Evan, Tyler, Nikko and Christian are in the game, it has been a good game.


actorman 1 year, 3 months ago

He certainly seems to have inherited his dad's classiness. Hopefully some of the talent has rubbed off on him too.


fansincewilt 1 year, 3 months ago

I'm not seeing it. Evan is there to learn from the best. I think he might be envisioning a career in coaching.


Hawk_Star 1 year, 3 months ago

Not much thought put into this, but I think Evan will contribute significant minutes by the time he reaches his 4th or 5th year of eligibility. I would love to see Evan model his game after Brady Morningstar's; calm, poised presence on the floor, doing all of the little things that a majority of fans don't notice.


jaybate 1 year, 3 months ago




Evan didn't get the Manning inches.

But Evan got the Manning head.

And more hair.

I believe the kid will play point guard 20 mpg his junior or senior seasons.

I don't know why.

He hasn't shown it and its not the family lineage.

There's something about the way he carries himself and can shoot.

I see a Mike Bibby looking to get out from under his dad's shadow.

I see some one who has not yet arced both sides of his personalty due to the famous dad thing.

I see more than a legacy.

But he'll need some luck--a break in the point guard depth.

Go, Evan, go.


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