Prep Tour: Charis Prep

Size won't be a problem for Charis Prep this year. Between Bawa Manuri, Keith Dewitt and Roscoe Davis (pictured), coach Carlos Peralta has all the bigs he needs.

WILSON, N.C. – Every year around this time, Carlos Peralta cranks up his workouts and surveys what he's got on his hands. Last week, we were in the gym for one of the program's early sessions and Peralta has some serious size.

"Our athleticism is great," Peralta said. "From top to bottom they look at you and want to learn. We've got a lot to work on but I like our talent top to bottom. When we get Dewitt we'll be unbelievable."

"Dewitt" is Keith Dewitt, the 6-foot-9 power forward who committed to Missouri this month. Peralta said his standout four-man was in an auto accident and has stitches and injuries that will keep him out of action 2-3 more weeks.

OK, so the boys are down a big man. No problem. New to the program is uncommitted 2009 center Bawa Manuri, a native of Ghana who played last season for a school in Alabama. Manuri is 6-foot-10 and chiseled. Already Manuri is appreciating Peralta's personal touch.

"Oh my goodness," Manuri said. "When I came here I was having back paint. He told me to push myself. I got in there and he pushes me."

On Tuesday, the college coaches hit the circuit and Manuri will have his share of admirers. Oklahoma State, Indiana, Louisville and Western Kentucky are in the mix along with Tulsa, Tulane and Georgia State. UCLA and Southern Cal have called on him.

Currently, the most talented prospect working out for Charis Prep is none other than Roscoe Davis. The 6-9 power forward made a run at qualifying last season while at Hargrave, though he came up short. However, he remains committed to West Virginia. His overall athleticism and ability to make perimeter shots sets him apart. His approach to working out – on the day we attended – was high level and he worked hard for an extended period of time.

Manuri's At Charis
Davis, Dewitt and Manuri are formidable. Where Charis has to be strong is in the backcourt where some kids need to step up. O'Rion Hughes, a former all-stater from Colorado, has a nice stroke and should be a solid scorer for the team.

Rob Phillips, a returnee from last season, appears to be the glue guy at the point and he's got the biggest job of managing the weapons. If Trevor Lyons, another Colorado kid, can bounce back from a knee injury, he'll knock down shots.

A pair of former Hopewell High players – Danny Jordan and Corey Whitehurst – are in town trying to earn scholarships. Whitehurst played center at Hopewell and is attempting to transition to the wing. He's got shot blocking skills and could be an undersized four man at the Division I level with a good season.

NOTES – Hughes needs an SAT score to qualify. … Other team members are Tim Morganfield, Albert Barron, Louechie Wiggins, Kelly Marsh, Dustin Murray, Jack Sadowy, Clint Mixon and Antwar Johnson. …

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