At first glance Ohio big man Sterling Manley may have seemed off the radar when the Indiana staff traveled to see the senior play earlier this week. The reality, however, is the 6-foot-9, 235-pounder from Pickerington Central had already received recruiting interest from the Hoosier program heading into his junior season.
Enough that he was invited to last fall's Hoosier Hysteria event at Assembly Hall.
That October trip to Bloomington left a lasting impression per his comments to Scout.com's Brian Snow a couple months after the event.
“That Hoosier Hysteria is just crazy,” said Manley at the time. “The fan base is just crazy and the arena is always sold out.”
Manley also knows many Hoosier high school players via his involvement with the Indiana Elite program.
Current and recent Hoosiers that have played for that adidas circuit program include Collin Hartman, Grant Gelon and Yogi Ferrell.
Brian Snow was courtside to see Manley play over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend in January at the Flyin' to the Hoop event in Dayton. He offered up his quick scouting thoughts on Manley:
When Sterling Manley was healthy near the end of his junior season he really began to put it all together as a player. At nearly 6-foot-10 and nearly 235 pounds, Manley is a big body with skill. He has long arms, will rebound, and is showing improvement on the offensive end. We don't know what he will look like exactly as a senior coming off of a serious leg injury, but as he finished his junior year he was turning himself into one of the better bigs in the Midwest.
Just a few weeks after that weekend Manley suffered a compound fracture of his right leg when he was battling 4-star big man and Michigan State signee Nick Ward and Gahanna. The injury was serious enough for paramedics to be called to transport him to the hospital. Manley had already missed several games to start his junior year following surgery for a broken tibia.
The end of summer has brought Manley his health back. He's also bulked up quite a bit.
That's quite evident in this video shot of a Pickerington Central workout earlier this week.
Note Indiana assistant Chuck Martin and other college coaches in the background behind one of the baskets.
Official visit calendar
Manley took the first first of his five allotted official visits to West Virginia over Labor Day weekend. At the end of this month he travels south to Cincinnati to take his second official on the campus of Xavier. No word yet on his remaining three visits.
At this point Indiana has not yet offered. Other schools besides Xavier and West Virginia that have offered Manley include Purdue, Pittsburgh, TCU, Dayton and Nebraska.