Bloomington - Indiana didn't need to tell Bawa Maniru how badly they want him. Instead, they showed him.
Three members of the Hoosier coaching staff were in Wilson, N.C., Monday to visit with the 6'11", 250-pound center on the campus of Charis Prep. Coach Tom Crean and assistants Roshown McLeod and Bennie Seltzer were all on hand to watch Maniru practice and to talk with him afterwards, an approach that made an impression on Scout.com's 32nd-ranked center in the 2009 class.
"It's definitely good," Maniru said. "When a whole coaching staff comes to see you, it tells you how they need you and how much interest they have in you. That tells me something."
During the visit, the IU staff and Maniru also finalized details for an official visit to the Bloomington campus this weekend. He said he'll arrive in town on Friday for what will be his first official. Maniru said he's looking forward to going to IU's football game against Ball State Saturday, but most importantly, he welcomes the chance to talk to some of the Hoosiers' players to find out more about the program.
"As a player, you want to get an inside look at the team and the guys that could end up being your future teammates," Maniru said. "They're the ones who can tell you what's going on there. No one can tell you better than the players, because they go through the whole nine yards. That's who I'll probably hang out with the most and try to find out about the whole system is run."
While Indiana is first of Maniru's trips, he said he's also looking to make officials to at least two more schools – Oklahoma and Louisville. The Sooners' staff was also on the Charis Prep campus Monday, and he's slated to go to Norman, Okla., for an official Oct. 16, which coincides with Midnight Madness. He's in the process of trying to set up a trip to Louisville as well. Other trips could crop up in the future, since schools like N.C. State are just now starting to show interest as well.
Maniru said he's thinking that he wants to go through with each of his visits before making a decision, but he wouldn't rule out the possibility of committing during his visit.
"(The possibility of committing) isn't something I know for sure," Maniru said. "If I have two official visits and am looking for a third one, then I'm not really looking to commit right now.
"But it depends on what I see. If what I see is appealing to my eye, there's no doubt I'd commit. But the best thing is probably to take the other (visits) and decide what's best afterwards and then commit."
Wherever he winds up, Maniru is looking from a program he can continue to develop and compete for a championship. Before enrolling at Charis Prep, Maniru spent the previous three years at Madison (Ala.) Academy and helped the team to three consecutive state championships.
"I'm coming off being a three-time state champion, and I love what I've accomplished, and I'm hoping to keep up with that," Maniru said. "So I'm looking to go somewhere I can contribute and get another ring. I want to be successful and I want to help a program be successful.
"I'm ready to give whatever it takes to contribute, to give something to the program."
IU Staff Visits Maniru, He'll Return Favor
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