North Carolina head coach Roy Williams evaluated Pickerington (Ohio) Central senior big man Sterling Manley on Monday and then offered a scholarship. At 6-foot-11, Manley is an intriguing post product that is reeling in offers this month, and is the newest prospect on UNC's recruiting board.
According to Eric Kreuger, head basketball coach at Pickerington Central, Roy Williams's message to Manley was "very clear."
"[Williams] told Sterling not only do they need a big to come in and contribute as a freshman, but they believe he can do it and be that guy for them at North Carolina," Kreuger told Inside Carolina.
Working out in front of North Carolina's Williams, Georgetown head coach John Thompson III and Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes on Monday, Manley impressed with his length, athleticism and post skills. Other parts of Manley's game, however, were also impressive for the Tar Heel headman.
"Coach Williams loved his length and size, great hands and feet around the basket, and his ability to play on both ends of the floor," Kreuger said. "He loved his basketball skills overall and sees the tremendous upside that [Sterling] possesses."
While no visits were set up during Williams's meeting with Manley on Monday, Kreuger did acknowledge that the North Carolina staff will be in contact on Tuesday to start coordinating plans for an official visit.
Manley's coach sees the fit at UNC.
"I believe Sterling would be a great fit at UNC," Kreuger said. "UNC really develops their post players and they have a strong history of using their big men effectively. He truly fits what they do and his skills translate to their offensive system."
UNC needs another true post player in this class, even after receiving a commitment earlier in the day from center Brandon Huffman.
Manley's a relative unknown on the national scouting scene because seven months ago he suffered a gruesome compound fracture on his right leg. That injury cut short his junior season and kept him off the travel circuit, where college coaches usually do most of their evaluating. Now fully recovered, he's showing enough in open gym workouts to warrant a slew of offers -- including UNC.
When Manley was in the Pickerington Central lineup last year, he helped the Tigers win all but one game, averaging 12 points, 7.6 rebounds and three blocks per game.
Zach Fleer is the owner and publisher of 270Hoops.com.