It has been a long time since Roy Williams has come to Columbus, Ohio to recruit a prospect.
The last time Williams recruited a Central Ohio player -- in 1996 -- he got him, as Columbus Independence High School swing man Kenny Gregory committed to Williams and Kansas. Gregory played for the Jayhawks from 1997-2001.
Fast forward 20 years and Williams was back in Columbus on Wednesday for the second time in two weeks to see Sterling Manley.
While Xavier and West Virginia were some of the first schools to pursue Manley heavily, Purdue came into the mix early in the fall and North Carolina is the latest to join the party.
"It's really crazy because the last time Coach Williams was even in Ohio to recruit a player was Gregory at Kansas," Manley said. "I'm just very thankful, I knew schools were going to come after me once I came back from my injuries, but I didn't know how big it was going to be or how much I was going to blow up.
"I knew with my hard work and mental toughness that I would catch the eyes of schools. I'm just very blessed and thankful."
Williams conducted his in-home visit with the Pickerington Central senior center this week.
"The home visit went well, [Williams] talked about a lot of things," Manley said. "After this year, North Carolina will only have two players over 6-foot-8 on the roster, so they need at least two to three big men to come in and be an impact right away. The only other big man they have committed in my class is Brandon Huffman so spots are open."
Slated to officially visit North Carolina on the weekend of Oct. 15 -- which includes "Late Night with Roy" -- Manley is excited to take the trip to Chapel Hill. Cutting his list down to the Tar Heels, Purdue, Xavier and West Virginia on Sunday, Manley is inching closer to finishing the recruiting process.
"All the schools that are in my top four I have visited already, except for UNC," Manley said. "Me personally, I am the type to visit all the schools I need to visit, and then make a decision. And I only have one more left."
Manley sounds like he'll be ready to make a decision following his North Carolina visit.
"I just look forward to seeing the atmosphere of North Carolina and how the players are and feel on everything," Manley said. "Will I fit in with them? Are they guys I would want to spend four years with and stuff like that. Just really seeing things for myself because a coach can tell you everything in the world about his school and you can do all the research you need on a school, but until you get that feel for yourself and really see it, you kind of can't tell if it is right for you or not."
Zach Fleer is the owner and publisher of 270Hoops.com.