Sterling Manley ended his recruitment on Sunday, verbally committing to UNC at the conclusion of his official visit to Chapel Hill. On Monday, Inside Carolina spoke with Pickerington (Ohio) Central head coach Eric Krueger about his star player's commitment, his relationship with Roy Williams and his whirlwind recruitment.
When did you know Sterling planned to commit to Carolina?
You never truly know with kids or can be certain. I do know he really liked UNC a lot and was very excited about UNC prior to going down for his official visit. He really liked his final four schools overall, but his excitement for UNC was on another level and he ultimately decided it was the best fit for him and his future.
What do you think made UNC move so quickly with Sterling?
UNC is most excited about Sterling's skills on both sides of the ball and the ability he brings to the table. His length defensively is elite as well. They really love his upside and potential overall. Ultimately, they see a kid who they can further develop and has the potential to become a pro. They feel like they've come across a kid who is under the radar and they moved on him quickly because they believe his upside is through the roof.
How has he grown as a player over the last year?
Everyone gets into the fact that he's listed as a 3-star kid right now, but the reality of the situation is that rating is completely outdated. Sterling ia 4-star kid now with the potential for further growth. The problem is, with his injury and not being able to play AAU this past summer, no one has had a chance to see it. He's very hungry and wants to have a great year, and he's very focused on doing so. Adversity has a way of changing kids and can ignite the flame within to become great. Everything happens for a reason, including the adversity Sterling has battled. He is extremely motivated to become great, it's that simple.
How do you think Sterling will fit in at Carolina?
I think he's a perfect for the style UNC plays and the system they run. They really use their bigs and with him being 6-11, he has a chance to come in and compete immediately.
How has he performed against high levels of competition at Pickerington Central?
In the limited opportunities due to his injury, his played very well against high school competition. He's played against Nick Ward (Michigan State), Andrew Wesson (Ohio State) and played well at "Flyin to the Hoop" last year against Advanced Prep out of Texas.
As far as position, where do you think projects in college?
Sterling can play both center and power forward in college. He has the ability to do both. With him being 6-11, he will most likely play center at UNC, but he has the ability and versatility to play power forward as well.