Manning Talks About His Decision

After taking official visits the last two weekends, John Manning decided it was time to go ahead and made his college decision on Monday.

"I had taken my visits and I was just eager to get it over with and get it off my chest," he said.

Manning, a 6-foot-11, 235-pound senior center from Chantilly, VA, made a verbal commitment to Saint Louis University, picking the Billikens over Tulane.

"I narrowed it down to those two," Manning said. "I liked (SLU's) coaching staff the best."

The center took an official visit to Saint Louis U. two weeks ago.

"I was just really impressed with the facilities and the coaching staff," he said. "I really liked spending time with their players. I like the guys they've got."

Manning was hosted by junior forward Brian Conklin, but he found out that he clicked with the rest of the Billikens players as well.

"Brian was great, but I just liked all of them," Manning said. "That's kind of rare to see such a good group like that."

This past weekend, he made his official visit to Tulane.

"I liked Tulane," Manning said. "It's a great school. They both had really positive aspects. I think the basketball program was a better fit at SLU."

Manning said he was recruited by SLU associate head coach Porter Moser and assistant coach Alex Jensen. He started talking to Saint Louis earlier this summer and on Monday became the first Class of 2011 player to make a commitment to the Billikens.

The 6-11 center averaged 10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocked shots per game as a junior as Chantilly went 21-4 and advanced to the state semifinals. He averaged 13 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots per game during his sophomore season.

Manning fills a big need inside for the Billikens.

If everyone from the 2010-11 roster returns for the 2011-12 season, Manning's first year on campus, SLU's 6-9 Willie Reed would be a senior, 6-8 forward Cory Remekun would be a junior and 6-11 forward Rob Loe would be a sophomore.

Manning may be the only true center of that group.

Now that he made his choice, Manning can concentrate on his final year of high school and work on getting ready for the basketball season.

"It will help me focus a lot more, both in school and getting ready for my season," he said. "It was a tough decision but I'm so glad it's done."

Manning isn't sure if he'll be able to make another trip to St. Louis to see a game this winter, but is planning to check out the Billikens on the road when they play at Richmond and George Washington.


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