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Here's what ESPN said about him...

April, 2010: Manning is a true center and excellent role player. He runs the floor for easy baskets and finishes drop off passes created by dribble penetration above the rim with an angle or clear path. In the post Manning will execute drop steps and hook shots over his left shoulder. He is an average athlete with great size. He works to screen in order to free teammates or to create a scoring opportunity for himself. On defense Manning is worth is weight in gold. He understands how to gap a live dribble in the post and does a great job using his length to defend the dribble on the perimeter. He is a smart enough player to defend both post positions. Manning is a good area rebounder as well more because of size than athletic ability. Manning plays with urgency on both ends of the floor and has good upside.

December, 2009: This mobile post is a good area rebounder, on ball shot blocker and drop off pass dunker. He runs the floor and is more athletic than he looks. Manning is long and a pretty quick jumper for his size. He lacks strength that prevents him from finishing at times in heavy traffic but his hands are good and he will be able to complete those plays when he gets stronger. Manning is a good and willing passer as well. He is pretty active and aggressive and has great upside. He works for low post position the entire possession. Manning's development over the next year and a half will determine his level of recruiting. I love this kid's potential.

July, 2009: Manning is a long armed, broad shouldered post player. He still must fill out his body and is not yet a finished product. Right now, he is a capable rebounder, who works hard to get easy baskets by running the floor hard to convert stick backs or finish his own easy lay-up running to the rim. He has good hands and understands the post position. He is mastering the art of footwork for a big man and has pretty good skills. He can face the basket better than he plays with his back to the goal. As he plays against more players his size in the post, he will need to develop those moves. Right now, his offense is ahead of his defensive game but he does show an ability to alter and block shots. With continued work in the weight room and improved agility and coordination, Manning will be an excellent college prospect.

April, 2009: John is a long mobile post player with broad shoulders that once he fills out will be a very good prospect. For now he is a work in progress. John has the basic skill set to work with and works hard at his game. Offensively he has good hands and footwork. He does a good job in sealing the the low blocks but needs to develop his back to the basket game, as he has not shown the ability to score over athletic bigs and play a more physical game. John does a good job facing up free throw line extended but has not yet displayed the ability to create scoring opportunities at the rim. He does rebound well both in and out of his area but still needs to improve his tenacity. He runs the floor extremely well, for a young big man and it bodes him well as the big fella does a good job getting easy baskets in transition. Defensively he does a very solid job in challenging shots and keeps very good positioning in the low post. His offense is a year ahead of his defense. You can't teach size, and John is a legitimate 6'11 and has the frame to carry 240 without losing his agility. Improved body strength will help his assertiveness and overall game.

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Just saw on Nate's website that John Manning, the 6'11" 200 lb center from Virginia, committed to play for the Bills. It says he averaged 11.6 points a game last year. Don't know anything else about him.

he has a three star rating from rivals. also, in an article on the the Penn State message board, it appears that majerus' reputation with big men was a factor in his selection of saint louis
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Here's what ESPN said about him...

April, 2010: Manning is a true center and excellent role player. He runs the floor for easy baskets and finishes drop off passes created by dribble penetration above the rim with an angle or clear path. In the post Manning will execute drop steps and hook shots over his left shoulder. He is an average athlete with great size. He works to screen in order to free teammates or to create a scoring opportunity for himself. On defense Manning is worth is weight in gold. He understands how to gap a live dribble in the post and does a great job using his length to defend the dribble on the perimeter. He is a smart enough player to defend both post positions. Manning is a good area rebounder as well more because of size than athletic ability. Manning plays with urgency on both ends of the floor and has good upside.

I couldn't think of a more apt paragraph to describe a Majerus big man. Sounds like Manning was built to play in RM's system.

Has there ever been a time where SLU had this many big men in (or about to be in) its program?

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I couldn't think of a more apt paragraph to describe a Majerus big man. Sounds like Manning was built to play in RM's system.

Has there ever been a time where SLU had this many big men in (or about to be in) its program?

Also on ESPN:

"Manning is young for his grade (17 years old when he graduates) so his potential for more growth is still there.

When you project him down the road you can see him getting to 6'11, 245-250 pounds."

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:unsure:

I couldn't think of a more apt paragraph to describe a Majerus big man. Sounds like Manning was built to play in RM's system.

Has there ever been a time where SLU had this many big men in (or about to be in) its program?

Great news, keep the big men coming! RM and his staff continue to exceed expectations. Big men are the key.

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Also on ESPN:

"Manning is young for his grade (17 years old when he graduates) so his potential for more growth is still there.

When you project him down the road you can see him getting to 6'11, 245-250 pounds."

I'm sure RM knows what he is doing and his record of finding diamond in the rough big guys is quite good but Manning wasn't exactly being recruited by BCS schools or even top mid-major programs. Lets hope RM sees something the rest of the big boys didn't.

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http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/recruiting/school/_/id/139/class/2011/page/onthetrail

Virginia center John Manning ended his recruitment on Monday when he verbally committed to St. Louis.

Manning, ranked No. 37 at his position in the 2011 class, chose the Billikens over William & Mary, Tulane, George Mason and Central Florida.

ESPN.com's National Recruiting Director Paul Biancardi is impressed with what the Billikens are getting in Manning.

"St. Louis was looking for a true center who could be a factor in the A-10 and in Manning they found that," he said.

"John is a legit 6'10 and can run the floor and shows good mobility. He also has terrific hands, showing the ability to catch passes anywhere in the paint."

What impresses most is his ability to score with either hand, according to Biancardi.

"He's almost ambidextrous in the paint. He can shoot jumphooks with either hand which makes him very difficult to guard.

"On defense, John is an intimidating presence," Biancardi offered. "He blocks shots and rebounds well and brings a little nastiness to the court. He won't back down from anyone.

Manning is young for his grade (17 years old when he graduates) so his potential for more growth is still there.

"When you project him down the road you can see him getting to 6'11, 245-250 pounds.

"With his effort and ability under the tutelage of Coach (Rick) Majerus, Manning has a chance to shine for the Billikens in the A10. He's the type of hard working, aggressive true center that Majerus has won close to 500 career games with," Biancardi added. "With most of the SLU roster being sophomores and juniors this year, John will walk in to a situation with veteran players around him in 2011. The Billikens should have an excellent team that competes for an A-10 title."

Manning is the first recruit for Majerus and his staff in the senior class.

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:unsure:

Great news, keep the big men coming! RM and his staff continue to exceed expectations. Big men are the key.

Not sure I would call this commitment exceeding expectations. Meeting expectations would be more like it. Now, if Biedscheid commits, Ill be glad to hand out the Exceeds Expectations.
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Doing a little research Manning was a big deal getting looks from BE squads when he was a freshman. He apparently was 6'9 when he entered high school. His recruitment didn't gain much steam from then until the successful summer he had this past year. Have to remember though this class of bigs is not very good and not very deep. Seeing his tall he was 3 years ago I find it doubtful that he will get any taller, certainly his frame can be filled out.

From what I've read this guy is a mucker and grinder. Active scoring threat in the post with either hand, but will knock guys around on both ends to make up for his lack of athletic ability. Plays below the rim, is a straight up defender like CR.

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Not sure I would call this commitment exceeding expectations. Meeting expectations would be more like it. Now, if Biedscheid commits, Ill be glad to hand out the Exceeds Expectations.

Not just referring to Manning.

I'm saying Majerus and staff have exceeded expectations with body of work with bigs.

Reed-Conklin-Ellis-Remekun-Loe-Evans.

Best SLU front line players, ever.

Tell me a yr we had better quality, diverse, talented, and depth with bigs. No way.

Then we add add Manning, 6'11, 3* ESPN, 89 rating for 2011. Wow.

Reality. Biedscheld will leave town for BCS conference.

No 4*-5* local kids ever stay except for fluke Hughes. ACC-Big 12-Big 10-Big East.

Perhaps some day, we could get local players like that to stay here, if RM can keep the program moving for 4-5 more yrs and take us up a few levels and get us some NCAA tourney wins. And if a few players get to thee NBA like WR.

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:unsure:

Great news, keep the big men coming! RM and his staff continue to exceed expectations. Big men are the key.

Big men are not the key. We've had plenty of big men who were not good. GOOD, productive big men are the key.

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Big men are not the key. We've had plenty of big men who were not good. GOOD, productive big men are the key.

actually we havent had many bigs over the last 30 years. many a year our c and pf were undersized and we never had this much depth.

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From ESPNInsider Rumor Central:

Billikens go big

7:23

AM ETSaint Louis Billikens TopEmailIt was only going to be a matter of time until Rick Majerus got St. Louis into the hunt in the A-10. That time is arriving very soon.

ESPN Recruiting is reporting a huge verbal get for the Billikens, who landed a commit from mobile 6-foot-10 big man John Manning this week.

Manning will be the perfect complement to Majerus' four-man class of 2010, which is headlined by 6-foot-11 PF Rob Loe and bullish lead guard Jordair Jett. Though slender, Manning is an intimidating and effective shot blocker with effective moves in the paint.

The Billikens have already become one of the tougher outs in the A-10, and should be in the top echelon with Dayton and Temple by the time Manning takes the floor in St. Louis.

- Eric Angevine

ESPN Recruiting: Paul Biancardi

Manning is a Majerus type of guy.

"With his effort and ability under the tutelage of Coach (Rick) Majerus, Manning has a chance to shine for the Billikens in the A10. He's the type of hard working, aggressive true center that Majerus has won close to 500 career games with," Biancardi added. "With most of the SLU roster being sophomores and juniors this year, John will walk in to a situation with veteran players around him in 2011. The Billikens should have an excellent team that competes for an A-10 title."

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Not sure I would call this commitment exceeding expectations. Meeting expectations would be more like it. Now, if Biedscheid commits, Ill be glad to hand out the Exceeds Expectations.

Majerus can teach a lot of things. One thing he can't teach is size. All the experts seem to love this move. Only time will tell but I like it for now. Much better than burrying another combo guard on the depth charts.

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Guest BillikenReport

I'll have more on my site about this later today, but I wanted to correct something about the kid.

He is not 200 pounds, as many sites (including mine) have said he is.

Manning said he was 200 pounds as a freshman and is now around 235. So he's a good-sized kid.

If anybody watched the two St. Louis Eagles games on TV this summer, Manning's team beat the Eagles the first time they were on TV. His summer team was stacked and Manning actually came off the bench.

Here's an article that has info on the players on that summer team: http://www.nbebasketball.com/w3/2010-0811/team-takeover-post-july-update/

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Not just referring to Manning.

I'm saying Majerus and staff have exceeded expectations with body of work with bigs.

Reed-Conklin-Ellis-Remekun-Loe-Evans.

Best SLU front line players, ever.

Tell me a yr we had better quality, diverse, talented, and depth with bigs. No way.

Then we add add Manning, 6'11, 3* ESPN, 89 rating for 2011. Wow.

Reality. Biedscheld will leave town for BCS conference.

No 4*-5* local kids ever stay except for fluke Hughes. ACC-Big 12-Big 10-Big East.

Perhaps some day, we could get local players like that to stay here, if RM can keep the program moving for 4-5 more yrs and take us up a few levels and get us some NCAA tourney wins. And if a few players get to thee NBA like WR.

Regarding Biedscheld coming to SLU, sorry we are out of scholarships for next year and I don't think we will be able to convince him to walk on!
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Regarding Biedscheld coming to SLU, sorry we are out of scholarships for next year and I don't think we will be able to convince him to walk on!

he is a 2012 recruit.

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