June 18, 2011

Castlemont’s Manley still working it

Kevin McCarthy

Maybe there is a formal checklist that college recruiters use, maybe not. But for the purposes of this article, NorCalPreps.com will create one. It would contain categories for grading specific skills, size, strength, projected position(s) at the next level, attitude, competitiveness, academics, college entrance exams and more. Well, Team 94 member and former Castlemont High star Devareaux Manley is acing these so-called litmus tests but the level of interest in him is perplexing.

photo of Devareaux Manley

Team 94 coach and founder Phil Handy offered this on his 6-foot-4, 200 pound 2011 player: "The two biggest things is that he defends and he can shoot, both the three and from mid-range. He’s also athletic. There’s no question he should be getting D-I looks. I call him an overlooked, mid-major caliber talent."

During the 15-9 overall, 8-8 in league play Castlemont season, Manley averaged 18 points a game and just under a pair of treys per contest.H e connected on 81% on 146 free throw attempts. A similar display has been ongoing this spring during the club team season.

But June is a tenuous time for those still available in the 2011-12 recruiting go-around.

The issue could be this: "with recruiting, I didn’t understand the process," Manley clarified. "I didn’t play a lot of AAU ball so I had limited exposure."

With high school games and seasons being more and more ignored by recruiters, being witnessed in spring and summer has become a critical component.

There is certainly no problem with academics. "I have a 3.4 grade point average but it was 4.0 in the last two grading reports," Manley said.

He earned a 1280 on his SAT and 16 on the ACT.

Manley is looking to major in business or kinesiology.

He offers his best skills on the court as "my IQ and understanding of the game."

And that’s an aspect that has improved. "I see myself as a more mature player. In 9th grade, I didn’t have much of an understanding of the game. I would shoot a lot of jump shots." But it was different by his senior season. " was using pump fakes and going to the hoop, adding to my game. I want to keep doing that," he said.

Manley is driven by family influences. As he explains, "one is my Mom. I do the best I can for her. Also, my sister is an inspiration (Jeanine Manley is a senior-to-be at Coppin State in Maryland who led her team in scoring (shooting 52%) and was second in rebounding this past season).

So what about that checklist? Manley’s is:


Here’s Handy again: "This is one of the most talented teams I have had over the years and Dev has been the biggest surprise for me on this team. I have to admit that I expected something totally different from what he brings to this team. People say this about players all the time but I truly believe he is a sleeper and whoever gets him will have a talented player in their program -- he is the type of kid a college coach should like to recruit. He cares about his grades and family, is very coachable, has size, skills and defends -- all he needs is one good school to not over look him!"

Is the basketball world not working in the usual manner?