MOBILE, Ala. — A sense of urgency emerges during the senior year of a student-athlete. The fact that it’s probably the final season they get to play collegiate basketball in front of professional scouts gives them an alertness to sharpen and strengthen their game. On top of which, the years playing at that level gives those seniors a distinct advantage over some of their teammates and opponents. It’s that resolute attitude and blossomed maturity which makes South Alabama Jaguars’ senior athlete, Charles Manning Jr., a serious candidate for the pros.
In the four games that they have played so far this season, the 6-foot-4 guard is having a phenomenal start. Manning Jr. has started in three of the four games but is the team’s leading scoring with 14.5 points per game. He’s also amassed a total of 12 assists, five steals and two blocks. Manning Jr. is contributing in all facets of the game. He’s getting his teammates involved, he’s denying the opposition by pickpocketing them and swatting their shots away. He’s doing it all and shooting decently from the field.
Charles Manning Jr. has taken the most shots (55) and has a field goal percentage of 40% which is third on the team for those who have taken 20 shots or more. But he’s also one of the better free throw shooters on the team where he’s shooting 83.3% from the charity stripe. He gets there often enough too, indicating that he likes to drive to the hoop whenever the opportunity presents itself. But Manning Jr. wasn’t as impactful last season.
In the 2020-21 season, while Manning Jr. was at LSU, he appeared in six games and started one of them. Throughout the entire season he managed only 25 points, 18 rebounds, five assists and three steals. He averaged 18 minutes per outing whereas with the South Alabama Jaguars he’s averaging 28.6 minutes per game. It’s clear that his experience at LSU, although memorable, was one that didn’t fully display his basketball range.
The reason that Charles Manning Jr. transferred was because he wanted game time since he was entering his senior year. He wanted to prove to the scouts and coaches that he can play and so far, he seems to be doing just that. He leads the team in points per game and overall assists while also being tied for the second most steals. Those are accolades that won’t be brushed aside by those who are looking for a player that matches Charles Manning Jr.’s hunger and determination. He’s worthy of being on any coaching staff’s radar.
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