It’s easy to spot the elite high-major players in the nation on paper. Just look at the scholarship offers list. A glance at the 10 schools that have tendered a free ride to New Jersey wing Lance Thomas, seeing is believing. The 6-foot-8, 200-pound forward from St. Benedict’s High School was one of the most watched players in the class of 2006 during the recent evaluation period and his list keeps adding high-majors.
According to Thomas’s uncle Monty Montgomery, the No. 21 ranked player in the nation has ten scholarship offers. Arizona, Kansas, Georgia Tech, Connecticut, Syracuse, Wake Forest, Maryland, Georgia, Stanford and Rutgers have all extended offers. There are just as many schools watching and actively recruiting him, too, Montgomery says.
“You name the school, they’ve been interested,” Montgomery said.
He’s not kidding. Duke, Kentucky, Florida, Texas, St. John’s, North Carolina, Iowa, Miami, Indiana and Seton Hall are also in the picture. By the time Thomas graduates, it would be safe to say that every school in the country will have tried to get into the picture.
Jim Calhoun, Bill Self, Billy Donovan, Skip Prosser, Paul Hewitt and Jim Boeheim are just some of the head coaches that came into open gyms this fall.
There is a lot to like in the five-star prospect. He’s an active offensive player with a great mid-range game and an uncanny ability to get to the free throw line. His herky-jerky motion with the dribble is difficult to defend. He’s long and covers a lot of ground on the defensive end. His rebounding skills are solid and he knows how to play in the paint.
Physically, there is room for improvement and that’s exactly what Thomas is trying to do.
“Everything is coming together. He’s hard at work, constantly working on his game and trying to get better physically, mentally and in the classroom,” Montgomery said.
With 20 schools and counting involved, Montgomery said Thomas and he will try to slim the list of suitors down soon.
“Right now, he’s getting concentrated and prepared for the season. After the season is midway over, we’ll sit down and start to break down the process and then set up a series of unofficial visits,” Montgomery said. “I told him that I’d take him wherever he wants to go. He wants to get up close and personal and see how he likes each of these schools. From there, he’ll chop it down some.”
“He wants to be a major contributor and have the opportunity to succeed both academically and athletically,” Montgomery said. “He wants a mix of both.”
Sounds like there are plenty of coaches that are willing to make that happen.