Even though he's from Portland, Ore., Thomas Gardner will find himself straddling the fence this month with the pair of official visits that he has planned.
That's because Gardner will visit heated Big 12 rivals Missouri and Kansas this month. Along with UConn, the duo forms the trio of finalists on the sharpshooters list.
Gardner will visit Missouri from Sept. 6-8, and the trip to KU from Sept. 27-29. He officially visited UConn back in June.
"I really like UConn and Missouri, because I visited Connecticut and it was my first impression, and I have nothing to compare it to," he said. "With Missouri, Quin Snyder and Lane Odom have been at every event this summer and have shown the most interest, so I feel like I am wanted by Missouri."
UConn is planning to visit with Gardner sometime during the September contact period, while the Missouri staff will be in Gardner's home on Sept. 10.
While Kansas may be playing a little catch up in this recruiting process, they will have ample opportunity to make some headway with Gardner. The Jayhawks have set up an in-school visit on Sept. 11 and an in-home visit on Sept. 23 to go along with the official visit later this month.
"Kansas is always going to be in the mix because they have Jefferson [H.S.] players on their team," Gardner explained. "Players that I've played with and who it would be fun to play with again, so I wouldn't put Kansas behind anybody."
Gardner got to know the most recent UConn recruit, Los Angeles [now Oak Hill Academy] point guard Marcus Williams quite well when the two played on the West squad at the U.S.A. Youth Development Basketball Festival in Colorado Springs in late June.
Even though Gardner and Williams are both backcourt players, Gardner said that Williams' commitment has only strengthened UConn's position with him.
"I liked playing with Marcus this summer," Gardner said. "He's a cool person, and I am happy that he got a scholarship to go to UConn and that could be fun for both of us to be there."
Gardner will be done with his visits by the end of this month, and stated that he will have a decision by the second week in October at the latest.
Some of the factors he said would shape his decision include how well he gets along with the team, whether or not he likes the campus, the existence of a family type environment, as well as a chance to play early on in his career