6-foot-8 210 pound forward Lance Thomas from St. Benedict's HS in Newark, NJ is one of the nation's top prospects in the Class of 2006. He teamed with 6-foot-9 Derrick Caracter last year at Scotch Plains-Fanwood HS to form one of the best frontcourt 1-2 punches in high school basketball, but Thomas is tackling new challenges with a new team in 2004-2005.
"I transferred to St. Benedict's for a better opportunity, better academics," Thomas recently told us. "It's a better chance for all around success. They have a great art program at St. Benedict's and I'm very interested in architecture."
Thomas told us that he has scholarship offers from Arizona, Syracse, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Florida, Rutgers, and Seton Hall. He said that Duke, North Carolina, and Texas are also recruiting him, but have yet to tender an offer.
"I'm still very much undecided," Thomas told us. "I am planning to take some visits after the season is over." He visited Duke unofficially last spring while attending the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions, and he's also been on campus at Rutgers.
Thomas is ranked #21 nationally in the Class of 2006 by Rivals.com. He averaged 18 points per game last season at Scotch Plains.
While still more of a power forward than a wing player, Thomas has a superb work ethic and a strong desire to transform his game. We observed him for a week at the NBPA Camp in Richmond, VA last summer and Thomas was perhaps the most enthusiastic participant in all of the drills and practices. He has honed his 15' jumper into a relaible weapon, but he is most effective attacking the basket inside where he is a very quick leaper and adept at grabbing offensive rebounds and drawing contact from defenders.
Working with outstanding coach Danny Hurley at St. Benedict's has already appeared to produce positive results for Thomas.
"I've been working on my shot consistency this year," said Thomas. "I want to be the team leader, the guy who raises the level of play and the work ethic in practice."
In our mind there is no doubt that Thomas will do just that.