San Diego, Calif.-It is officially a two school race to land 6-foot-8 forward Lance Thomas of St. Benedict's High School in Newark, N.J. But more importantly for Thomas, the No. 27 ranked prospect in the Rivals150, he is knocking down his perimeter shots.
For Thomas there is no surprise that he is making shots from farther out and at a higher clip at the McDonald's All American Game practices than he did last summer.
"I've been putting a lot of work into my shot," Thomas told Rivals.com after Monday morning's practice. I've been working before and after school and on the weekends. I realized that my shot was a weakness of my game, so I've worked hard on it. Shots are starting to drop now."
In fact, while most of the East squad headed straight to the water cooler after practice, Thomas joined up with a potential college teammate Gerald Henderson to put in extra work on their shots.
If Thomas is not wearing blue and playing with Henderson next year, he will be in scarlet playing close to home.
"It is down to Duke and Rutgers," he said. "Both are very positive situations that could be beneficial to me. With Duke you could make a list of all the positives. There is not just one thing. The situation is great there.
"With Rutgers, there is immediate playing time. I'm close to home. And I get to play in the Big East."
Many followers of Thomas' recruitment felt that Thomas has been in a holding pattern waiting to see who would be coaching at Rutgers next year. Thomas, however, maintains that the coaching situation at Rutgers is a non-factor in his decision making process. More of a factor for Thomas is the situation of his high school teammate Eugene Harvey.
"It didn't matter who Rutgers hired," he said. "That is not a changing factor to me… Now, I wouldn't go to Rutgers if Eugene was not going to go there with me. But that doesn't put pressure on me. I'm still going to make the best decision for me."
Lance Thomas scouting report:
Long, lean and athletic, Thomas plays hard and to win. A good scorer in the midrange, he has a quick first step to the basket. Ball handling is solid, but he does have room for improvement as a handler and passer. Defensively, Thomas moves his feet very well and has the length and spurtability to cover a lot of ground. Does need to get stronger and improve his shooting range.