Lance Thomas is already one of the most recruited players in the country. With offers from nearly every major program from coast to coast, the 6-foot-8, 195-pound forward from St. Benedict's High School in Newark, N.J. is a name to watch closely over the next six months. His recruitment is still gaining steam and he's backing up the interest by improving his already talented skills.
There's a lot to like about Thomas. He's tenacious on the glass. He's aggressive to the line. He's coachable and the kid just hates to lose. In fact, he almost obsesses over it.
"I don't like to underachieve," Thomas said. "If I lose a game, at that exact moment I go to the gym and start working. i don't like to lose. I don't want to be wasting any potential time of getting better. I love the game so much. It's hard to explain. I'm just putting in the work to be the best."
That's why Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Maryland, Rutgers, St. John's, Syracuse, Virginia, Villanova and Wake Forest have all offered. Suffice it to say, the No. 21 ranked junior in the country has options. Very good options.
"I'm getting recruited pretty heavily. It's basically where I wanted it to be," Thomas said. "I'm just going to keep working and hope I can be the best that I can be."
When asked what schools were recruiting him the hardest, Thomas said Arizona, Villanova, North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and UConn. Playing with the New Heights AAU program again this spring and summer, Thomas will certainly be a hot target in the coming weeks.
With so much attention, Thomas said he's not ready to trim his list down any time soon.
"I'm going to narrow it down sometime in the fall of my senior year," Thomas said. "That's right around the corner. I that I will get it all done. Right now, I'm just having a lot of fun with it and enjoying the process."
College recruiters are wondering how he will translate his game to the college level. Thomas is a four man at the high school ranks. His midrange game is strong. With improved ball-handling skills, perimeter jumper and a few more pounds on his lean frame, Thomas can become that great college three man. He says he's on pace to becoming that player.
"This season our frontcourt wasn't as dominant as I think we would have liked it to be so, because of my height, I played the four and the five spots because that is what my team needed me to do," Thomas said.
"But I'm going to be working on (my small forward skills) in the off season. I can pop out but I can bang on the boards, too. To be honest with you, my jump shot is really looking well. It's in great shape."
Thomas ended his junior campaign with a bang, claiming the Prep A title by scoring 14 points and pulling down 14 rebounds against the Petty School, ending the season at 26-1. Thomas said he will take the SAT on May 7.