Arizona can claim something that no other school in the country can. They've hosted Lance Thomas for an official visit. The five-star forward from St. Benedict's High School in Newark, N.J. made his first trip with his uncle Monty Montgomery and both came home impressed with the Wildcats. What's next for the 6-foot-8 warrior forward?
Lute Olson had the first crack at Thomas for an official visit and from all accounts, it was worth the long flight from coast to coast. And the Wildcats made quite the first impression.
"I asked (Lance) if he could see himself playing there and he said, 'Yes.' He really enjoyed himself," Montgomery said.
"We had a wonderful time. It was a great, great visit. It was really nice. You hear so much about it and finally getting a chance to see it in person it was much better than what you have heard. It was a really great experience for him. He did it all. He went to the tailgate party, played pick up, even played softball with the team and met with the players, coaches and the university people. It was all really good."
Montgomery said the Wildcats cemented themselves in Thomas's top three. Duke, Florida, Connecticut, Rutgers and Georgia Tech are also very much in the picture.
"I'd say those are the core schools right now but he still has to talk to St. John's, North Carolina and Wake Forest and figure out where they are in the process right now," Montgomery said.
Mike Krzyzewski and Chris Collins are in New Jersey on Tuesday. Perhaps a visit date can be set. According to Montgomery, the plans and he Thomas have now with the Devils are not finalized.
"He's definitely setting something up with Duke," Montgomery said. "He had something set on Sept. 30 but I don't think it's going to happen that weekend. We are trying to find another weekend that will work for them."
The visits will play an important part in Thomas's decision, Montgomery said.
"That is really the only way he can really find out if he can fit in at that school. You will be living in that city, playing with those players and going to those classes. There is no other way to find out about a school than seeing it first hand.
"After a visit, if he feels like he belongs at that school, then I could see him committing but my gut still says the spring," Montgomery said. "It just gives him more time to gather information and get a feel for what each school has to offer."
Coaches are lining up to not only set a visit date but also lining up to make the next cut. That's something Thomas has yet to do. It looks like his recruitment is still in the infant stages. Let the games begin.