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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Thomas commits to KU

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6'8" forward picks KU for 2008

Quintrell Thomas gave the Jayhawks their third 2008 oral committment, picking KU over Rutgers, UNLV and Maryland.

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Bedore's Take

Quintrell Thomas makes three

The third commitment for Bill Self's 2008 recruiting class - 6-foot-8 New Jersey power forward Quintrell Thomas - gives KU another big body following the departures of Darnell Jackson, Sasha Kaun and possibly Darrell Arthur. Journal-World KU men's basketball beat writer talks about the newest member of the class, plus ...

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The cell phone connection wasn't crystal clear when New Jersey power forward Quintrell Thomas told Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self he wanted to be a Jayhawk.

"Coach said something about gymnastics and doing cartwheels," Thomas, a 6-foot-8, 235-pound senior forward from St. Patrick High in Elizabeth, N.J., said Tuesday after orally committing to KU.

Thomas, who visited Mt. Oread from Sept. 28-30, made Self a happy man by choosing KU over Rutgers and UNLV.

He also seriously considered Maryland.

"I'm going to one of the best programs in the country. I'm really excited," said Thomas, the first frontcourt player to commit to KU in the Class of 2008. Self, who may award up to seven scholarships, has received commitments from Travis Releford, 6-4 from Roeland Park Miege, and Mario Little, 6-5 from Chipola (Fla.) Junior College.

"There's an opportunity for a lot of playing time. I like the players and coaches. Pretty much it's quiet there, but you can also have fun when you want to," Thomas added.

Thomas, who coach Kevin Boyle said averaged about 9.0 points and 7.5 rebounds last season for 30-2 St. Patrick, averaged about 22 points and 12 rebounds this past summer for coach Derrick Bobbitt's New Jersey Elite AAU squad.

"It was real tough," Thomas said of recruiting, "because from the start there were 23 schools. It (list) was hard to cut down. At the end, Rutgers was hard to turn down. I know all the players on the team. It was pretty emotional. UNLV was real hard (to turn down), too. They were the No. 1 school on my list for a long time."

Thomas - he is not ranked in Rivals.com's preseason top 150 - is known as a strong shot blocker and rebounder with shooting range up to 17 feet.

"I try," Thomas said simply, when asked if he contests every shot in the paint. "I can defend big men on the perimeter, and I can get up and down the court because I'm pretty fast."

Boyle said Thomas would be one of the key players on this year's squad. He was first off the bench a year ago, the coach explained, because he was a late transfer from Science Park High School and had to sit out 10 games.

Upon becoming eligible, Boyle didn't want to mess with team chemistry and made Thomas a reserve on a team that won its second straight New Jersey State title.

"I think he can compete (on major-college level) now as a rebounder," Boyle said of Thomas, who started playing basketball in eighth grade. "He is somebody who will block shots. His offensive game has improved a lot the last 12 months.

"A lot of times a kid will come into a program and not get better. He will get better. I see him as a guy who will stick the 17-footer."

Boyle and Bobbitt both believe Thomas will emerge as a top-100 player by the end of the season.

"He is a great rebounder and shot blocker right now and finisher," AAU coach Bobbitt said. "He is vastly improving. You get somebody like (KU assistant) Danny Manning working with you ... you are going to get better. I think he will be regarded as one of the top players strictly on rebounding and shotblocking prowess."

Bobbitt said his star player had a tough time the last week or so.

"He definitely struggled with it," Bobbitt said. "He was supposed to have a school picked when he came back from UNLV (Oct. 13). Everybody did such a good job recruiting him. Everybody made it difficult. (But) Kansas was always in the back of his mind."

"Rutgers had a lot to offer. They are close to doing in basketball what Kansas is doing in football," coach Boyle said.

"Kansas is pretty much a no-brainer if you are confident you can play. If you are confident you can play at Kansas how can you not go there and be a vital part of their future? It is one of the best schools in the history of college basketball with a lot of guys leaving."

Thomas said he is all for KU signing two other big men from the East.

Marcus and Markieff Morris, 6-8 and 6-9 twins from Philadelphia, will visit Villanova this weekend, then decide between 'Nova and KU.

"I welcome them coming in," Thomas said. "Whoever comes in is fine if it makes us a better team."

KU also is recruiting J'Mison Morgan, 6-10 from Dallas, who will choose either KU, LSU, Alabama, UCLA or Cincinnati on Nov. 2; Willie Warren, 6-3 from suburban Fort Worth, Texas, who will sign in the spring; Devoe Joseph, 6-2 from Ontario, Canada, who has a final four of KU, Minnesota, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech; and Tyshawn Taylor, 6-3 from Jersey City, N.J., who is considering KU, Marquette, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and others.

Â'Everyone supports me': Thomas on leaving the East coast to play ball at KU: "It's going to be a lot different. I've lived in the New York area, New Jersey all my life. It's fast paced. Everything is slowed down (in Kansas).

"Everyone supports me. My coaches say I need to work on some things now on the perimeter to get ready for Kansas. My mother said, 'Wherever you go you, will be a success.' Everyone is happy I've made a decision. It was starting to bother me. My coaches, mother would ask me about it every day. It was getting ridiculous."

ÂTidbits: KU is recruiting one of Thomas' teammates - Dexter Strickland, a 6-3 point guard who is ranked No. 16 in the Class of 2009. However Strickland's top five are Indiana, Florida, Michigan State, Memphis and North Carolina. ... Thomas scored eight points and grabbed 12 rebounds in one of the most hyped games of last season - St. Patrick's 78-76 overtime victory over O.J. Mayo's Huntington (W.V.) High team. At the time, St. Pat's was ranked No. 1 and Huntington No. 6 in the country by USA Today. ... St. Pat's has turned out NBA players in Samuel Dalembert (Philadelphia) and Al Harrington (Golden State).

Comments

KEITHMILES05 11 years, 8 months ago

Rivals may not have rated in top 150 but Scout does.

Too bad LJW doesn't give the kid justice.

By Evan Daniels Recruiting Analyst Posted Oct 23, 2007

One of the few remaining power forwards in the class of 2008 is off the table, as Quintrell Thomas ended his recruitment.

It took a bunch of visits for Quintrell Thomas to finally come up with his college decision, but after his fifth visit last week, he had seen enough. According to St. Patrick head coach Kevin Boyle, Thomas is a Jayhawk. "I think he's not just one of the premier rebounders in the area but also on a national scale," Boyle told Scout.com.

Thomas is a specialist. He's an energy kid who loves to board and has exceptional leaping ability inside. He's great in traffic because he's a quick jumper. As a junior on a team laced with stars he averaged 9.1 points, 8 boards and 3 blocks.

"He blocks more shots than guys his size because of his athleticism," Boyle said.

The 6-foot-7, 225-pound power forward is a big get for the Jayhawks, as he was one of the few post prospects still available. Thomas checked in at No. 28 on the power forward list and is rank No. 92 overall.

Other than Rutgers, who he visited twice, Thomas also took visits to Maryland and UNLV.

At this point the Jayhawks have a three man recruiting class. Thomas joins Travis

John Strayer 11 years, 8 months ago

Just have to bear in mind that both the Rivals and Scout rankings are nothing more than opinions....just because a kid is ranked highly doesn't mean that will translate to the NCAA D1 level. Plently of these top ranked players wash out, and plently of non-ranked players become stars....success mostly depends upon what you do once you get to the college level. If you get to this level with a sense of entitlement and don't apply yourself...you likely won't succeed...talent is only part of the equation.

justanotherfan 11 years, 8 months ago

Thomas' offensive game is still a work in progress (there was a link yesterday to some video of him). He is a very good rebounder with good, strong hands, which makes me believe that he can be a solid post player if he works at it because he is a good leaper and can catch in traffic.

He may have some foul issues early on because he isn't afraid to challenge a shot, but with a little work from coaches, those fouls will turn into shots being altered or blocked. In the video he gets whistled a few times (sometimes ticky tack fouls that he won't get called for at the next level).

I'm excited about him though. He's a kid that was really off the board until just recently and has turned into a major D1 prospect that could be the steal of the class. Even if he doesn't turn into a star, I think he's a solid four year contributor.

Timmay97 11 years, 8 months ago

Nobody should read anything into Scout's and Rival's rankings. Case and point.......the ONLY one on the Florida back to back national title team that was a 5 star player was Corey Brewer. Therefore, it's a matter of how guys mesh with each other.

Remember, basketball is a TEAM game, not an individual game. It's a matter of how you play as a team. Even Kevin Durant who was BY FAR the best player last year couldn't do it all for Texas. They got how far in the NCAA tourney?

Last point......Adam Morrison was only a 3 star player coming out of high school when he went to Gonzaga. Though he didn't play any defense, he definitely contributed to a team that COULD have gone further if they had more balance.

I think Self is doing an excellent job recruiting. I've always been suspicious of his coaching, as many have.

WisconsinJayhawk 11 years, 8 months ago

Keep in mind also, rankings often come from who recruits them; who recruits them doesn't always come from rankings. Rivals.com will see that KU thought a lot of him; so he must be a top player. As a signee at one of the most prestigious programs, Thomas's ranking will go way up, I assure you.

Superheated 11 years, 7 months ago

yo KU Players,

if you want explosive quickflex muscle to improve your jumping add strength and create lean muscle mass, drink protein shakes. I use half herbalife shake with half protien powder. In three months I dropped 20 pounds of fat and have never been stronger. I also have really got a lot more cut and ripped without working out that hard. (Sometimes not at all) I also add Cacao beans and that gives me therobromine, a derivative of Caffene that comes on slower. Also you can add Maka root powder, that give you more energy. So Jackson, Collins and Rush, two a day and you guys will be in the best shape you all have been in. Do it as if you win you could all go pro. Drop the TACO BELL!!

toyss29 11 years, 8 months ago

So, he's essentially Hakim Warrick. How did he turn out for Syracuse? He was a rebounding and shot blocking machine. He has his title...a 3rd offensive option with superior defensive ability. A very nice compliment to a strong offensive post player and solid guards.

ryblake 11 years, 8 months ago

I think we have to trust the coaching staff, no matter what any recruit is ranked. Like a lot of you are saying, his ranking will go up by the time he gets to Lawrence. Coach Self has a reputation for being one of, if not the best in the country. He's done it everywhere he's been. Even if Q Thomas doesn't turn out offensive skills like Wayne Simien he will contribute. We need someone who can block shots and get on the glass with intensity, someone who can do the dirty work (much like Darnell now). I hope we're able to recruit another PG just in case of defections to the league. I'm excited about this season and getting B Rush back in action. ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK from Lubbock, TX.

JayCeph 11 years, 8 months ago

I wonder if Thomas was seriously considering Maryland...

jhawk_pirate 11 years, 8 months ago

WAYNE SIMIEN just got traded to the MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES. SIMIEN, WALKER, DOLEAC and a 1st rd draft pick were traded for RICKY DAVIS and MARK BLOUNT

bmcmich1 11 years, 8 months ago

I think he was indeed SERIOUSLY considering Maryland JayCeph; I remember it being hammered into my brain while reading a certain article yesterday. Can't remember where I read that article, though...=)

kcmostwanted 11 years, 8 months ago

I think he was until they recruited 2 other PF... I know that the Korean PF they just recruited is supposed to be in the mold of Dirk N. from the Dallas Mavericks... supposedly he strokes a smooth 3 for a 6' 9" PF...

Oh and i just saw at the bottom of my tv screen that Big Dub just got traded to the MN timberwolves for Ricky Davis and a conditional 1st round draft pick.

JayCeph 11 years, 8 months ago

Minnesota's not a bad place to live. I wonder if that team is going to be even remotely competitive though. They are in a super tough division and their primary players have all been traded away.

As much as I'd like to think that Wayne could shoulder that team by himself, the reality of the matter is that he really needs the compliments of a fully fleshed out team for him to shine.

Good luck to him...

100 11 years, 7 months ago

It's football season. Good job Coach Self -- it is a nice recruit for next year's basketball season. Now, that being said... Let's focus on football until 12:01 a.m. January 8th.

scootja32 11 years, 7 months ago

IF ALL I FOCUSED ON WAS FOOTBALL UNTIL JAN 8 I'D MISS THE ARIZONA GAME, THE USC GAME, THE GEORGIA TECH GAME, AND THE BOSTON COLLEGE GAME. NO THANKS, I'LL PAY ATTENTION TO BOTH, AND THE CHIEFS.

Dan Harris 11 years, 7 months ago

jayceph- He was seriously considering Maryland because I remember awhile back everyone was jumping on his bandwagon, If Maryland was after him he must be a banger so everybody wanted him here. Sounds like Self just picked up a "glue" guy and we need some of those. Welcome aboard Q!!!!!

Chris Weaver 11 years, 7 months ago

get a grip 100 -

jayceph - i think the ljw has an auto-correct function on the staff computers that checks spelling, and automatically inserts "He also seriously considered Maryland." after they write the words "Quintrell Thomas" - "He could possibly return on Dec. 1, or a month on either side" after "Brandon Rush" - "Former walk-on from Ashville, NC" after "Christian Moody." and "Devoted Phish fan" after "Eric Chenowith."

i can't remember what they had automatically entered when they typed, "David Padgett" "Lester Earl" or "Luke Axtell.'

bmkjayhawk 11 years, 7 months ago

I don't know anything about the Korean individual going to Maryland, but Thomas might have been additionally turned off by Augustus Gilchrist (former VT signee, opted out after the tragic shootings) joining the Terps, supposedly at the start of the spring semester.

I am, however, a bit surprised KSU didn't land Gilchrist because he did play for DC Assault AAU, where KSU has their best hopes of any quality recruits in the near future.

ralsterKUMed95 11 years, 7 months ago

It's odd that people (see timmay97 post) would take issue with Self's coaching, yet most uniformly give him high marks for recruiting. Simply put, we have diverging opinions because people are using different yardsticks to judge success. He's only taken 3 D1 programs a respectable distance in March. KU has had early (or sooner-than-expected) exits in March under other coaches, too. Is every D1 coach in America a failure/loser, except for the Natl Champs winning coach? Kinda sounds like firing Marty Schottenheimer after a 14-2 season--weak to argue THAT logic and say "well he didnt win the SuperBowl", so he's a loser. So Rick Barnes, Bill Self, Roy Williams, etc..were all 'losers' last year because Billy Donovan was the only 'winner'? Very polarized argument that will not garnish a broad-based support, although you could geek out and say its a true statement. So many things have to be right, and yes maybe even stars aligned, to win it all in April. Does a contending team have enough raw athleticism (players that can do things avg. players cannot), enough depth (UnivTex problem last year), enough leadership, key goto players (more than 1 nowdays), veteran experience (getting rarer), solid defense (UNC problem perennially), a good post-game, and yes (Billy Donovan said it): Luck! Analyze KU's loss to UCLA and you can say our shots wouldnt fall (unlucky), you could say our inside game was suspect, and who exactly are the goto players? Rush and Mario? You can point to coaching and ask why we didnt slow the tempo down, like classic 'Sutton ball', which might have settled the game down, but then is that only MY 'Monday AM QB', and would not have helped anyway? Sooo much more than coaching. One could argue that we played like some other team that night, unlike how we played most of the season. To lay it all at the coach is too simplistic, especially for the sophisticated bball fans at KU (for the most part), and its not good enough for me. The answer is multifactorial. This is just my attempt at breaking it down--if you could corner Bill Self privately and get a candid, nutshell analysis of each year's KU teams, he could tell you in just a few sentences EXACTLY what each team would need to be 'complete' or Final4-ready, and you all know he could, and you are distracting and diluting the discussion to suggest otherwise. Does no good at all to belittle your own coach. For that matter, all the top20 coaches probably have a highly-accurate grasp of where their teams are, and what it would take. I would also postulate that the more serious, analytical-type fans who have watched D1 ball for years, could approach that level of analysis also. On THIS issue, I would resist the human tendency to 'boil it down' to something simple, because it is obviously NOT--that's why this post is so long. You want a National Championship? Then analyze all the factors. I think THIS is our year, but of course alot rides on Arthur, Rush, Chalmers.

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