Indy natives square off at point

They come from the same hometown and played each other at the Summer Nike Camp. Jason Gardner and Chris Thomas are the pride of Indianapolis, see how the two point guards for Arizona and Notre Dame stack up.

The two come from rival high schools, but due to their age difference they never really formed a high school rivalry. Since Jason Gardner moved across the country and Chris Thomas stayed close to home, they have not been able to form a college rivalry either. For these two it is more of a case of respect than one-ups-manship.

"I've known Jason since probably sixth or seventh grade," Thomas said. "We have always played in the same leagues growing up and he was always the same size he is now. He was the best player in the state."

"Gardner and Thomas, go way back to high school," said Notre Dame coach Mike Brey.

They may not be rivals, but the pair are tough competitors who both hate to lose. Brey got a preview of what could transpire this weekend over the summer.

"I got a chance to watch them work out against each other and play against each other this summer at Nike camp," said Notre Dame coach Mike Brey. "They were both counselors. And the pick up games, that match-up is intense. July 10, I don't know if it can be more intense than it was on July 10. There's a lot of competitiveness between these two young men. They are great friends but they are the kind of guys that when they are between the lines they want to tear each other's heart out. They are two great competitors, guys that are winners, that have led their team and certainly being from the State of Indiana, I think everybody is proud right here."

Gardner insists that due to the age difference there is no personal rivalry, but their high schools played each other's on a regular basis.

"I never looked at him like a rival," Gardner said. "It was more like our schools were rivals."

Thomas claims that he went 3-1 against Gardner in high school and since Thomas' school got the upperhand you can bet the ultra-competitive Gardner wants to get a victory on this, a bigger stage.

The two may not be best friends, but they do keep in contact and are well aware of how the other guy is doing.

"We keep in touch throughout the season," Thomas said. "We've followed each other, we are just proud to represent our city and our state."

Thomas has the statistical edge in every category but rebounds and of course wins. Gardner, though, has most of the intangibles, including three previous trips to the Tournament.

"It's his experience," Thomas said of Gardner's edge. "He's been to the Final Four. He's been to the Championship Game. He's played against the top players. He's a leader and a captain, and he is what makes that team go."

#1 CHRIS THOMAS

#22 JASON GARDNER

So., 6-1, 180, Indianapolis, IN

Sr., 5-10, 191, Indianapolis, IN

REGULAR SEASON STATS

REGULAR SEASON STATS

18.5 ppg

14.4 ppg

3.9 rpg

4.1 rpg

7.2 apg

4.4 apg

.403 FG%

.393 FG%

.871 FT%

.746 FT%

.376 3-PT%

.333 3-PT%


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