Top 2006 player has a big time list

If there was one young player who really turned heads at last weekend's Pangos All-American Camp it was Lance Thomas. The forward from Scotch Plains, NJ showed great ability and even more promise. Watching him there is no doubt he should be one of the best players in the 2006 class.

Lance Thomas was outstanding in Los Angeles last weekend, but it certainly not a coming out party. Big time programs have known about the 6-7 forward for some time.

"I am getting looks from a few big-time schools," Thomas said. "Arizona, Duke, Maryland, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Missouri, I am just grateful for the chance."

Thomas is very athletic and has great size. He has a nice inside-outside game. He rebounds well and can hit the midrange jumper, but he's probably more comfortable on the perimeter. His outside shot is just average, but some East Coast observers noted that it has improved over the past few months.

With his size and skills it looks as if he could play either forward spot, but Thomas has a favorite position that he expects to play at the next level.

"I plan to be a three man that runs the wing, that attacks the rim, shoots the jumpshot, shoots the three, plays defense against the opposing team's best player," Thomas said. "That's it right there, that's my game."

Right now he is wide-open and probably won't make an early pledge, Right now just getting better and developing his game is his emphasis.

"I'm not really focused on that right now," Thomas said. "I ‘m worried about getting my game better, enhancing my game to the fullest capacity. Hopefully all of that will fall into place."

He feels like the summer recruiting circuit is key to his development and he loves being able to play against guys from all over the country.

"It's real fun to have a chance to play against everybody," Thomas said. "Even though I am young, it still gets me better. I am blessed to have a chance to showcase my talents to a lot of people. To see where I'm at around the nation." Recruiting may not be the top thing on his mind, but he has given it a little though. He does not have a pecking order for schools, but he does know exactly what he wants from a program.

"I just want to go to a perfect fit of a team," Thomas explained. "To a program that goes up and down, that likes to run the fast break, but that also provides a family atmosphere, that's very important to me."

Arizona fits that description, but looking at his list of schools Arizona is the only school on the West Coast that he mentioned. One has to wonder if that could be a strike against the Wildcats.

"That doesn't make a difference to me," Thomas claimed.

CAT TRACKS' ANALYSIS: I love his game. He was one of the best players at Pangos and was run to watch. He's very athletic, but is not your typical wing. He's probably not bulky enough to be a pure combo forward, but he certainly has the skills. Expect him to be a top target of the Wildcats in 2006.

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