Thomas Talks About Four Schools Left On List

Reporter Russ Blake sat down with senior forward Lance Thomas for a question and answer session ...

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Lance Thomas, one of the top available talents left on the 2006 recruiting board, sat down with New York Insider for a lengthy interview.

The 6-8 forward from St. Benedict's Prep in Newark shared his thoughts on a number of issues. Here is a transcript of that interview.

New York Insider: Is Arizona still a factor in your recruiting process?

Lance Thomas: They are still a factor. Arizona, Duke, Florida and Rutgers are my four schools. Schools like that are really hard to separate. The Rutgers situation is really special with a chance to turn that around. And the other programs all speak for themselves. It's going to come down to the wire.

NYI: Are you leaving yourself any wiggle room to add or delete schools from the process?

LT: It's pretty hard to trim down the list to two, especially being in season. It's hard to have time to narrow down schools and focus on the season. Once the season is over, I will get more serious with it. I am focusing on the season right now.

NYI: Are there any other schools you are entertaining, besides the four that you mentioned?

LT: No sir. It will be one of those four.

NYI: You visited all four of the schools early yet declined to sign. Can you explain how things unfolded as they did.

LT: I thought that once I took my visits, that it would be easier to trim the list down. I came to find out that I liked all of the visits and all of the schools. Their campuses and basketball programs. So actually, it made it even harder. I was going to try and have my decision before the season, but the way the cards fell, that didn't happen. I just have to wait.

NYI: Were you tempted at any time to sign early? LT: If I got a chance to eliminate schools, I probably would have signed before the season during the early period. But I couldn't do it.

NYI: Rutgers is the one school recruiting both you and teammate Eugene Harvey as a package. Can you talk about that and how it impacts your thought process?

LT: It affects it somewhat. Eugene is a great guard, and we are really close friends. Every person in America would love to play with a guy like him who distributes the ball and gets in the paint. Playing with him on the collegiate level would be a dream. Playing with him here for my junior and senior year and then in college would be something special. He's the type of player that if we went to the same school, we could turn any program around. Any program. It's doesn't matter what school, we could turn it around. As long as he's serious about it, that's always going to be an option for me.

NYI: Your season probably won't end until sometime in late February, but the late signing period doesn't begin until April. How will you tackle the recruiting process once the basketball season is over?

LT: I will probably take some unofficial visits. I have to sign late, but that's not to say I couldn't commit sometime right after the season. I won't do anything before the end of the season.

NYI: Are there any specific unofficial visits you will be taking?

LT: I will be at Rutgers, and I will try to get down to Duke for a game and try to get back down to Florida. Possibly back out to Arizona. It's kind of expensive, but it's worth it for my future in college. It's going to be my life for the next four years, so I think it's well worth it.

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