The Talented Adonis

In addition to landing a commitment from 2010 point guard Rickey Scott this weekend, the University of Arkansas basketball program hosted a trio of top 2011 prospects - including Memphis Melrose star Adonis Thomas (6-5, 204), the nation's sixth-best junior according to Scout.com.

Memphis Melrose small forward Adonis Thomas has long talked of his interest in the University of Arkansas and wanted to do something this weekend to show the Razorbacks were still on his recruiting radar.

So Thomas (6-5, 204) - the sixth-best nationally in the 2011 class according to Scout.com and thus a 5-star prospect - loaded up the car and came to Fayetteville to spend the day hanging out with the UA coaches.

"I wanted to come up here to show them that I truly have a lot of interest in Arkansas and also see a great football game," Thomas said. "They have done a fantastic job recruiting me and I really believe are coaches of great character who are going to get this program to the elite level."

Thomas joined Arkansas commit Aaron Ross (6-8, 220) of Little Rock Parkview and East Poinsett County guard Ky Madden (6-4, 180)as 2011 prospects in Bud Walton Arena on Saturday.

Thomas was already highly regarded as a prospect entering 2009, but absolutely blew up during the spring and summer AAU season as he showed himself to be a true small forward - and possibly somebody skilled enough to be a shooting guard.

He was one of the stars on the Memphis Magic Elite squad that experienced great success, concluding with a AAU title in Las Vegas.

"I put in a lot of hard work and was able to get a lot of things accomplished both individually and most importantly we were able to do that as a team," Thomas said. "It was very rewarding."

That success resulted in offers from Arkansas, Memphis, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Missouri, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Florida, Kansas and Indiana for a player that is ranked as the sixth best player in the 2011 class by Scout.com.

Those schools certainly rang his phone on Sept. 1 - in part because he has a 4.3 grade point average and has already passed the ACT.

"I got a lot of calls from a lot of head coaches so that showed me how much those schools really wanted me," Thomas said. "I was very honored to get those calls from those guys."

Thomas was teammates this summer with Memphis prep star Joe Jackson, who has announced he will stay home and play for the Tigers.

"I am not surprised because Joe has always been a big Memphis fan, has a lot of family in Memphis and talked about how he wanted to stay around home," Thomas said. "It's a perfect fit for him. With me, I don't really mind either going away or staying around. I just want to do what's best for my own situation."

Thomas got a chance to travel to Argentina this summer to play for the USA squad in the FIBA Americas Under 16 Championship.

He averaged 13.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists during the tournament while showing off his all-around game.

"I worked really hard over the last year in trying to become more than just a guy who gets a lot of points inside and just gets by because of his athleticism," Thomas said. "I worked hard on my shooting, my dribbling and getting the ball to my teammates. I think I have done a really good job in becoming a much more complete player."

The trip also gave him a chance to travel.

"It was a really a cool adventure and something that I feel very fortunate to have been a part of," Thomas said.

He believes Melrose has a chance this season to be one of the city's best teams, even if they will be young.

"We lost a lot of seniors, but we have a lot of guys that I think are going to step up as leaders and on the court," Thomas said. "That is one of the things that I am really working on. I think we can be really good and I want to do my best to help us get it done."





Adonis Thomas


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