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Thomas Welsh, the top center in the west for 2014, recently spent time at Cal, Stanford, UCLA and USC...

Thomas Welsh, 7-0 SR C Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola, has improved significantly in the past year, to the point that he's now the top center prospect in the West Coast class of 2014. Welsh has always had solid fundamentals, keeping the ball high at all times and making good decisions with the ball in the post. The big change for him has been that he's grown into his body. He's much more agile now than he was a year ago, quicker to the ball and able to make a lot more plays at both ends. He's always been a hard worker, as you could see his skills getting better incrementally at each viewing. He's got a nice little jump hook now and he'll consistently knock down shots in the 12-15 foot range if left open.

I spoke with Welsh recently and asked him about some of the trips he has taken recently.

"I went to Cal and Stanford for unofficial visits," said Welsh. "I was really impressed with the campuses and the coaches are really good people."

Welsh also took an unofficial visit to UCLA recently.

"Coach Grace has been the main one recruiting me and I took a tour of the campus," said Welsh. "They said they can't offer yet because Coach Alford hasn't seen me play. They said he'll come out and watch me in July and check me out I guess."

When asked if the Bruin staff discussed their system and how they use their big men, Welsh replied, "a little bit, but not very much."

Welsh recently participated in the USC Elite Camp.

"There were a lot of guys there, about 130 I think," said Welsh. "The coaches are really great. I really like Coach Enfield."

I pointed out that Welsh has several schools with strong academics on his list.

"Yes, academics are really big," said Welsh. "As far as the other criteria, I'm not really sure. I'm just kind of looking at the big picture right now. I think once I start to get more interested in schools I'll start narrowing it down and see what I'm really interested in."

I asked Welsh about the timing of his decision.

"If I fall in love with a school then I'll probably sign in the early signing period," said Welsh. "But if I'm not really sure I'll just take my time and wait until I have good information to make the correct decision."

Welsh said he currently has a 3.8 GPA.


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