Rob Thomas: Underrated?

For some reason, Rob Thomas hasn't gotten the respect he deserves. He led the NEPSAC in scoring a year ago, yet isn't getting much attention from college coaches.

He dominated arguably the toughest competition in the country last season. He went out and played well at the ABCD Camp in July. Still, Rob Thomas hasn't quite earned the respect he deserves.

The former St. Thomas More (Conn.) star, who has transferred to South Kent (Conn.) for his junior season, isn't just lacking in the respect department – he's also feeling somewhat slighted in the recruiting end of things as well.

Thomas is a big-time player. Plain and simple.

``I think he's one of the top five juniors in the country," South Kent coach Raphael Chillious said. "It's kind of sad because no one really talks about him like that. He has the potential to be the best player on a team with a kid (Andray Blatche) who is a potential NBA lottery pick."

He tips the scales at about 6-foot-6 ½ and 200 pounds. Hardly intimidating. Not very imposing. However, he outworks opponents and scores with an assortment of moves in the paint.

One recent coach compared his game to former NBA star Adrian Dantley.

Thomas is a New York native who took an unofficial visit to St. John's about a month or so ago. He also said he likes UConn and South Florida, but hasn't had much interest from college coaches beyond those three.

Part of it may be academics. South Kent coach Raphael Chillious is working with Thomas to quality after two years under his tutelage – and it may come down to whether or not Thomas chooses to play this summer on the circuit.

``I already told the headmaster here that I'm going to stay here and go to summer school," Thomas said. "I want to make sure I am eligible to play in college."

Thomas is steadily improving his game away from the basket instead of relying on his body control and relentlessness to score in the paint. He has displayed the ability to knock down the jumper just inside the three-point arc with consistency and has also mad strides in scoring off the dribble.

``He's become more comfortable shooting it from the outside," Chillious said. "Now he expects it to go in."


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