LAS VEGAS -- Thon Maker, the top-ranked player in the 2016 class, has drawn interest from nearly every major school in the nation.
Maker and his Team Loaded Virginia team found themselves in a difficult situation Wednesday at the adidas Super 64 in Las Vegas, but Maker didn't panic. He knew it was time to take the game over, and he did.
Maker made a 3-pointer, blocked two shots and made a pair of free throws to seal a tough comeback win against Stackhouse Elite. Maker finished the game with 16 points and nine rebounds on 3-of-8 shooting.
"His pace is better," Maker's guardian, Ed Smith, told AllHoosiers.com. "He knows how to win the game and affect the game in other areas. He's one of the lowest shot takers of all the other highly ranked guys in the nation. Other guys are putting up volume. He's controlling one end of the floor, defensively, he's stopping. He's sharing the ball with his teammates and playing good basketball. He doesn't feel rushed. A lot of guys are, 'Well, I gotta do this for my ranking.' If you get eight points, 12 rebounds, five blocks and we win the game ... He understands he could go for 20 or 30, but sometimes other guys are open. You make the right basketball play."
Reclassification has been a hot topic for a number of elite prospects in 2016, and especially for Maker. But Smith told AllHoosiers.com it is not very likely Maker will end up in the 2015 class.
"It's tough," Smith said. "It's tougher than we thought because of the amount of work you have to do. If we had had the summer to take some summer classes ... but the summer has been so hectic. It's probably not very likely. There's no rush. You want to make sure your body's ready and you're also ready academically and socially."
Maker has been invited to play in the adidas Nations in August and also the Global Challenge. Smith said Maker will definitely play in the adidas Nations but isn't sure beyond that.
"I think he's kind of worn, so we're gonna kind of keep an eye on his body," Smith said. "Our thing is, we're trying to win championships, so we're focused on the here and now. But we know we have the adidas Nations next on the plate."
Maker plans to take some unofficial visits in August, Smith said, but he doesn't have an exact schedule for those trips because of Maker's busy schedule.
Smith does expect Maker to take a visit to Indiana, though, whether it comes in August or sometime in the fall.
"It's a little bit difficult because of our schedule," Smith said. "How do you get out there to the Midwest? If it was the West Coast or something, you'd say, 'Oh, OK, we're right here.' But we'll get a chance to get out there in the fall or whatever. We'll get a chance to get out there and seem them.
"Our area schools, Duke, UVA, N.C. State [will be first]. Those guys are right in our backyard so we'll be there in a few seconds in and out. We may get a chance while we're out at the adidas Nations to see UCLA."