What's In Store For DeAndre Thomas?

In the fall Chipola (Fla.) Junior College big man DeAndre Thomas verbally committed to IU with the intentions of signing in the spring. But with scholarship number issues, will that situation work out? Chipola J.C. Coach Greg Heiar talks about Thomas' future as well as his play this winter...

Bloomington, Ind. – So what does the future have in store for DeAndre Thomas?

It's pretty clear what the 6-8, 303-pound center from Chipola (Fla.) Junior College wants to do – play alongside his childhood friend and junior college teammate JaMarcus Ellis in Bloomington. While Ellis signed with IU in the fall, Thomas has verbally committed to the Hoosiers with the plans to sign in the spring.

The question, though, is whether IU will have a scholarship available. On paper Indiana's 13 scholarships are accounted for on the 2007-08 team with eight returning scholarship players and the five players who signed letters of intent. So Thomas' future in an IU uniform appears dependent on one of those scholarships coming available.

"I really don't know (where things stand right now)," said Chipola J.C. Coach Greg Heiar. "Like I told DeAndre, we'll worry about that when the season is over. I tell people he's committed to Indiana."

Thomas is in the midst of helping guide Chipola to a special season. He's averaging 15.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and is shooting 61 percent from the floor on a team that is 27-1 and ranked No. 3 nationally.

"He's a low post scoring machine, but he's so unselfish down there, he'll get his teammates involved when he gets double teamed," Heiar said.

Heiar also said Thomas has improved a great deal on the defensive end, and he's made steady improvement with his conditioning as well.

"He probably hasn't made the strides I would have liked for him to make (from a conditioning standpoint), but conditioning hasn't been a factor in a game for him," Heiar said. "His runs aren't as long as maybe a Jamarcus Ellis who can play eight or nine straight minutes as hard as he can, where DeAndre is going three or four minutes when he's playing as hard as he can. But that will come with time."

So will some clarity to Thomas' situation with the Hoosiers.

"My job is to keep DeAndre focused and we don't need to worry about that at this point in the year," Heiar said. "He understands – he's a mature young man. He's having a great year, and hopefully after the season is over things will work out where he is a Hoosier."

Peegs.com Top Stories