Indianapolis –Tom Crean has been traveling from coast to coast evaluating high school players in recent weeks, but he's also been eyeing some of the top local talent as well.
Included on that list is Southport (Ind.) freshman point guard Kellon Thomas, who worked out for Crean two weeks ago at his high school. A pure point who can break down a defender and get into the lane, Thomas is another one of the top Class of 2012 in-state talents that is already attracting plenty of attention.
While Thomas admitted that working out in front of a high major Division I coach at such a young age applies some pressure, he said he heard very good feedback from his AAU coach, Chris Hawkins, about what Crean's impressions were.
"(Crean) said he likes my game and that I'm looking really good," Thomas said. "He said to keep working."
That's exactly what Thomas intends to do this summer. The 5'10", 160-pounder is the starting point guard on a loaded 15-and-under Spiece Indy Heat team that has finished second and third in its first two AAU events. He's playing alongside Broad Ripple's Ron Patterson, Avon's Austin Burgett, Lawrence Central's Jeremy Hollowell and Sullivan's Rhett Smith, among others, making up a team that should be one of the country's best in the age division.
"I don't think anyone can beat us," Thomas said. "We have the best players from around the state, and I think we have a great team."
In the first couple of events, Thomas has been the one who has been making the team go. He pushes the ball on the break and has a plethora of options to drop the ball off to in transition. He's also been shooting the ball with some more consistency from the 3-point arc, which he said was going to be a point of emphasis for him this summer.
"I like the talent I'm playing with because when I push it, it's easy to kick it and they can all finish," said Thomas, who averaged 10.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists as a freshman at Southport.
Indiana isn't the only school that has already taken notice of Thomas' skills. He's also made unofficials to Purdue and Butler, and intends to take a look at Iowa as well along with a couple of his AAU teammates. But with three years of high school remaining, Thomas is just in the beginning stages of figuring out what the future holds.
"Right now, I'm just talking to my parents and seeing what they think, and my coach is helping me look at things too," Thomas said. "But the biggest thing right now is to just keep working on my game."
Crean Gets Closer Look at 2012's Thomas
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