It’s been a busy couple of weeks for top 100 prospect Quintrell Thomas from Elizabeth (NJ) St. Patrick. The six-foot-eight inch power forward has been busy hosting coaches on in home visits before getting started with his official visits last weekend when he checked out nearby Rutgers. While his visit to the New Brunswick/Piscataway campus went well, Thomas still has visits to Maryland (this weekend), Kansas (next weekend) and UNLV (Oct. 12th) left on his travel itinerary before making his decision.
According to Derrick Bobbitt, Thomas’s New Jersey Elite club coach, Thomas’s toughness and work ethic have made him a favorite among coaches.
“He’s kind of a throwback four type of a player,” said Bobbitt. “He’s not one of these kids who had a whole lot of fanfair coming up, and now people are really seeing what he can do.”
One of the coaching staff’s that Thomas hosted recently was that of the Kansas Jayhawks. From the sounds of it, the visit went off very well.
“It went super. It was Coach Self and Coach Dooley,” Bobbitt told Phog.Net. “Coach Self is a very charismatic dude so that’s a lot in itself. They were very honest and forthright and that they want him to come to school at Kansas.”
In Thomas, Self sees a kid whose best days of playing are ahead of him and he loves his toughness.
“Coach Self feels like they can help him improve and that his best days are ahead of him,” said Bobbitt of Thomas. “He’s a tough kid and coach Self really likes tough players.”
Like any other kid, Thomas is looking to get a quality education, play as early as possible and play in the NCAA Tournament. Another important factor is that he feels comfortable that the coach of the program he picks will be around for a while.
“One of the things that we are already sure about, and this is with all of the schools, is that he wants to go someplace where the coach is going to be around,” said Bobbitt. “With Kansas, there’s nowhere else to go from there so he knows Self is going to be there. It’s not like you can go and get a better job than Kansas.”
That isn’t to say that each of the other three finalists don’t have strong selling points as well.
“With Rutgers, pretty much it’s just about believing in the dream,” said Bobbitt. “It’s interesting because with the other programs they are all winning programs now and have been in the past. That’s not the case when you talk about Rutgers so they’ve got to get kids to believe in turning it around.”
As for Maryland?
“I would say the first national programs that were in on him were Maryland and Marquette, so being one of the first big programs to recruit him helps,” said Bobbitt. “They’ve got a great coach, great program and a great facility.”
And finally, what does Thomas like about UNLV?
“UNLV has an intriguing style of play, four men like him play for them,” said Bobbitt of the Running Rebels. “They aren’t in as strong a conference but they’ll be one of the top one or two teams in that conference every year. So you are talking about a team that is always going to be tournament bound. It’s a long way from home, but you have a coach like Lon Krueger out there.”
With a decision looming in the next month, Thomas’s visits are going to be very important and it’s especially true for Kansas.
“The visit is going to be extremely important. I know I had my perception of what Kansas was before I even went out there,” said Bobbitt. “I actually went out there a couple of months ago and it was nothing like I imagined. It’s a beautiful campus, there's plenty to do and there are other inner city kids there. Kansas basketball is their New York Knicks or New York Giants or what have you, they are like their pro team out there.
“It’s very important that he sees that.”