Standing 7-foot-2, 260-pounds, the Cypress Community Christian (Texas) standout has vaulted up the recruiting rankings – all the way to No. 39 in the Scout.com 2006 rankings - this spring.
Thabeet enjoyed a solid senior season, but it's been his outstanding play on the AAU circuit this spring at the Houston Kingwood Classic and Next Level Tournament in Dallas that has high majors like UConn, Cincinnati, Louisville, Miami and others drooling for his signature on a national letter of intent.
"He just progressed so much," McClanahan told InsideTheVille.com Wednesday afternoon. "The biggest thing is he just loves to play and he works hard at improving his skills. He's a very quick learner and he can put what he learns to use on the court. He really wants to prove that he can play at the highest levels."
Thabeet has already tripped to UConn – he watched the Huskies beat Louisville 84-80 in March – and has an official visit scheduled to Cincinnati next weekend. After that, Cypress Community Christian coach Mark McClanahan isn't sure what will happen.
"Everybody recruiting him wants him to make a visit," McClanahan said. "He hasn't scheduled any other visits expect to Cincinnati at this point. He's not sure about any other visits, but I think he's talked to Miami about possibly visiting."
McClanahan said Thabeet has narrowed his options to four schools: UConn, Cincinnati, Louisville and Miami. Presently, McClanahan said the Huskies probably hold a slight advantage because of his earlier visit.
Thabeet has risen up the
rankings this spring.
As for the Cardinals, Louisville coaches have been trailing him all spring, visiting him at Cypress Christian during the spring evaluation period, and keeping a close eye on him at both the Kingwood Classic and Dallas' Next Level Tournament, where assistant Kevin Willard kept tabs.
"Coach Pitino talked to Hasheem right after Dallas," said McClanahan. "Coach Pitino being at Louisville is a big plus for them and so is playing in the Big East. He's seen them play when he visited Connecticut and he's really developed a good relationship with Coach Menzies."
Academically, Thabeet is still awaiting a qualifying SAT score.
"He's right on the verge of qualifying," said McClanahan.
Thabeet is rated the eighth-best center prospect in the senior class nationally.