Hometown talent

The 2010 basketball recruiting class is getting deeper each week for LSU first year coach Trent Johnson, and this week's news comes from a homegrown product. Scotlandville Magnet small forward J.J. Thomas (6-5, 215) is one of the most explosive talents in Baton Rouge, earning First Team All-District 5-5A honors in his sophomore campaign.

Heading into his junior season, the Baton Rouge talent is beginning to get looked at by universities across the board, beginning with the hometown Tigers.


“I talk to coach Johnson and coach Donny [Guerinoni],” J.J. Thomas said. “They are recruiting me pretty hard, sending me letters and all that kind of stuff. I haven’t gotten an offer or anything yet but they seem real interested.”


Of course, while it is still very early in the recruiting game for Thomas, he is attracting a fair amount of attention from one of the Big 12’s top universities along with another school that has a good reputation on the hardwood.


“Kansas State is the other big school I am talking with right now,” Thomas said. “Other than that I am talking with DePaul and some other smaller schools.”


The Wildcats are also in contention for one of Thomas’ Brandon Bass Elite AAU travel teammates in power forward Latavious Williams, who as a reclassified senior will look to enroll at Camp Springs Progressive Christian Academy in Maryland for the fall.


With the ability to work with and against some of the nation’s top prospects, Thomas said that getting better is priority number one for this summer.


“I need to really be able to bring my game to the wing,” Thomas said. “I am a solid mid-post player right now. My shot is getting better, but it is something I need to keep working on.


“I feel like I am pretty versatile because I can post people up or just take them off the dribble. Still, a lot of things on the offensive end of the floor are what I need to be working on, because I feel like I can man up and play defense really well.”


Thomas left today (Saturday), bound for Memphis with the Louisiana Stars AAU team, where he will be playing alongside fellow Tiger recruits Chip Armelin and Matt



While Thomas has plenty of road ahead of him before pondering a college decision, the Baton Rouge-native admits that the Tigers are the team to beat early.


“I would love to stay home,” Thomas said. “It’s just a hometown thing. The new coaching staff is cool, and I really like [head] coach Johnson. He seems like a player’s kind of guy, especially how he is letting players move around and get a feel for where they want to be. Things are definitely looking good at LSU."

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