The Maryland staff is continuing its search for a senior wing to add to its current 2016 crop, and Oct. 30 head coach Mark Turgeon and assistant Dustin Clark identified another potential option in Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.) guard/forward Micah Thomas. The 6-foot-7, 185-pounder, who transferred to Huntington from a school in his native Memphis, Tenn., earlier this year, evidently shined during an open scrimmage, prompting an on-looking Turgeon to offer on the spot.
“We were scrimmage against Oak Hill Academy, and Coach Turgeon and Coach Clark flew in to see him,” explained Huntington Prep head coach Arkell Bruce. “They loved his game, and they immediately contacted myself, his AAU coach [Norton Hurd, Team Thad] and met with Micah. They offered him right there. They loved his length, the way he shot the ball and how athletic he is. They’d love to have him.”
Bruce said the senior Thomas does not speak to the media much, but the coach relayed his wing’s thoughts on his latest offer. The Huntington Prep headman admitted Thomas isn’t “too, too familiar” with Maryland’s history since he’s from Memphis, although the Terps’ current program certainly has his attention.
“Micah expressed great interest in Maryland. He was very excited about the offer, and he loved how the head coach offered him in person,” Bruce said. “I know [Thomas] is going to be doing more research on them and looking into them more. But right now he’s wide open and not going to make any decision anytime soon. He hasn’t even taken any visits yet, and we haven’t even though about which ones he’s going to take.”
That’s because Thomas may have some work to do off the court. There’s a good chance, according to Bruce, the Memphis wing may have to do a prep-school year before qualifying for Division I college ball.
“Right now Micah is concentrating on his studies and getting himself right in the classroom,” Bruce said. “There’s other major schools besides Maryland that want to offer him, but they’re waiting to see if [he’s qualified]. So we’re just working on the classroom right now, and when that’s settled we’ll think about visits and take the next step.”
Bruce did say that LSU, Arkansas and Tennessee have offers on the table, with the former two pursuing most ardently. But don’t look for Thomas to commit to either school during the early signing period.
“Right now we’re looking at [Thomas] signing in April or going the prep-school route,” Bruce said.
If Thomas is ready to sign in the 2016 class, Bruce said Maryland would definitely be an attractive destination. He said he’s known Clark and Turgeon for several years now, with both the assistant and headman trekking through Huntington Prep multiple times.
“They’ve recruited our guys in the past and we have a very good relationship with Maryland,” Bruce said. “Coach Clark is someone I’ve known for awhile now, and he’s great to work with. The Maryland program is becoming much more visible [nationally] too, and they have a heck of a class coming in and guys like Melo [Trimble] coming back. It’s a great option for our guys, and, really, any [prospect] right now.”
As far as Thomas’ game is concerned, Bruce called him a potential difference maker at the next level. The 6-7 wing showed out for Team Thad on the Under Armour AAU circuit this summer, where he first caught the eye of high-major staffs, including Maryland’s.
“He’s long, he’s a reliable shooter from 3, and he’s an explosive athlete,” Bruce said. “And he can guard multiple positions and he’s super-athletic on the defensive end. He has to work on his strength and ball-handling, but that will come.”