Thomas eager to visit Chapel Hill

North Carolina fans can give an assist to Russell Robinson.

Unless you are a true diehard recruiting aficionado, you might not even know who Robinson is. The Rice High (N.Y.) 6-2 combo guard shocked many when he committed to Kansas over UConn a month or so ago.

Once Robinson chose the Jayhawks, it cleared the way for Roy Williams to land heady, pass-first Oakland (Calif.) point guard Quentin Thomas.

However, if Robinson had gone with the Huskies, there's a pretty good chance that UNC would still be waiting to see if Thomas would choose to be the successor to Raymond Felton.

"Man, I don't know who I would have picked," Thomas admitted. "It could have gone on for a while. I probably would still be wrestling with it and would have waited until I visited North Carolina."

Thomas will still visit Chapel Hill. Only when he steps foot on campus on Nov. 7, he won't have to be persuaded with a sales pitch. He's already sold on the tradition of Carolina.

"I don't think it's really set in that I'm going to North Carolina yet," Thomas added. "It probably will when I get out there."

Thomas was a guy who has played in the shadows for much of his life. He backed up Miami sophomore Armando Surratt his first two seasons and then took a back seat to California freshman power forward Leon Powe last year.

In fact, Williams saw him for the first time when he was a sophomore playing alongside Powe at a high school tournament a couple years ago.

But the school to show him the most love throughout the process was clearly Arizona State. Then Kansas jumped in.

"It made it so much easier when Russell Robinson committed to Kansas," Thomas said. "It was hard. I enjoyed both of my visits to ASU and Kansas, but so many people were telling me so many good things about North Carolina that I felt I couldn't go wrong."

Thomas knows what he needs to work on prior to stepping foot on campus as a freshman less than a year from now. He admits his shot must get more consistent from the perimeter and that his vocal leadership must continue to get better. But he dispels any notion that he'll be playing over his head at UNC.

"No way," he said. "I'm the type of person – not even player – that needs to be pushed," he said. "I know I can play there and I do better when I am pushed."

As for the possibility that Felton is gone to the NBA by the time Thomas gets to college, the Oakland native would rather have it the other way.

"Personally, I'd rather go in and learn from him," Thomas said. "He's been in the program and is a great player. I can learn a lot from him."


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