Thomas Emerging As Big-Timer

Pound for pound, Memphis can hang with just about any metro area in the country when it comes to producing talent. Adonis Thomas is the city's next big thing.

Ticketed by locals for stardom since he began high school, Thomas spent the better part of the spring and summer showing why locals are so high on the 6-foot-5 junior wing from Melrose High.

Playing on a Memphis Magic team laden with senior talent, the ultra athletic Thomas was able to find spots to demonstrate what he's capable of.

"Overall I think I did real well," said Thomas of his summer. "It was a good time for me to show college coaches that I can play defense. I really stuck out on defense and kind of picked spots offensively."

Even though he didn't put up huge numbers on the summer circuit, Thomas isn't concerned. Playing with that older group, he understood that he'll get his shots next spring and summer.

"A lot of our guys like to dominate the ball a lot because they are older and this is their last year," said Thomas. "Myself, I like to play my role and play defense and do what I can. I have next summer for all of that. We won the Adidas 64 so it all worked out."

Thanks to the work he put in with the Magic, at the Lebron James camp and while playing for USA Basketball's 16-and-under team that won a gold medal in Argentina, Thomas has rocketed onto the scene. Generally considered one of the premier wings in 2011 - and currently ranked the No. 15 overall prospect in the class by - he enjoys the recognition.

"It's good for me," said Thomas of the accolades. "I've really been working hard. I've been in the gym working hard. Being a guy from a city like Memphis and being known nationwide is going to be good for me in the long run."

On the recruiting front, Thomas has received so much attention that it's almost impossible for him to list all of his suitors. Among those who have been the most aggressive are hometown Memphis, Tennessee, Florida, Georgetown, Kentucky, Miami, Oklahoma, Missouri, Marquette, Indiana, Duke and Florida State to name a few.

Also in the mix is Roy Williams and the North Carolina Tar Heels.

"The last time I spoke with Roy Williams was coming back from King City Classic," said Thomas on Tuesday evening. "I spoke to Coach Robinson here today and he said that he and Coach Williams will be coming out to watch me in September."

"Mainly they've just been talking about coming down to see me this fall. Then coming to watch my games this season.

At this point, the Tar Heels have yet to offer but Thomas says he's not worried about when offers come from different schools. He also spoke about rumors suggesting that he's North Carolina's to lose if/when an offer is made by the coaching staff.

"They've got a guard (Leslie McDonald) from here in Memphis recently so I think that they would be one of my top choices," Thomas said. "I still want to keep all of the colleges the same because I haven't been out there. But, they'll always be one of the schools that I like."

Done with his summer of traveling and putting himself on the map nationally, Thomas is now focused on his junior year, which started on Monday. He'll likely take some visits this fall but has yet to set anything up and thinks that he may wait until the spring of his senior year to make a decision. When he does, a variety of factors will come into play.

"First is mainly the academics - my momma is big on that," said Thomas. "Then just the environment, the city and the atmosphere of a school. Then based on the team and where I fit in with them."

Scouting Report:
Standing 6-5, Thomas is an electric straight-up leaper who skies for dunks in traffic and transition. Quick with long arms and good instincts, he's among the premier wing defenders in high school, regardless of class. He looks good shooting one and two dribble pull-ups from between 12 and 17 feet but will need to continue to work on his jumper and ball handling skills to make the full-time transition to the wing.

Adonis Thomas Profile

Inside Carolina Top Stories