It's not as if Newark (NJ) Benedict Prep star Lance Thomas needed any more attention. But for all intents and purposes, he's getting it anyhow.
The 6-8 power forward averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds a game this past season as a junior, giving him the ranking of the seventh-best power forward in the class of 2006, and more impressively, ranked 13th nationally by ScoutHoops.com.
For his performance and ability, Thomas has garnered attention and scholarship offers from many of the top basketball programs in the country. And now, at least one more has joined the list.
We spoke with Thomas on Wednesday evening, and he filled us in on the latest with his AAU season for the New Heights AAU team, as well as much of his recruiting and college wishes.
Here is the conversation we had with Thomas:
Bucknuts: First, tell me a little about your AAU season and how it's going.
Lance Thomas: "It's going pretty well. We have been playing hard. We haven't done as well as expected but we're fighting. That's all that counts and everyone is getting better."
BN: How are you doing personally?
LT: "I'm doing very well. I think that I've enhanced my perimeter game a lot more. I've just been working out and going to the big AAU events. Other than that, I've been living in the gym and trying to work on the other parts of my game."
BN: Describe specifically what you're working on as far as your game, whether it's your dribbling, your shooting, or whatever it is you're working on.
LT: "I'm just working on shooting the ball consistently from the outside. I feel I can do that 100 times better. I just feel as though I don't have a consistent shot from the outside. I can make it, but you know, I really want to be to the point I'm automatic from out there. I just keep working on that."
BN: What would you say has been your best event so far this spring?
LT: "Probably the tournament in Arkansas, the Real Deal on the Hill."
BN: You had a pretty good tournament down there according to everyone that watched you, and your name has really popped up even more after that. Has it shown in the way teams have been recruiting you since then?
LT: "Oh yes, if you've seen me play or anyone for that matter, they probably mention how hard I play. If everything isn't going well, you don't see me pouting up the floor and I take pride in that. I think people have been pleased with my game."
BN: Has that kind of attitude helped with your teammates? I would imagine that it helps out there with them in picking each other up, and that it helps with how they view you as a person and a player.
LT: "Yes, it definitely does. A lot of people on my team look up to me. Being a leader and a coach on the floor is very important to me."
BN: You have a whole host of schools that have been recruiting you and been looking at you the last several weeks. What are some of the ones you're specifically looking at now?
LT: "I'm still pretty much open, but the schools that have been recruiting me the most that I'm looking at are Arizona, Duke, Villanova, Georgia Tech, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Louisville, and Ohio State. Those are the ones that are recruiting me the hardest. Oh, and Wake Forest too."
BN: You mentioned Ohio State. They are a new team on your list and here in the picture a little later than some of the others. What can you tell me about them?
LT: "Well, they are solid program and one of only two teams that beat Illinois this year. They are really impressive and I think they are a powerhouse on the rise and I'm definitely planning to keep them on my list."
LT: "Oh yes, in fact it would be great to play with those guys. They are both great players and great players build a great program. You know, it would definitely be great to play along side Greg Oden, Daequan Cook, Mike Conley, and people like that. It would definitely be a bonus."
BN: I know you have been really open so far, but have you had any favorites that stand out more than others?
LT: "No, I'm really just trying to stay open right now and I try not to get caught up in the recruiting business."
BN: Have you taken any visits so far this spring?
LT: "This spring, I visited Villanova unofficially just a couple of weeks ago."
BN: How did that go?
LT: "It went really well. At the same time, Gerald Henderson and Wayne Ellington took their official visits. We are pretty good friends, so we all visited together. They went officially and I went unofficially."
BN: What are some of the things you are looking for as far as college selection goes? What stands out for you personally?
LT: "I just want to be successful. I want to part of a family atmosphere. Also, schools that would host a major that I'm interested in is another important thing. Right now I'm geared towards architecture and engineering, so I'm doing my homework as far as schools that have those programs."
BN: That's pretty cool isn't it? There aren't too many kids that are ambitious enough to try at an early age to get into architecture or even engineering. How did you get into that?
LT: "Well, most of my family knows how to draw really well. Well, everybody does to tell you the truth. I realized I could draw really well at an early age, and I've been doing it since the 5th grade on. Now I draw really well and I'd like to take it somewhere."
BN: When are you going to start taking official visits, assuming that you are?
LT: "I will probably end up taking them before the fall of my senior year, this summer. I'm still not sure if I might not get a couple in here pretty soon, but I can keep you updated."
BN: The last question I had for you was what camps you would be attending this summer?
LT: "I'm still up in the air on that. I'm still undecided. I've been thinking it over, but I'll have to keep you informed about that as well."