Hoop Recruiting: Thomas Has 'Fantastic' Visit

Seven-footer Ibrahima Thomas was the only player to make an official visit to Oklahoma State this past weekend. The Cowboys seemed to have made quite an impression on the Senegal native. We spoke with Stoneridge Prep director Mike Mahoney on Monday night and he filled us in on the details.

The visit to Oklahoma State was the third i 1about 10 days for Thomas (after trips to Rutgers and Ball State). But the trip from Stoneridge Prep in Simi Valley, Calif., to Stillwater certainly opened his eyes.

"He had a fantastic time. I could see the look in his eyes and how much he enjoyed himself,' Mahoney said. "He was on cloud nine so to speak. He was very, very excited. I can't say any more than that ... other than to say that he was really, really pleased with what he saw there. They made a great, great impression."

But Thomas still plans to take his final two official visits – to Fresno State this weekend and to Auburn. However, he was scheduled to trip to Auburn on Nov. 10-11 but that is now in jeopardy, said Mahoney. Thomas was going to travel to Auburn after Stoneridge Prep played in the NEAA Preseason NIT in Morrow, Ga. But Stoneridge Prep is now going to play in Chicago that weekend, "I still think he could take it but it's up in the air," Mahoney said.

Mahoney said that Thomas is still planning to sign during the week-long early signing period which begins Nov. 8, and will not delay signing until next April if he can't work in the visit to Auburn. "He's not going to wait until the spring," he said. "If he doesn't make it to Auburn he'll decide between the other four schools."

Rutgers also made a favorable impression on Thomas during his visit to the Big East school. Former Stoneridge teammate Hamady N'diaye, also from Senegal, is a freshman this season for the Scarlet Knights.

"Of the three visits he's taken the two visits that would represent what he would want (in a school) are Rutgers and Oklahoma State," Mahoney said. "I think it would be safe to say that he wants to trail blaze his own success. Whereas if he went to Rutgers he would be following in the steps of a former teammate. There are pluses and minuses in doing that but I think he wants to go somewhere on his own and blaze his own trail of success."

Mahoney could not say enough about how excited Thomas was upon returning from Stillwater.

"He was gushing about his visit. It was a great visit. I don't think the school and the people who set it up could have done any better," Mahoney said.

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