UT leads for Thomas

After losing top prospect Jamont Gordon to Mississippi State and November signee Tyler Smith to prep school, Tennessee may be on the verge of adding a basketball player.

Maurice Thomas, a 6-8, 210-pound forward from Lutheran Christian High School of Philadelphia, seemed impressed with last weekend's official visit with the Vols.

''They're the leader,'' Thomas told Jeff Goodman of InsideCarolina.com. ''It's a nice atmosphere and (head coach) Bruce Pearl is real cool.''

Thomas is a slender but acrobatic power forward with excellent moves that enable him to go to the hoop exceptionally well. Reportedly, he gave verbal commitments to Texas-El Paso and Nevada-Las Vegas previously but now says he's considering UT, Wake Forest, Southern Cal and UTEP.

Thomas earlier expressed interest in the national champion North Carolina Tar Heels but, apparently, the interest is not mutual. Thus, a planned visit to Chapel Hill seems likely to be scrapped.

''It just didn't happen,'' Thomas said.


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