Lance Thomas Will Include UConn in First Tier

"The list is long, but distinguished", an appropriate phrase from the movie Top Gun that's also applicable to Lance Thomas's recruitment. With the some of the country's top programs knocking at his door, the 6-8 power forward is in an enviable position. But trimming his monster list of schools has been anything but easy.

Lance and his uncle Monty Montgomery are working towards separating the list into two tiers by the end of September. Though Thomas has some tough decision-making ahead, his uncle was able to confirm that UConn will be one of Lance's first tier schools and stated an unofficial visit to the Storrs campus could take place as early as next week.


"The list is in the process of being broken down into tiers, but UConn would definitely be in that first tier," Monty confirmed. "Lance will trim his list by the end of the month. I don't think it will be this week. We're going to definitely take an unofficial visit to UConn before the month (September) is over," Monty continued. "It's probably going to be one day next week but I'm not sure yet. I'm trying to see how things go. We're probably going to drive up and let him take a look at things, but UConn will remain on his list. He plans on going to UConn a couple of times before the year is out especially when the season gets underway."


Thomas and his uncle now face the daunting task of finding reasons to say no to schools such as North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest, Connecticut, Arizona, Georgia Tech, and Florida, just to name a few.


"It's hard. We just don't have an idea, because like I said, when you have great places and Coach Calhoun, Coack K, and Coach Olson you have some great choices. It doesn't matter, it's like you can't go wrong -- but you want to be in the right situation," states Montgomery. "Once we get going on visits it will help trim the list down a lot because you want to check out the atmosphere."


How a coach decides to utilize Thomas will play a huge role in his decision-making process. The versatile Thomas prefers to face up but is projected as a combo forward capable of playing both frontcourt positions.


"If he's going to be a four, then he has to be a four that's not stuck under the basket, but a four that is allowed to show his versatility as he develops into more of a true 3-man. I don't want to see him as a four who sprints straight to the block and concentrates just on boxing out and getting a rebound," Monty said. "He's not interested in a system like that and nor am I interested in putting him in a system like that. I'm interested in him being allowed to show his versatility and continuing to grow as a basketball player. He has so much more to offer than just being a defensive specialist," Monty stated.


There's been plenty of recruiting speculation about whether or not 6-7 Chase Budinger's commitment to Arizona would impact whether or not Thomas keeps the Wildcats on his list. The multi-talented Budinger also plays the three which leads people to wonder whether the Arizona frontcourt would be too crowded for Lance?


"I don't think it impacts his choice. Chase is an excellent player, Lance would love to play with Chase but he's never really sat down and said if they get Chase does this push me out the door? People may feel that way because of Chase being a combo forward but he's never really sat down and said does this mean anything for me?"


These are all questions Thomas will have to ask himself as he scrutinizes his inventory of possible college choices. The UConn program definitely provides some positives factors for the Newark, NJ resident to consider including Calhoun's prior history of developing NBA players.


"Oh yes! That definitely factors in because whenever you get an opportunity to play for a coach that has had success just winning period, it makes a big difference. When you look at the amount of players that have turned out to be great NBA players, that's definitely a big factor, I mean he has a long track record. On top of being a Hall Of Fame coach he's had great success with that," said Montgomery.'s #6 rated power forward is an athletic finisher in the open court and would excel in the Huskies fast-paced style of play.


"He likes to get out and run in the up tempo style because he's an excellent finisher. He likes that style of play compared to the half court style. He's a finisher who likes to dunk."


There's no doubt the UConn staff is attracted to Thomas because of his versatility, size,  tireless work ethic, and his toughness -- all qualities that would aid an inexperienced Husky team in 2006-2007.


"He's definitely a tough player that would definitely fit into the UConn scheme of things. He's a hard worker who really doesn't mind working. He has a burning desire to get better and to become the best basketball player he can possibly be, as well as be an impact player and win championships," says Monty.








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