A look at: Cam Thoroughman

BlueGoldNews.com watched the games of the Red Oxen at West Virginia's basketball camp last week. Here's a look at an individual player and what he might add to the Mountaineers this season. Up next: Perhaps the next Jo Herber in Cam Thoroughman.

Listed at 6-7, 185 pounds, the Portsmouth, Ohio product showcased the physicality and the ability to handle multiple assignments last week. He plays rugged defense and does everything well but nothing spectacularly. He can fit the three and four spots, but the five is asking a lot of a player who has been listed as both a guard and a forward.

Thoroughman used whatever was at hand – namely his elbow, forearm and knee – to edge foes out of the paint. He wasn't shy about putting the elbow into the back of the head if a foe was much shorter than he was, especially if, as 2007 West Virginia commit John Flowers did, that opponent kept nearly falling into Thoroughman to push closer to the basket. He also handles the ball decently and has the ability to pass well and find other open players.

He is not the flashiest of the incoming freshmen. In fact, he might be the most unflashy. But he is the type of player fifth-year West Virginia head coach John Beilein loves: One with a sort of blue-collar outlook who works constantly and is willing to do just one thing, like rebounding, if that's what's needed, or provide a physical element on drives and defense if his team is getting tosses around too much.

That physical style was hampered when Thoroughman tore the medial meniscus in his knee midway through his senior season. He has rehabbed the injury, which did not include any damage to ligaments and is expected to fully heal with no life-long consequences, and didn't show any noticeable limp when running. Because of his inability to do cardio workouts for an extended time, and his missing half of his senior season, the jack-of-all-trades is still working into game condition.

He did play in two All-Star games, one of which he dunked three times in, and said then that he was nearing 100 percent. Still, with the conditioning of head strength coach Mike Barwis and head men's and women's basketball strength coach Jeff Giosi, Throughman and the rest of the Mountaineers will find that they are all more out of shape than anticipated.

Another upside to Thoroughman is his wingspan, which is longer than that of most 6-7 players. That allows him to play bigger, rebound better and get into the passing lanes, the latter of which is a key to Beilein's 1-3-1 zone sets. Thoroughman, who also plays tennis, said he had been doing a lot of plyometrics (jumping, hopping, etc. to gain a combination of speed and strength that leads to power), something the WVU strength program uses intensely.

He will likely fit into the three spot and be used to fill gaps when other players need rests. That's not to say Thoroughman will never start; far from it. But, like Herber, he is so good at so many things that he is a natural to be put into varying game situations while specializing in none. Rare is the player who can pull off such stints, but Throughman's brand of basketball and his physical traits all seen suited to such a challenge.

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