Thomas On the Rise

Heading into July only four high major offers, Onalaska (Wis) HS guard Matt Thomas has already taken advantage of the July evaluation period, picking up an offer from Minnesota and getting increased interest from Wisconsin.

MADISON - With college coaches finally able to hit the road during the month of July, high school basketball stars finally have the ability to raise their stock a couple points. Competing this past weekend in the NY2LA tournament in Mequon with his AAU team the Wisconsin Playmakers, Matt Thomas a junior guard from Onalaska (Wis) HS, certainly had the audience that increased his stock.

Minnesota Head Coach Tubby Smith and Wisconsin Badgers assistant coach Lamont Paris were in Mequon watching Thomas, and Smith was impressed enough by Thomas performance in the tournament to extend him an offer.

"I called the coaches at Minnesota and that's when they offered me," Thomas told Badger Nation. "I talked to them a little bit about the offer and about the school. I was excited about the offer because it came from a good basketball program."

It was easy to see why Smith came away impressed by Thomas performance, as he showed he was one of the better players in the tournament.

"Our team went 5-1 and we lost in the semifinals," Thomas said. "I thought I played really well. I shot the ball well and I was able to drive to the basket. I had a couple 20 point games and I was also able to get my teammates involved."

Paris and Smith couldn't speak with Thomas in person during the NY2LA tournament due to NCAA rules, but Thomas said he has started a dialogue with the Wisconsin coaching staff.

The tournament Thomas competed in this past weekend is just the start of a busy month, meaning he will have plenty of chances to show off his skills to different college coaches, as well as the Wisconsin coaches.

"We leave today (Tuesday) for Milwaukee to compete in the NY2LA tournament again," Thomas said. "Then we are going to Orlando for the Super Showcase on July 20 for a week and then we play in a tournament at the end of the month in the Wisconsin Dells."

If Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan and his assistants are impressed with what they see this month, Ryan will probably extend an offer to Thomas. Wisconsin would join an already impressive list of offers for Thomas. Besides holding an offer from Minnesota, Thomas has offers from Creighton, Green Bay, Iowa State and Northern Iowa.

"I'm not sure where Wisconsin would rank among my other offers," Thomas said. "I want to build a relationship with the coaches and see how I fit in with the program. I also want to be able to get along with the players."

Wisconsin is expected to have three scholarships available in the 2013 class.

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