Swagger is something 2009 Southside PG/SF Quinton Thomas started to acquire this past season. Thomas and teammate Robbie Dreher lead Southside to a AA state championship in one of the most dominating playoff runs in recent memory. Thomas and the Tigers ran the playoff table and usually the deficits were 20 points or greater. The Tigers lost Robbie Dreher to an ankle injury early in the season and while they lost their only two games of the season against AAA around the block rivals J.L. Mann it may have been exactly what was needed to elevate Quinton Thomas to the next level.
Asked if the injury to his teammate played a role in his assertiveness and confidence throughout the second half of the season he replied, "Yeah probably when Robbie got hurt everybody told me I had to step up. I had to shoot a lot more and I worked hard on it. Just worked on my shot and improving it."
That confidence and strong play earned Thomas All-State honors. The 6'5 187 pounder also talked about the state championship run as well. "It was fun because you know we all expected to win it but we wanted to go out and play hard. I guess you could say it was easy but we always wanted to go out and have fun and we looked forward to going to state and coming away with a win unlike last year." The loss two years ago against Lee Central in the state championship spoiled an undefeated season. The goal was to finish the mission this season. Despite the two losses Thomas and his Southside teammates were glad the results were different this year.
Already playing AAU ball with his Carolina Celtics squad Thomas has a number of things he'd like to accomplish this AAU season. "I want to continue to get stronger in the weight room and I want to be able to get to the rack a little easier. I also want to put more advanced moves into my game. This AAU season I want to try and get more offers, more looks from more schools, and get my name out there more."
Speaking of offers Thomas says he holds offers from Wyoming and Marist. He's also getting strong interest from Western Kentucky, High Point, and Charleston Southern. Thomas stays in contact with all of the aforementioned programs on a regular basis.
"I am supposed to go to Western Kentucky for a camp and High Point wants me to come up there too." Those visits could very likely lead to scholarship offers if those programs like what they see in the big point guard. When asked if he liked the idea of former WKU coach Darrin Horn moving to South Carolina as their new head coach he says he'd be interested in hearing from Horn's Gamecocks. As of yet he hasn't heard from Horn or his staff but given his elite status among the 2009 Palmetto State prospects it should be sooner than later before he hears from the Gamecocks again. "At this point I'm wide open to anybody who wants to recruit me. I don't have a favorite right now." There are two programs who Thomas says he would like to hear more from, "Miami and Charlotte are schools I'd like to hear more from. They haven't been after me as hard lately so we'll see."
For the Celtics Thomas will be playing a point forward role. The 2009 prospect knows what his strengths are and he intends on improving other aspects of his game. "Right now I have a height advantage over everybody and I'm able to shoot over the top of most guards with ease. Being longer I'm able to use that to my advantage."
Q's huge wingspan makes him seem and play larger than his 6'5 height and that's another area college coaches love about him. He rebounds well for a point guard and normally skies over many post players to snatch down key boards. The strength he intends to add this offseason should be another dynamic that will improve his stock.
Having won the state championship finally after losing 2 seasons ago Thomas shared this about what it will take for he and his teammates to repeat next season. "Everybody has to keep working hard. We can't be cocky and arrogant about winning it last year. Everybody has to be hungry and want to go out and get after it." Given the fact that they will return a great portion of their core group many folks figure it would be hard to argue against the Tigers again next season.