2011 wing Aaron Thomas high on the Hoosiers

  • 04/15/2010 8:00 am in

Schools looking for a big-time scorer in the 2011 class are beginning to take notice of Cincinnati Aiken’s Aaron Thomas.

Thomas, a 6-4, 185-pound wing, was named the Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference Player of the Year as a junior as he averaged 22.1 points per game.

He shot over 56 percent from the field, 82 percent from the foul line and had four games with more than 30 points. Aiken finished the season 14-8.

“My high school season went well,” Thomas told Inside the Hall. “I was second in the city in scoring, but we lost in the second round and didn’t go as far as we did last year.”

The Indiana coaching staff began to take interest in Thomas last summer as he suited up for the Queen City Prophets and the interest has continued to blossom from both sides.

While Thomas didn’t get a chance to visit Assembly Hall last season, he did visit Bloomington last fall for a football game.

“I’m pretty high on them,” he said of Indiana. “Coach Tom Crean has history. He taught Dwyane Wade. And basketball’s the biggest sport in Indiana. I’d like to be a part of that.”

Thomas noted that he hears mostly from Crean himself and is also being recruited by West Virginia, Michigan, Cincinnati, Louisville and Ohio State.

He does not, however, have a timetable for a decision.

Indiana fans will have several opportunities to watch Thomas this spring and summer as the Queen City Prophets are expected to participate in the adidas May Classic (Bloomington), adidas Invitational (Indianapolis) and the Kentucky Hoopfest (Louisville).

(Photo credit: Rivals.com)

Filed to:

  • Taskmaster75

    “As for your other comments, you are being hypersensitive.”

    Actually, no he is not. You are doing exactly what you said you are.

    “The 2010 class was fairly mediocre by any measure. I have high hopes for VO, but on paper he doesn't appear to be a game changer. Same goes for WS.”

    Who says Oladipo and Sheehey have to be world-beaters exactly? I am quite happy with our current core of people who, over time, will become great players. Frankly, Oladipo enthralls me not because he is a worldbeater, but he brings things the program needs.

  • Marthas_Broom


    I sympathize with Peegs, actually. He has to please a number of different constituencies, including the staff and the “loyalists” who see it as their mission in life to suppress anything that seems even remotely critical of Crean and/or the program.

    What bothers me about the suspension is the hypocrisy. There are plenty of posters on Peegs who abuse the rules every day but are never disciplined. I can't help but feel that those of us who are suspended are suspended because we hit a little too close to home. I mean, if someone is truly an “idiot” or “moron” (the favorite insults of the “rah-rah” crowd), then why even bother responding to their posts? I just can't begin to imagine how insecure and intellectually limited a person must be to go to the owner of a website and ask that a fellow poster be banned or suspended because of differing view or “hyperbole.” LOL.

  • Kelin Blab

    I oficially give Mr. Aaron Thomas my “I want this kid at IU” seal of approval. Why you ask? With my crack staff research gathering I have come to this conclusion based a few message board quotes and anger.

    1. Cincy Fans are pissed cincy is NOT on Aaron as early or as much as Crean
    2. OSU fans are pissed that AT has more interest in Indiana than OSU
    3. Apparently Crean and the crew have been to cincy a few times to see him play
    4. Via some fan feedback, AT is consistently described as a very good shooter, ability to get into the lane, athletic, and good bball iq
    5. I get a Mo Creek vibe with a sprinkle of VO committment…
    “I feel like IU is a good fit for me……I am really feeling indiana right now….basketball is the biggest sport their…..and my favorite AT quote..I fell in love with them.”

    Apparently he is planning to commit after his junior year…which is now! We will see, there is hope and that is all I have right now…..

  • Taskmaster75

    Clicked post before i was done….

    “What frustrates and concerns me is the lack of significant improvement over the course of the season and the apparent recruiting problems.”

    Andrew already addressed improvement over the season, so I will take the other part. I wish we could grab 4 and 5 stars left and right also, but you have to have at least some grasp of the situation. Frankly, it sucks, deal with it. Why would NBA aspiring players come to a place with no hype at the moment, no tournament chance at the moment, membership in a conference notorious for slow play (This argument is garbage, but perception beats reality). Give it time. Shoeless Joe once said “If you build it, they will come”. Don't worry, I have more cheesy quotes if you need them :).

  • marchus

    well what sickens me are the posters who constantly are sucking up to peegs…… as if there is any benefit haha did you see soon after we were suspended he posted a message talking about suspending us and there were like 100 replies thanking him and praising him… and then the next post was about how to get rid of a hang over before work… of course the thread wasn't pulled…. pegram has an agenda I KNOW IT!!!! LOL

  • Andrew

    Well said Marthas, especially about the recruits. With most teams so guard oriented, the ever-increasing reliance on the 3-point shot, and the 35 second shot clock, I feel that good players are more important now than ever. I mean really, is anyone today a truly great coach? Watching UNC struggle to win 4 games in a weak ACC really sums it up for me…7 McD's All-Americans, system in place for years, one year removed from a National Title…can you imagine if we had all that talent and clunked our way to the NIT, what our fans would say???

    Like a lot of people, I'd love to see more movement away from the ball, more screens, and less reliance on the pick-and-roll. But once we have better players, it'll look so much different; even last year, we had some teasing glimpses of how well that offense can work (the Pitt game comes immediately to mind). The truest statement to me regarding college basketball, 2010, is that “it's not the X's and the O's, it's the Jimmys and the Joes.” It's amazing how much better of a coach TC will be when the kids grow up and he's been able to establish an actual program, year after year after year.

    And sorry for bein a little snarky earlier, I gotta work on that.

  • Marthas_Broom

    Taskmaster—For some reason, I can't reply to your post to me, so I'm replaying to this one.

    I am certainly not expecting 4 and 5 star kids to beat a path to IU's door. I don't know what I said to give you that impression.

    What I am concerned about is our apparent difficulty in even landing the 3 star talent the staff is targeting. I could go through the names, but surely you know what I mean. Something doesn't seem right. If I had to trace it back to something, I would say it was the Kyrie Irving in-home visit. Ever since that disappointment, we just seem to be chasing our tails on the recruiting front…in everyone's top 5, but not in anyone's top 1.

    And the inabiltiy to close on the 3 star big men is just disturbing. I mean, is Northern Iowa State or Illinois State really so attractive that a program like IU has to practically beg kids to take a visit? It's just strange. I have no explanation for it.

  • Taskmaster75

    “Recruiting problems”, as you were concerned about, was a little vague, so I just assumed, I apologize for that, but I will respond to what you have noted above.

    If you are a 3 star guy, (most likely) you don't have a big NBA future, and just want a good place for a degree and PT. Indiana is a good school, but if a better school academically offers him a spot in a lower conference, he might be inclined to take it. Why go to a big school where you will most likely get no PT while you could be a key player in a mid-major. Popularity in mid-majors seems to be rising with schools like Butler, Xavier, Cornell, Northern Iowa, etc. Also, Indiana, while it is a great basketball and sports in general state, has some pretty harsh fans (See: People calling for Crean's head without even seeing his product). Why not go to a place with less pressure?

    “…in everyone's top 5, but not in anyone's top 1.”

    I don't know about you, but I am rather ecstatic that off of a 10 win season we are still in the back of a kid's mind. Like I said, with wins, so do the recruits. We just need to be patient.

  • crack staff? thats why I'm always behind. I dont have my own staff

  • GFDave

    Now I'm really in trouble because Jerry says a lot of good stuff. I may become one of those gangless dudes in lockup that have to always be on the lookout for the Crips, the Northern Latinos and the Aryan Brotherhood. Not too mention the Tea Baggers. OMG, there's nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

  • marsh21

    I don't know much about this guy but it's just nice to hear a recruit say something nice about IU and Crean! We can always use a wing who can score and defend.

    Man I hope we can land a quality big for the 2010 class because that will be the difference between a 12 win season and a 16/17 win season.

  • Mic

    This guy would be really good for indiana.

  • MillaRed

    Dave, we are currently giving a $50 gift certificate to Best Buy to everyone that disagrees with JerryCT.

    The only ritual involved is disagreeing with every JerryCT thought. Especially the ones you agree with. He deserves that.

    Go Hoosiers!

  • This guy sounds like a fantstic player especially with shooting over 56 percent from the field, 82 percent from the foul line and had four games with more than 30 points. Aiken finished the season 14-8.

  • ronb

    All of you guys who are saying there is “just something wrong and you can't figure out why IU is having trouble recruiting” need to read what Walton posted. He tells you the answer to your question. It's not rocket science to see what has happened in the past that it making Coach's life hard on the recruiting trial. Keep the faith! Coach will get us there but it is going to be a hard road back. You just can't jump from a program that was down as low as anyone in the history of D1 basketball to 25+ wins a season every year over night. We all can hang in there because we are after all IU FANS!

  • marcusgresham

    OK, I'm with you guys—-I kind of glossed over “2011” there. Give me a break, I turned 40 Thursday and I guess my eyes are going to be the first to go!

  • marcusgresham

    He couldn't have played for Wooden, though. He even made Bill Walton shave and get a haircut.

  • Marthas_Broom

    Andrew–Thanks again for the good discussion. I apologize for my rudeness earlier, too. So easy to slip into that “mode” on the Internet….

    Re: coaching. I confess to being a huge partisan of motion-based offenses. I find them not only more interesting to watch, but much more effective at “equalizing” for talent. And isn't that the essence of good coaching? If you've got a team full of unranked 3 stars and you're up against the likes of a Tennessee, UK, or Duke, you simply have to find a way to neutralize their talent advantage. Motion accomplishes that in a number of ways.

    The scuttlebutt is that kids don't like playing in a motion-based system, but I don't buy it. Heck, John Thompson III gets top talent to come to Georgetown, and they run a Princeton offense!!!! I think that kids like to win. And the idea of building a system (the “dribble-drive”)around the perceived likes of high school players with unrealistic dreams of NBA careers seems just a tad silly.

    Anyway, that's my rant for the day.

  • it's Indiana

    GF is dropping a lot of gang knowledge. Either I need to be careful around you…or you watch the History Channel.

  • Apologies for not getting back to this – busy weekend. I don't think I'm being hypersensitive. There was improvement this year in my mind. We were a better, more talented, more dangerous team this year. We might differ on that belief, and I can respect that. As for recruiting problems… well, I don't know, we've inserted ourselves into the conversation on a lot of notable players. To me that speaks for itself. I believe Crean will get what he needs, and every year he improves the program and distances himself from the debacle that occurred two years ago is another year of firmer footing on the recruiting trail. To me, I guess, we're right on track. The team this year was loads more talented than last year but had no maturity. I'm expecting a .500 season this coming season as part of what I've perceived as a five year plan to get us back to the tournament. I feel that a return to the tournament completes the rebuilding of this program – at that point, it becomes about what Crean is doing to improve on the past, not restore what was.

    This year was really not that bad a year to me, I guess, and that's where you and I probably disagree. Yes, the turnovers frustrate me. Yes, I hate seeing shots thrown up with 30 ticks left on the shot clock. To me, those are freshman mistakes, made by a team full of freshmen with no upperclassmen leaders. If we get to 2011-2012 and those same mistakes are still being made, and we're still floundering in mediocrity as a result, it'll be coaching to blame, and there'll be no doubt about it. Last year, though, Indiana fielded a pretty terrible team. This year's team was not terrible. It probably underachieved a bit, I'll give you that. They were better, though, and if we get a higher level next year than what we got this year… well, I feel like that's all that can be reasonably expected.