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)

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  • marcusgresham

    I still think this team is kind of wing-heavy already. A 1 or a 4/5 is more of a priority, I'd think (unless you're expecting Creek to declare after his sophomore or junior season—I hope he doesn't but if he overcomes the injury he does have the talent to do so.)

  • JerryCT

    Marcus- By 2012 season we will need to replace Jones , a “scorer”, and hopefully not w a freshman “scorer” , so I have no problem with this 2011 recruit. It is also unknown whether 2010/2011 known recruits will develop into the kind of scoring player this kid appears to be right now.

    If we had a different offensive scheme I would agree completely with you ……… but we don't

  • Kelin Blab

    I agree we are wing heavy but I think they have to continue to recruit wings. If you look at our wings other than Mo Creek who else could average 20ppg a game? Our wings are all different but we really don't have that 'other' scorer behind mo creek. So if you add this kid to the 2011 class, he comes in when Mo is a junior and possibly his last season it makes some sense.

  • marchus

    big fan of this kids game……. from the video i saw he is long athletic, good shooter from anywhere on the floor and can get to the rim as well…… heard academics may be an issue however

  • Kelin Blab

    hopefully you didn't see the AAU you tube video, not very flattering…..but I would still give him the benefit of the doubt. It seems to be alot of big schools are recruiting him so at least we are in the conversation.

  • SW Ohio Hoosier

    I hope this kid is a good kid academically, however, Cincinnati Aiken has a poor reputation in Cincinnati for academics as it is not one of the college prep high schools in the city. A kid like this would typically go to Withrow or Harmony. Also, many of the top tier DI talent find their way to Moeller, St X, LaSalle, Elder, Princeton or Colerain. And, his 22 ppg is nice but his high school conference is absolute garbage and nothing but an up and down the floor mess which isn't based on any principles of good defense….kind of like the NBA style.

    I am glad we like this kid, but I kind of go along with JerryCT in terms of scheme. What is it CTC is looking to do? A big makes a lot of sense. if we had a defined scheme, Thomas might make sense. I guess 2010-2011 will help define the direction this program is going.

    You know in baseball they say recruit up the middle, pitchers, catchers, shortstops and centerfielders. In basketball I say recruit centers, small forwards and point guards. This will always allow a coach to find a SG or PF and give a lot of options.

  • marchus

    well just got suspended from posting on peegs premium board…. guess i will be hanging out here for a while….. my comment was “i will probably get bashed for this ,but I kinda want TP to transfer” pretty lame but whatever…. i guess i am just young and ignorant

  • Suspended? Can you appeal? 🙂

  • marchus

    ha thats what I am wondering…. i am currently in an email battle with mike pegram. Told him he better keep a good relationship with the young IU students like myself if he wants to have future premium members. my point to him was that my comment was the least bit malicious and him allowing beer posts on a basketball message board but suspending me for stating my opinion rather than just simply removing my post is ridiculous. After all i am just a first time offender hahaha

  • Peegs is a good guy. I'm sure if you give a reasonable explanation, you'll get it worked out. Good luck.

  • Kelin Blab

    This has supreme court or Keller and Keller written all over it……..and this is why I am anti message board….hang out here for awhile….

  • marchus

    In all honesty, the journalism on this site is far superior to that on peegs. I would describe “you know whose” journalism skills as marginal at best. The grammar and word choice on some of the premium content articles is just dreadful.

  • MillaRed

    We recently formed a gang in here. So, ya know, let us know what we can do. We are what you would call “terrifying.”

    Getting scratched for mentioning a TP transfer? My goodness. No one ITH would be left if we were given that treatment.

  • Indiana_Knight

    I think signing this kid in the 2011 class makes plenty of sense. Some of our wings/forwards could develop into very good players by the end of the 2011-12 season. Watford and Creek have big time potential, and that will also be Verdell's senior season. We'll have wings to replace and if this kid can play then why not bring him aboard?

    He already has good weight for his size, and if Crean can convince him to hit the weights hard between now and then it seems like he could come to campus with a more college-ready body than most of this year's freshmen class and be ready to contribute heavily in his sophomore season. Hulls showed some flashes of what he'll be able to ultimately accomplish on the offensive end as a PG. He'll definitely be able to drive with more authority and confidence by his junior and senior seasons. Another PG would be nice in 2011 or 2012, and a true C would be nicer, but this signing wouldn't preclude that and would add a talented piece to the team.

    Crean's offense can use several guards/SFs/PFs and operate very efficiently. I haven't checked out any of his youtube vids quite yet but this kid sounds alright to me (especially since he'll continue to grow as a player and might even grow taller still).

  • JerryCT

    Not true Millared , member of the Crips, ( their colors are red , no ? ). I would be left becasue I love all our players including those who are amnog the most “unloved” ……. in fact …… I might actually be Jesus

  • JerryCT

    Ok, red is probably the color for Bloods ….. and …. I am probably not Jesus …… yet

  • MillaRed

    No kidding. You would start Daniel Moore at Center.

    Now, go get Teague to sign Jesus.

  • ronb

    Alex, You are right about Peegs being a good guy so I can't help but wonder if there is more to this story. It is hard to believe that just one negative comment would get you kicked off. Its one thing to point out that TP had a poor season and we are all disappointed in his performance but it is not right to continually Bash a player or coach. However, there is a guy on the Hoosier Scoop that berates, belittles, and bashes Tom Crean in nearly everything he posts and he has not been kicked off. So, I don't understand, Marchus, why you were kicked off? It sounds very unfair.

  • Marthas_Broom

    Marchus–I too got suspended on Peegs, and I didn't even criticize a player! My offense was just “excess negativity and hyperbole.” I had the temerity to point out that the program at least appeared to be in better shape during the Mike Davis era than it is now. Back then, we had a steady stream of 4 and 5 star talent, and we were not finishing at the bottom of the Big 10. Doesn't seem like hyperbole to me, but oh well….

    I'm hoping I'll be allowed back, but who knows. There are some posters on that board who feel like they own the joint. Anytime someone posts something that isn't “rah-rah,” they feel obligated to make personal insults and complain to Peegs. If you get on their bad side, they'll pretty much go out of their way to try and get you suspended.

  • it's Indiana

    Not what you meant…but Jesus would certainly be a five star. Then again he would be one and done too. Oh man, that's bad. All apologies.

  • Has anyone seen this video of Thomas…It's just one video, but it's not pretty!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJnodA4fTyo

  • Andrew

    “Steady stream of 4 and 5 star talent”??????? Hahahahahahaha. Donald Perry, Sean Kline, Daryl Pegram, Jessan Gray-Ashley, Lucas Steijn, Cem Dinc…do you want me to go on? Yes, those were the glory days. The only 4 and 5 stars I can think of were Strick, Bracey, Ratliff, Vaden, and DJ…that's FIVE in SIX years if you're scoring at home. (Maybe you include Hardy, who didn't sign a bball LOI, and JSmooth, who will always be a part of the Hoosier family, but I don't.)

    Yes, Mike Davis woulda certainly coached the guys up the last 2 seasons, no question. I'm glad it doesn't seem like hyperbole to you, b/c from here it seems awfully close. Thanks for a great laugh on an otherwise boring Thursday!

  • Kelin Blab

    Saw it months ago and if I were AT I would get that off of You Tube somehow. Just one video, I will give the kid a break but it was not a cute video at all……

  • Marthas_Broom

    And today we are competing with Northern Iowa State for the services of an unranked Division II JUCO player to fill out our 2010 class. Can anyone with a brain honestly argue that we are in “better shape????”

    I never said that the Davis era were the “glory days.” I said that the program was in better shape then than it is now. That seems indisputable to me. For God's sake, we''ll be lucky to finish ahead of Iowa and Penn State in the B10 next year. Maybe we'll even manage to snag a home win against Northwestern!!

    Do you really think we're better off now than we were in, say, 2003-2004???

    Think before you post.

  • Andrew

    I guess to me being in “better shape” is about having a proven coach, not someone who admittedly was learning on the fly. It's about having a team full of freshman and sophomores who will all be a year older next year. It's about getting our best player back from injury. If you don't think that things are trending upwards, then we'll just have to agree to disagree. How anyone could put any stock into the last two seasons just baffles me.

    The 2003/04 season you reference, which was Davis' fourth, ended with a magnificent 14-15 record. Yes, I think right now we're better off than we were then.

    And for the record, I thought before that post. Thanks for the friendly reminder.

  • walton

    Of course we'll not in better shape then we were when Mike Davis was coaching because someone by the name of Sampson was chosen to head coach the program since then. All of that doesn't really have significance on the group we have now besides the fact that they have to fix the whole program. I have never heard anyone on here say that the program is in better shape now then it was then. It wasn't terrible then anyway, but IU felt they could bring in someone else that could coach better. That decision wasn't wrong, but the choice that they made as head coach was.

  • Marthas_Broom

    Better shape to me would mean some indication that the future of IU basketball is positive. I just don't see that yet.

    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.

    I saw little to no improvement over the course of last season among our talented Freshman class.

    I saw poor fundamentals and frankly poor coaching all the way through the season.

    I saw a team that appeared to quit after the Purdue and Illinois losses.

    Looking at 2011 – 2012, there is a lot of uncertainty. If we manage to land some of the highly talented Indiana high schools players (Davis, Hammons, Zeller) or guys like Perea and Jurkin, then I'll feel a lot better. Right now….I'm not optimistic.

    As for Crean being a proven coach, I think you overstate the case. He has a pretty good track record. He is a terrific speaker and represents the University well. Beyond that, I'm not sure. I wouldn't call him “proven” by any stretch of the imagination.

  • JerryCT

    I urge everyone to go over to the SCOOP and read the Wash Post piece on Olapido. This kid just amazes me everytime I learn more about him. I think this is the kind of player CTC has been describing to us the past 2 years

  • walton

    We were 14-15 that year? Ugh. I must have erased that season from my memory bank. But now that I think about it……I guess we weren't in very good shape. I like to think it hasn't been that long since IU was recognized as a major player in college basketball, but I guess it has. It puts it in perspective how much work Crean really has cut out for him and how stressful his job must be. Hang in there Crean.

  • Andrew

    I understand your points, Marthas. In fact, I'd guess you represent the majority of IU fans right now. If winning cures all ills, losing definitely exaggerates the negatives.

    The problem with saying the 2010 class is “mediocre by any measure” is that the only measure right now is on paper. Not you, or me, or anyone could possibly know what to expect out of VO and Sheehey. I don't care what their clips look like or that they're 3-stars. They could turn out to be really good players, or the two worst representatives of IU basketball ever. Pointless to speculate.

    Of the 4 freshman who saw major minutes, I'd argue they all improved. Hulls was much more confident and was our best 3-point shooter. Elston nearly averaged a double-double the last 4 games of the season. Capo made numerous hustle plays, starting hitting his free throws and just looked more comfortable. As for C-Wat, he really looked overmatched, I'm sure we would agree there. But I don't think he got worse or was playing out of position, he was just a skinny freshman being pushed around by Big Ten veterans. How many hundreds of times have we seen that over the years?

    If Crean isn't proven, I'm not sure who is, save for about half a dozen guys throughout the country. Proven doesn't mean savior; proven means he's shown he has what it takes to succeed at this level. He averaged over 20 wins a season for 9 years at a place that hadn't done much of anything since Al McGuire. I'm not gonna mention that he went to a Final Four, b/c he had DWade, and everyone knows that renders the accomplishment meaningless. That's why whenever I hear someone talking about Wooden's 10 titles, I scoff and say, “Yeah, but he had Alcindor, and Walton, and…”

    Anyway, good back-and-forth argument.

  • vslice

    Over at Hoosier Nation it was explained that Peegs is fed up with the non stop negativity this has polluted the message board. I think everyone has been negative at some point over the past two years, but some people have gone over board with Crean and some of the players. To constantly rip Crean after only one real season is unfair, but thats the age we live in. Its all about what have you done for me lately and if its not winning its on to the next job. There is a fine line between constructive criticism and absolute negativity. I just wonder if all those people who slam TC and his “crappy system” will continue after IU turns things around? Yes, I have all the faith in the world that TC will get the job done within the next year or so. I knew there was going to be chatter, but I can honestly say I am surprised how far some people have gone to discredit TC and his system.

  • vslice

    If your referring to the YouTube video, we have totally different views on this kid then. He looked completely lazy, ran to a spot on the floor and stopped, slow on defense until the play was almost over, made one outside shot and you post that he is a good shooter from anywhere on the floor. Really? How so and what video were you watching?? Im sorry but I was really hoping this was an old video or some sort of scrimmage that did not matter at all. Who else could possibly be recruiting this kid?? Like I said, maybe he was having an off day cause I wasnt impressed what so ever and Im really surprised in your reaction to the same video.

  • Kelin Blab

    JerryCT—-

    I read that article and it was pretty moving and my thoughts echo yours. I also think about…VO is the type of kid you 'root' for and you want him to do well and he will become a kid hopefully you forget he is from DC and becomes an Indiana kid, kinda like DJ White.

    In a small way I understand his dad, as my dad was a 'top of the bleacher' dad….he never sat on the home team side when I played in h.s. but at the very top of the bleachers on the opposing side, to just watch the game, his son, and not get caught up in the hoopla or add any dad pressure to me.

    I fully expect VO next year to become a 'emotional' leader of this team where his stats may be under appreciated….a la the villain Chris Kramer

  • They'll say they were on board with Crean the whole time… until the next time Crean has a 3 game losing streak, after which they'll proudly say they were right about him all along. I can't understand people. A coaching change – any coaching change – takes on average 3 years to have any meaningful impact on the program. This one in particular is much tougher than that.

  • What are you looking for, national championships? You must be. Crean's done pretty much everything else. If you're wondering where “excess negativity and hyperbole” comes from, reread your post.

    You're knocking a class of guys that haven't even taken the court yet. You're blasting a team full of freshmen for poor fundamentals. Freshmen generally have poor fundamentals. This is the expected outcome for a young team. Why does everyone rush to judgment instead of giving the coach time to build the program? Is the craving for instant gratification really all that matters?

    I'm sorry to seem so harsh, but you can't tell me you didn't notice improvement from 2008-09 to 2009-2010, nor can you tell me that you don't expect the team to be any better next season. And if the team is improving… I really don't see where all these criticisms of Crean are warranted, particularly since he started from essentially scratch (and with recruiting restrictions).

  • Argh, now I wish I hadn't posted, because you said everything I wanted to say and said it better. Nicely done.

  • Indiana_Knight

    Who else could possibly be recruiting him?

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

    Come on now.

  • GFDave

    I'm not sure about my club status. Am I in the club? Have I been banished to a Purdue board? Do I need to complete some sort of hazing ritual? Please help me. I feel so insecure and inadequate.

  • Taskmaster75

    This is the only credible and well-done blog left in my view. Hoosier Scoop is infested with trolls and multiple names, and Peegs is not much better.

    But you are correct. If those people want an instant winner, I hear Kentucky is very good at that. Go stick with those people who fired a coach after 2 seasons. Disgusting…

    Keep up the good work guys, this place is fantastic compared to anywhere else.

  • kesims

    that is kinda sad. its just really weird to me that his dad doesnt really want to be a part of his basketball endeavors. However, after reading the article i think this is where oladipo may get his grit and hustle from so it could be a good thing for us.

  • Taskmaster75

    I really don't know what to think about this guy yet. The videos of him look discouraging, but I would rather see more film, especially since 4-5 big time programs after him usually means he has something interesting. Ofcourse, I would rather wait for Zeller, Davis, Teague, Abraham (I still keep the faith!), etc.

    But one thing that perplexes me is people bashing Crean for having INTEREST in the guy. INTEREST does not equal a scholarship, for those who can't seem to make the difference. Would you rather be stuck with a JUCO guy if Teague, Zeller, and Davis turn you down, or at least have a D1 prospect that knows your situation?

  • vslice

    They'll say they were on board with Crean the whole time… until the next time Crean has a 3 game losing streak, after which they'll proudly say they were right about him all along. I can't understand people.

    Nice, you said perfectly. Snake in the grass man, safety in numbers. Unless you have spotted them from previous posts you will never see them coming.

  • BigRed3588

    Haha that Moore comment had me cracking up, and I say the Big Red Machine Gang goes and lets peegs know whats up.

    Dave, if you have a tendency to disagree with just about everything JerryCT says, then you are more than welcome to be in the club.

    lol watch out jerry, were gaining numbers

  • Marthas_Broom

    Very good points. There is definitely cause for some hope as well. In particular, I agree with what you said about Hulls, Elston, and Watford. Getting Creek back will obviously be huge. And, as I said, I'm nursing some high hopes for Victor Oladipo despite his relatively low ranking and offensive deficiencies.

    Please understand: I am NOT bashing Crean. I like the guy a lot and want desperately for him to succeed. I just haven't seen the hard evidence yet that he will. Had this team shown more improvement in fundamentals OR had there been some discipline and organization to our offense last year, I'd feel MUCH better.

    As for recruiting, one solid class could turn things around. Landing Jeremiah Davis and Cody Zeller, for instance. Following that up with Perea, Jurkin, and/or Hammos would be huge.

    Thanks for the discussion.

  • BigRed3588

    See my comment above for the answer to your question

  • Marthas_Broom

    No, I'm not looking for National Championships. Frankly, I will surprised if we ever win one again.

    As for your other comments, you are being hypersensitive. I am not “knocking” our 2010 class of VP and WS. I'm pointing out the facts: these guys, on paper, aren't going to set the world on fire.

    I also don't expect instant gratification. I predicted 12 wins last season before Creek and Roth went down with injuries. Given those developments, 10 was not too bad.

    What frustrates and concerns me is the lack of significant improvement over the course of the season and the apparent recruiting problems. Something doesn't seem right. I'm not sure what it is or if it is temporary, but it's definitely there. I think most honest fans would agree with that.

  • BigRed3588

    Nice, I bet Andrews wishing he were still on peegs after that one

  • BigRed3588

    Oops, I meant martha's broom

  • Marthas_Broom

    What does that even mean?

  • marchus

    hey marthas broom whats up……. i go by iu student on peegs……are you fed up with the dictatorship as well? lol