The latest on Aaron Thomas

  • 07/25/2010 8:35 pm in

It was not long ago that Cincinnati Aiken’s Aaron Thomas spoke as if he might be the next piece to Indiana’s 2011 recruiting class.

But in a story published today by Brian Snow of, Indiana was not mentioned among the schools actively recruiting Thomas:

Aaron Thomas entered the tournament with offers from Clemson, Duquesne, Detroit, and Iowa. Purdue, Louisville, Miami, and Cincinnati have also been active in his recruitment.

After reading the story and thinking the Indiana omission might have been a misprint, we spoke with a source who indicated that contact between Thomas and IU has slowed down in recent weeks.

Another source indicated that Indiana plans to watch Thomas during the current July evaluation period, but has not offered a scholarship.

Our friend Jody Demling of The Courier-Journal tweeted tonight that he expects Louisville to “try and jump into the mix.”

Thomas, by the way, scored 38 points in a pool play game on Saturday against the New York Gauchos at the AAU Super Showcase in Orlando (FL).

(Photo credit: Jody Demling)

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  • Indiana_Knight

    I still like Aaron Thomas quite a bit. Crean is playing a dangerous game going after BJ and Zeller and I hope he knows what he's doing. I think Pairing Thomas with BJ OR Zeller would make for a strong addition to the team and AT could be groomed to succeed VJIII's role at the 2. BJ and Zeller would certainly be a stronger pair of additions than either of the two listed but I hope the guy doesn't sour on US while we swing for the fences.

  • marcusgresham

    I was kind of getting the impression from reading this that maybe he wanted IU, but got tired of seeing others receive “his” offer.
    I don't have much to go on with him other than the short clips we've seen on here, (and I liked what I saw,) but offers from Clemson, Duquesne, Detroit, and Iowa don't lead one to believe that a 5-star is getting away. Of course, 38 points in his game might say otherwise…

  • I don't think it's a “dangerous game” at all. The primary needs are a point guard and a big man in the 2011 class. Etherington and Thomas basically play the same position and if you can only take three players in 2011, it would be tough to take two at the same position.

  • Uncle Joey

    I could be wrong, but didn't VO completely shut down Thomas at the Indiana Elite Camp a few months back? I read somewhere that Aaron Thomas's AAU coach said that the most impressive player at the event was VO (hopefully that puts a grin on some of your faces.)

    Let us not forget that IU has 2 very drastic position issues that we need addressed: big men, and a point guard. Since we only have 2 slots left for 2011 (AE gets a scholly, one open scholly, and one potential oversign), then it makes sense that Crean is focusing most on those 2 needs.

    Would it be nice to add another wing-type player who can light up a scoreboard every night? Absolutely. But we have to be realistic and admit that we're starting to head towards a log-jam of wing-type players on our roster, and we need to fulfill our other needs first.

  • Q95

    i am not to concerned about this news at all. you guys had a clip or two of this guy a while back, and i must say i was not impressed. he showed very little movement at the offensive end, and if i recall, spent most of the time camped along the baseline. i was concerned at the time that he, like lebron, had a very limited understanding of how the game should be played. also, he did not come across as the high energy type needed to make us stronger at the deffensive end. if tc is backing away, that's the reason. i am surprised purdue's interested. let cincy have him. he will fit in well with that program.

  • Marsh21

    Agreed. PG targets seem to be covered in 11 however we are very slim in our big man recruit for that class with only 2 players listed that would qualify? Hopefully IU has established more relationships with the bigs than just these two as they could easily choose another school.

  • Kreigh_Smiths_Short_Shorts

    What's up with Yogi's tweet? He, Cody, and Austin together at IU? Would be sweet.

  • eph521

    His tweet is at least intriguing. The kid's learned how to build suspense for sure. We can hope.

  • eph521

    Seems like Aaron Thomas has always played second fiddle in the IU recruiting song/dance… originally to Jeremiah Davis, and now to BJ Young. We may miss on all three and wish we snabbed AT while he was available. Being optimistic, I hope to see BJ Young smiling on campus next year.

  • Msemmajo1a

    From Austin Etherington tweet: everyone don't worry @kevinferrell11 is Just messin with all of ya

  • Azur Allen

    I would really hate it to see Aaron Thomas go. He lit up whenever he spoke of Indiana unlike any other prospect. He's consistently climbing in the rankings and getting better…and he's way higher than JD. What's not to like? I would also really like BJ Young. I would love a class of Thomas, Young and Etherington, a combo i dont hear people wishing for. I realize we have a couple of wings already, and we have a shortage of big men…but I think the 2012 class provides a lot of options- Jurkin, Perea, McGary, Hammons. Of all the big men…I am a fan of Hammons because he is a true center at the college level. Jurkin is the better NBA prospect but Hammons seems much better suited for physical big 10 play w/ that wide body and his array of skill around the basket. And it wouldn't surprise me to see Jurkin leave early for the NBA even with bad stats because of his length and raw athleticism. That said, I am a huge Jurkin and Perea fan as well. I'd be content landing any of them.
    I'm also not sold on Zeller or JD. Zeller's talented and in the 2011 class which provides more immediate help. But if he were in the 2012 class w. hammons perea and jurkin…would he be considered better than them? he seems to be potential trouble….if we wait for what has been a very unpredictable and in the dark recruitment…..we will lose out on both thomas and young…and that will be huuuge mistakes. in terms of zeller, his biggest impact…if he commits…is probably the Indiana Elite pipeline. as far as JD….i would be VERY disappointed to see him at IU. doesn't light up talking about us…consistently falling in the rankings…not to mention taking away a scholly for the ripe 2011 and 2012 classes.
    If we recruit Tharpe…I wonder if that will bring that Tarcewski guy? THat could fill a pg/c need in one swipe….but I'd still prefer Young
    I also want Kaminski in the IU uni…

  • Kelin Blab

    I think Aaron Thomas will be a steal for anyone and including IU. After watching him play, the kid is a player….however, IU's needs are really at the post and a PG that can get into the lane and create. Not to mention….options that play A. Thomas position:
    + Victor Oladipo – Fr
    + Will Sheehey – Fr
    + Austin Etherington – 2011

    Then you look at crop of wings in 2012…Patterson, G. Harris, Hollowell, and Perea.
    I am a big Aaron Thomas fan, but in pecking order it is Zeller and Young….and then Nic Moore but that is if you ask me.

  • Kelin Blab

    I think if you take Aaron Thomas, you lose out on something in 2012 and you have even more wings that you kinda don't need. IU still has time with Thomas as I don't think he will commit til the spring given he has some qualifying issues to consider. To your Hammons point, having seen him play in person I hope IU does not recruit him anymore, Jurkins at this point plays with a higher motor just needs to add weight. Jurkins won't be a one and done.

    Finally No one in the 2012 class in the post would be allowed to carry Cody Zellers water and or jock strap. Hammons nor Jurkin are not in the same class with Zeller.

  • Outoftheloop

    I think that IU should offer Aaron Thomas NOW, and really go after his commitment NOW. We will not feel good if we miss out on this talented player who wanted to come to IU!

  • Outoftheloop

    What is dangerous is to wait until the spring. If we do not get Cody in the fall, and if we wait until the spring to offfer either for A Thomas and/or BJ Young, then everything rides on the W/L in 2010-11. We had better win more that 15 (we might need 20) or IU could be watching from the outside. If we get one of the two great young players, Thomas or Young now then we have the makings of a very good class even without Zeller as we play the season and work on a spring signing.

  • Kelin Blab

    Both Young and Thomas are in the same boat from the stand point alot of big schools like or love them but their are questions on their ability to qualify for 2011, which is why you see BJ Young with a long list but no offers and the same with Thomas, without any major offers. I think IU is in good shape to wait til the Spring on both kids given it seems others are doing the same also. If AT wants to commit to Detroit or Duquense he could be I am sure both kids know if they prove the academic abilities more big offers will come.

    Again with Thomas, you have at least 4 guys that play his same spot and at least 4 more you are recruiting in 2012… a 6'5 wing a high need right now? I have also read enough about VO and Will Sheehey that those two kids can play, despite not having the star power. Thomas is a stud but he may not be a need.

  • Outoftheloop

    How do you know the academic/SAT situation for these two guys? I sure don't. Yes, if they can not qualify according to the NCAA, then no one who gives them a scholarship will be able to put them on the court until their academics are improved. However, my understanding is that this can be done at IU in the summer and the first semester. IU is now very good at academic counseling and tutoring support. There is nothing wrong with helping kids who are weak in academic preparation but willing to work hard. But you did not address my point. The schools we will be going against in the spring for these players will not be coming off of 15 or fewer wins and no post season play for the last 3 years (as a hypothetical worst case scenario). IU might not be in a strong position in the spring. Whereas now, we are the best, and we are the first, and they each want to come to IU. IU has a great track record for allowing and helping marginal students to really develop their academic talents to the fullest, way beyond the predictions and expectations based on high school grades and standardized tests: Steve Dowing in 1973 and Mike White in 2008. This is something that IU does better than almost any other basketball power. We need to use our strength.

  • Kelin Blab

    Alot of the things that I know is what I have read and some direct quotes I have read from BJ Young. These things cannot take place at IU, if they can't get cleared by the NCAA as it relates to the h.s. gpa and ACT score to qualify. Kinda what McGary went through from Chesterton who decided to reclassify for 2012. I have read BJ Young has begun to move in that direction which is a good thing.

    To your other point, it is valid but IU is up against that either way. Most 'big time' schools get these kids to commit either prior to their senior year or during the fall signing period. The spring signings are your 2nd tier kids, late bloomers, kids who just want to wait… who are very good players but trying to see who else offers or issues like academics they have to clear up.

    To me IU is in a great position.
    + You flat out can't take a commit from Young or Thomas before Zeller. I would question Crean's sanity if he did that.
    + You cannot take a commit from kids who may not qualify, only to find out in June of 2011 then you are scrambling and you have egg on your face.
    + If you took either one and then no scholly for Cody…OMG
    + Aaron Thomas does not fill a need at IU. He just doesn't right now. I know he really likes IU but the opportunity may not be there. He is behind Creek, VO , and Sheehey and would come in with Etherington

  • OhioHoosier

    Is Perea really a wing? I thought he was listed at 6'9″ and didn't show much of a handle in the clips I've seen. I know that has been his focus in the interviews but I envisioned him more of a post player.

  • GFDave

    The talent AT has demonstrated on the court justifies more high major offers than he has received to date. So I think that there must be issues outside the lines that have prevented schools from offering this kid. I can't see Crean being cautious otherwise, he doesn't have the margin for it.

  • Uncle Joey

    What if we miss out on another PG and/or post player? Wouldn't we “not feel good” if that happened as well?

  • To me this news signifies that TC feels very good about adding talent at positions of need with the remaining two '11 spots and that he also feels good about adding the players he wants at the wing spot in '12. Just colling off on a player of AT's apparent talent has to mean we feel good about some other players we're targeting IMO.

  • Outoftheloop

    I think that you are wrong, we need a university administrator to umpire this question. My understanding is that the kid can go to school using the scholarship but can not play (I do not know if he can practice or not). Further that actual college course work can be used to show academic qualification, just like credit at the JUCO level. So there is risk but it is possible.
    I think you are wrong on spring now. Look at all of the commitments that KY, Kansas, FL etc. have had in spring both this year and last year. Most “one-and-done' guys commit in the spring to find the team most likely to go to the final four during their one year of college or to a place that will take them on academics. Only 14 of Rivals top 39 have committed so far. These are not “second tier guys”.
    I think that you are wrong, of course you can take one, either Young or Thomas before Zeller. We have three scholarships to give. We have committed on one to Etherington. If we give one to Thomas or Young-but not both-there is one left for Cody. The idea that when you have given out two scholarships (and the third is an “oversign”) you have none left is absurd! Each of the three scholarships is absolutely identical. None says “oversign” on it! All are available to give out today. To have Young or Thomas with Etherington before Cody signs will just let him know who his new teammates will be and that IU has a top class in the making.
    It is not “egg on your face” to make a commitment to a good kid whom you believe will work his tail off to do it in the classroom (and has the basic ability) and on the court so that at the end of his senior year he qualifies. I want IU to lead the way in really helping good kids who are great basketball players but are academically under-prepared.. Why shouldn't IU take a risk by making a commitment to stay the course with a good kid? Even if there is a short term disadvantage. I don't like taking advantage of a good kid until we have a better deal, and then suggesting he find a better opportunity. IU basketball needs to do the hard work of development with each and every one of it's recruits. If the kid is not “good” as a person, then do not offer him. If the kid is not potentially a great player, then do not offer him a scholarship, offer him a preferred walk on with a real possibility of earning a full scholarship.
    Does Maurice Creek fill a “need” at IU now? Then how about having two Maurice Creek's? If you can not figure out a way to use two Maurice Creek's then you will never be a serious basketball team. Yes, I think that either Thomas or Young is that type of player.
    I like both Victor and Will, but neither will score like either Young or Thomas.

  • GFDave

    I hope that's true.

  • Me too :).

  • Kelin Blab

    I think the 'cooling' of Thomas may be less about AT and more about #'s, position need, and having a back up plan. If Cody goes elsewhere, BJ Young commits to IU…you need to have a scholly available for a Goff or someone else. Less about Aaron more about the other things.

  • Outoftheloop

    Look at our list and tell me whom you are talking about. As to post players there are only two: Cody and Chandler. You have one scholarship for that position. In order we go Zeller 1st and then Chandler. If we get Cody then I am happy. If he says no and we get Chandler then I am happy. If both say no then we have a scholarship to give to the best player in the spring (including Behanan, Cook and Dawson). As to PG we have BJ Young. Offer him and get his commitment first. If he says no or waits, then offer Thomas and get his commitment. I would rather have Aaron Thomas over J Davis, Tharpe, Moore or any PG I know of except Quinn Cook (whom we are not really recruiting very hard for a November sign because he has said he will wait until spring). That is the end of our PG list. If we can not get a top #50 or above recruit, then I want A Thomas, because I think that he is that good. So the answer is “no”, I would feel good about having A Thomas over any post or PG except for Zeller or Chandler, and BJ Young or Cook in November.

  • millzy32

    You can't get enough athletic wings that can create their own shot. It doesn't seem to bother anyone down in Miami that D Wade and LeBron play the same position, the more the merrier. Aren't we going to play the 3 guard lineup most of the time anyway? I thought that was Crean's thing. Athletic wings are essential.

    VJII isn't a point guard he's really a wing but we're going to play him at point. I'd rather have 3 wings out there than one point guard that is a liability on the shooting end (no names but it rhymes with Shivers).

    If this kid is that good then give him an offer.

    I hope there is a clear plan in place and we aren't just sitting back wishing and hoping that everything falls into place and then scrambling if it doesn't this spring.

  • Kelin Blab

    Outoftheloop, wouldn't you agree IU's two biggest needs are at PG and Post, and not wing though? and how long could IU wait on getting and grooming the type of PG that can get into the lane?

    With a strong core upperclassmen group to start the 2011 season, the tourney is possible and more possible if those two needs are filled….

    Good discussion today everyone by the way during a slow sports time.

  • Azur Allen

    well, if that is the case with Aaron thomas academically…I feel better about the waiting game. We have a legit rationale. I do disagree with you on Cody Zeller however. I would loooove for him to come to IU. But true centers are hard to come by, like Hammons and Jurkin. And the other Zeller brothers haven't lived up to their billing at the collegiate level. Granted, I think Tyler might have cost himself an NBA spot by choosing to go to a college where he is buried on the depth chart.

  • Outoftheloop

    I agree with you about the Post. But that is as covered as we can do right now: Cody Zeller is our #1 priority, then, if he says no, then offer this scholarship to Chandler, if both say no, then wait until the spring for Dawson or Behanan (both of whom are strong and tough but neither of whom is a post player), but do not reach for a Goff. PG is a different situation. I watched carefully as M Jordan, D Wade, and K Bryant won NBA championships repeatedly with no real point guard. We now have Creek, Jones and Hulls. If we add A Thomas and BJ Young (plus Etherington) I am very happy. Hulls is/will be very good. If you surround him with Creek, Jones, Young, Thomas, Etherington, Oladipo, Sheehey, Watford, and Elston, then all we need is 40 minutes of play/game from some collection of Bigs: Capo, Howard, Zeller (or Chandler or Behanan or Dawson). Yes, a PG is desirable, so offer BJ Young first, now, and get his commitment. But if he says no or delays, then offer the scholarship to Thomas now and get his commitment. If he says no or wants to wait then make sure that he understands that the scholarship will be offered to someone else. But in general, if you give me three Creeks, Hulls and one rebounder/defender, I will go to the Sweet Sixteen, or beyond every year. I am/will be very happy with that! So a short answer to your question is we can wait until Hulls graduates to get your PG, and I believe that Yogi has put his name on that scholarship for 2012.

  • Outoftheloop

    You always need/want an NBA type of scorer. A Thomas and BJ Young are, Goff, is not. Elston and Watford can rebound and defend some with bigs (like Goff), but they can run and score as well.

  • Outoftheloop

    I am with you 100%, except I love Cody Zeller. But I would be very happy with Etherington, Young and Thomas!

  • marcusgresham

    Thomas, McCallum, Holman. The triangle offense comes to the Motor City. Look out Butler!

  • Kelin Blab

    Goff is no slouch at all. I remember him from H.S. here in Indy and he was more back to the basket then and now has added about 25 pounds and a face up game, he will help someone next year. I remember KS/the phone caller recruited him out of broad ripple.

    We will see how this story plays out…the likely scenario I think will be Zeller commits first, then that final scholly is based on Youngs grades, does JD wait til the spring, and is IU fully off of Aaron Thomas and will he wait beyond the fall….

  • marcusgresham

    I'm with you on Hammons. I've not seen him in person like you have (you must put a lot of tires on your car!) but what I've seen on video is about as uninspiring to me as it gets. I keep hearing about his “athletic ability” but I've seen none of it. He looks slow, a bit doughy, and not overly skilled. I haven't seen one aspect of Hammons' game that I'd rank higher than Jurkin's.

  • Uncle Joey

    I appreciate your enthusiasm, but its quite a stretch to compare some of basketball's all time greats (Jordan, Bryant, possibly Wade) to our current players at IU. It's just not apples to apples. To effectively run Crean's preferred style of offense (the dribble-drive), it starts at the 1 spot. You MUST have a player who has the ability to effectively handle and control the ball, get into the lane, and either finish at the rim or dish it out to the open man. IU really doesn't have a single player on the roster who can do all of those things.

    Getting a strong PG should have been the number 1 priority for Crean in the 2010 class (can you say Kyrie Irving?) but that fell through. It seems as though he put all his eggs in the Irving basket, and when that collapsed we instead settled for 2 wings and a Juco. Now, I'm not being ungrateful here, because I really think that these kids will all be critical pieces to the puzzle in the long run. And maybe I'm wrong on this one, but I really don't think Crean can let another recruiting class go by without getting a solid point guard. Anyone else agree with me?

  • Taskmaster75

    Aaron Thomas doesn't bring anything to this team that we don't already have in my view. We have plenty of wing scorers (Etherington is pretty much the same player). What we lack for a great team is big men and a pure PG that can run and score consistently. Young and Zeller can bring that, whereas Thomas doesn't really help us as much as they do.

    Don't get me wrong though, if one of Young or Zeller does not commit, then I would love Thomas, but he is redundant at this point.

  • Kelin Blab

    uncle joey I agree, there is a reason Crean is and was desperately trying to get a PG last year and this year. Irving and Selby fell through, we need one this class for sure….a good one.

  • Outoftheloop

    Finishing at the rim is the most overused and least understood expression in basketball. Does Steve Nash ever finish at the rim? NO! Give me Hulls and three Maurice Creeks and any group of Bigs to give me 40 min of defense and rebounds (like Zoubeck and the Plumlee's last year) each game, and I will take you to the Sweet Sixteen every year! Basketball is a simple game. If I score more points I win! There is no “MUST”. Who was Duke's PG? Did he ever finish at the rim? NO! Was he even drafted in the first round by the NBA? NO! You mention Irving, what about Selby? How does a 6-25 and 10-21 team get a “one-and -done PG”? You don't! You get 3 Maurice Creeks and a Hulls and you beat the other guys on the court!

  • Outoftheloop

    I mean no disrespect to Goff. But a scholarship offer to him is desperate to grasping at straws. IU must go: Zeller, Young, Thomas, in order of importance, NOT in order of occurrence, with our two remaining scholarships for the fall of 2010 for the class of 2011. We need to get one, either Young first or Thomas second and wait on Zeller.

  • OzieDavisiii

    I did say VO was most impressive, but I DONT RECALL VO or anybody else SHUTTING Aaron down!

    Ozie Davis III