Top-10 basketball prospect has Tennessee on top-6 list

The Tennessee men's basketball program made the cut in the competition for the services of Memphis Melrose standout Adonis Thomas.

Thomas, ranked as a five-star, top-10 small forward prospect in Class of 2011 by both Scout.com and Rivals.com, announced UT as one of his six finalists on Saturday at the Mobile Boost Elite 24.

The other five schools he's considering are Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Memphis and UCLA.

“The thing to know about Adonis is that, first and foremost, he's a great person and a model citizen,'' said Jermaine Johnson, Thomas' coach at Melrose. “He brings a lot of versatility to the court, as he can play multiple positions.''

Thomas, 6-foot-6 and 200 pounds, was in Venice Beach, Calif., this weekend to compete in the outdoor all-star event.

Last summer, Thomas served as a captain and starter on the Team USA U-17 squad that went 8-0 and captured the gold medal at the FIBA world championships in Hamburg, Germany.

It probably wasn't a coincidence that Vols head coach Bruce Pearl made his first recruiting trip of the summer overseas to attend that tournament.

Johnson said Thomas' recruitment has been a whirlwind, with schools from all over the nation involved.

“It's been overwhelming, and he had 15 schools he was considering before cutting down the list,'' Johnson said. “Adonis has been a winner all of his life. His 8-under team took second in (AAU) nationals. Last year they (Memphis Magic) won adidas Super 64 in Las Vegas and they took second this summer.''

Thomas - who's also a candidate to be valedictorian of his class – has attended UT camp on two occasions.

Tennessee has a verbal commitment in the Class of 2011 from guards Kevin Ware (Rockdale County, Ga.) and Chris Jones, a former teammate of Thomas' at Melrose.

Jones transferred to Oak Ridge Military Academy in North Carolina after completing his third year of high school on account of a Tennessee rule that doesn't allow 19-year-olds to compete.

“Chris is still a part of our family,'' Johnson said. “We're considering retiring his jersey. His transformation at Melrose was incredible.''

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Comments » 26

pj_ladyvolnMI writes:

Looks like the kind of kid we want in every way!

UTByrd writes:

Adonis, I sure hope you choose the Vols. Come help build a champion.
That's kind of a strange rule-no 19 year old players. Seems to me that Chris' senior year was taken from him...friends, family, prom, hoops, community, etc. Definitely retire his jersey.
Go VOLS!!!!!

dvols writes:

we need a memphis kid to replace JP!

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

Would love to have him at UT, but Kansas and Memphis are hard to out-recruit. When Pastner wants a kid, he usually gets him, especially a Memphis kid. Don't hold your breath on this one.

Chris4Vols22 writes:

in response to jhayes0926#638474:

Would love to have him at UT, but Kansas and Memphis are hard to out-recruit. When Pastner wants a kid, he usually gets him, especially a Memphis kid. Don't hold your breath on this one.

You won't have to worry about Kansas. It's either us or Memphis. I think he would have already committed if he LOVES Memphis. For this reason, I think we have a shot, but it's completely 50-50 right now.

jzt writes:

Look out if Pearl taps that pipeline, its a great time to get him with Memphis being down. This would be huge, the two best players leaving Memphis for Big Orange Country.

murrayvol writes:

Great athlete. Great kid. Great future.

Hope the Vols are part of that future.

vol_4_fan writes:

The more times that CBP can get these kids to put UT on their top schools list, we will start getting more and more of them wearing the ORANGE! Go Vols

tennrich1 writes:

in response to jhayes0926#638474:

Would love to have him at UT, but Kansas and Memphis are hard to out-recruit. When Pastner wants a kid, he usually gets him, especially a Memphis kid. Don't hold your breath on this one.

Lets not give Pastner that kind of credit just yet....My gosh, man, he's had only one class..having said that I think its between UT and Memphis....with UT one of the hottest, rising programs in the nation....no question about it....

tennrich1 writes:

We must REALLY be careful about the Memphis kids we recruit...unfortunate but true.... qualifying is often a problem...Dont think thats the case with Adonis though...Its nice to be in a position now where we can be a little selective...

veinsoforange writes:

WitchDoctor, you out there? What's the inside scoop on this kid?

htownvol07 writes:

According to all of the predicted polls, Memphis is going to be ranked higher than Tennessee at the beginning of the season, plus Memphis has an easier schedule. UT is bringing in his old teammate Chris Jones, but ALL of his teammates from his AAU team are at Memphis and will all be there for the 2011-2012 season. I think it does come down to UT and Memphis, but I see him staying in Memphis.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

in response to tennrich1:

Lets not give Pastner that kind of credit just yet....My gosh, man, he's had only one class..having said that I think its between UT and Memphis....with UT one of the hottest, rising programs in the nation....no question about it....

he had the top 1 or 2 class in the country at Memphis, but he was also the head recruiter for years in Kansas. He is one of the top 5 recruiters in BB.

htownvol07 writes:

in response to jhayes0926#638474:

he had the top 1 or 2 class in the country at Memphis, but he was also the head recruiter for years in Kansas. He is one of the top 5 recruiters in BB.

He also got that recruiting class without evening coaching a game. If Pastner takes this year's team far into the tournament, then I don't believe any players will leave the city of Memphis.

HtownVol writes:

in response to jhayes0926#638474:

he had the top 1 or 2 class in the country at Memphis, but he was also the head recruiter for years in Kansas. He is one of the top 5 recruiters in BB.

You really like Pastner dont you? How can you say he is a top 5 recruiter in all of CBB?

One class at Memphis that Cal had pretty much put together. And you give him cred for Kansas.. Come on, the Kansas name gets recruits. Williams and Self had a lot more to do with recruting than Pastner. I actually didnt know he was at Kansas. So I may have the coaches wrong.

Point is he has not done enough to be called a top 5 recruiter in the country. If he gets 5 more top 5 classes then we can call him a top 5 recruiter.

As for the Vols, I have always said that Bruce has won the SEC with Buzz Petersons players, what will he do with a team full of 4 and 5 star players? Bruce had a great class in 07' but only Chism made it. This 2010 class is Bruces best class yet and the country better be ready cuz if Bruce was winning with "average" talent, he is going to get his Final Four in the next year or two.

UT is going to get back to the run and press style that Bruce loves. He has some great athletes on this team. It really depends on how much Williams can play. BW is going to have to be able to play 25 minutes every game. Especially when we play teams with big post players. Hall and "the transfer" are both too light to stop great post players.

I am very excited about our offense. This team should be able to score with the best. Every time I see Tobias he just scores with ease. He is a natural scorer. I hope his defense is as good.

The difference in a second round K.O and a Final Four is Scotty Hopson. Will we stop hearing his excuses finally? Does he show everyone he can finaly take the big shots? Scotty is the most talented player UT has had since Allen Houston (not joking) but he lacks confidence.

If Bruce can get this team to believe in themselves UT will be in the Final Four with a chance to win it all.

Sorry to get of topic. Come to UT!

GO VOLS!

volsmith writes:

"..a Tennessee rule that doesn't allow 19-year-olds to compete." Talking about Chris Jones.

What is that all about?

IBleedOrange444 writes:

in response to volsmith:

"..a Tennessee rule that doesn't allow 19-year-olds to compete." Talking about Chris Jones.

What is that all about?

I think it means he is already 19 and Tennessee state schools will not let him play, so he went to a prep school in another state.

ATH writes:

in response to HtownVol:

You really like Pastner dont you? How can you say he is a top 5 recruiter in all of CBB?

One class at Memphis that Cal had pretty much put together. And you give him cred for Kansas.. Come on, the Kansas name gets recruits. Williams and Self had a lot more to do with recruting than Pastner. I actually didnt know he was at Kansas. So I may have the coaches wrong.

Point is he has not done enough to be called a top 5 recruiter in the country. If he gets 5 more top 5 classes then we can call him a top 5 recruiter.

As for the Vols, I have always said that Bruce has won the SEC with Buzz Petersons players, what will he do with a team full of 4 and 5 star players? Bruce had a great class in 07' but only Chism made it. This 2010 class is Bruces best class yet and the country better be ready cuz if Bruce was winning with "average" talent, he is going to get his Final Four in the next year or two.

UT is going to get back to the run and press style that Bruce loves. He has some great athletes on this team. It really depends on how much Williams can play. BW is going to have to be able to play 25 minutes every game. Especially when we play teams with big post players. Hall and "the transfer" are both too light to stop great post players.

I am very excited about our offense. This team should be able to score with the best. Every time I see Tobias he just scores with ease. He is a natural scorer. I hope his defense is as good.

The difference in a second round K.O and a Final Four is Scotty Hopson. Will we stop hearing his excuses finally? Does he show everyone he can finaly take the big shots? Scotty is the most talented player UT has had since Allen Houston (not joking) but he lacks confidence.

If Bruce can get this team to believe in themselves UT will be in the Final Four with a chance to win it all.

Sorry to get of topic. Come to UT!

GO VOLS!

John Calipari had absolutely nothing to do with Memphis' 2010 class. It was all Pastner. It's common knowledge that Cal consciously did not recruit the Memphis area.

Pastner is hands-down one of the top-5 recruiters in all of college basketball. All of the publications agree on this point. Just because you don't want to accept it doesn't make it any less true.

Ralph_Crampton writes:

It looks like Kentucky men's basketball team will pull an encore again the season...they have an array of top flight talent again. For some reason, the Kentucky coach has pro prospects coming in all hoping to be in the first round pick. Coach Cal has convinced the top players it would be easier to come his way. The only drawback is very rare...that is can all this talent play together as a team?

HtownVol writes:

in response to ATH:

John Calipari had absolutely nothing to do with Memphis' 2010 class. It was all Pastner. It's common knowledge that Cal consciously did not recruit the Memphis area.

Pastner is hands-down one of the top-5 recruiters in all of college basketball. All of the publications agree on this point. Just because you don't want to accept it doesn't make it any less true.

Seriously? Cal had nothing to do with that class?He had Wall and Cousins at UM plus half of their final class. Cal had a little to do with Memphis 2010 class.

Dont get me wrong Pastner pulled a great final class, but Cal did a lot of work in getting those kids interested. Just cuz you wont admit dont make it any less true.

Also, am I wrong? Hasnt this guy only been a Head Coach of a major University for 1 year? Therefore he has had 1 recruiting class ( I may be wrong, maybe he was at no name C.C and signed the #319 class??). I understand he was a recruiter for one of the winningest programs in history (which Buzz Peterson could land a top 5 class) but the HC had as much to do with that as a assistant. Steven Forbes is a great recruiter, but I think kids sign at UT for Bruce Pearl.

You are not getting my point. This Pastner guy is a great recruiter, Yes. Although he has just not done enough to be called a "top 5 recruiter". If he signs 4 or 5 more top 5 classes, then yes. As it stands now he just does not have the resume of..

R. Williams
J. Crapalotti
B. Self
R. Petino
The Duke Coach with a name I can not spell. (schesshhheeeskiiiee?)
Tom Izzo
Rick Barnes

I can go on. If you seriously think that you are still correct please explain why your choice is better than just 3 of the names I listed. And if you are determined to win this I will give you another list of names.

So please just understand that your guy just has not done enough to be called a "top 5 recruiter".

TopTenn writes:

in response to ATH:

John Calipari had absolutely nothing to do with Memphis' 2010 class. It was all Pastner. It's common knowledge that Cal consciously did not recruit the Memphis area.

Pastner is hands-down one of the top-5 recruiters in all of college basketball. All of the publications agree on this point. Just because you don't want to accept it doesn't make it any less true.

You are kidding, right. Pastner is not a top 5 recruiter. He signed a great class, but his 2011 classes and beyond will be average at best. The tigers are currently not listed on top 50 players lists for 2011 and beyond.

TopTenn writes:

Clarification, Adonis will be the only top 50 player the tigers will sign in 2011. Pastner will revert to the Finch recruiting, recruit Memphis only.

htownvol07 writes:

in response to TopTenn:

Clarification, Adonis will be the only top 50 player the tigers will sign in 2011. Pastner will revert to the Finch recruiting, recruit Memphis only.

Correction...Memphis has 4 guys in the Top 30 of the 2012 class considering them...

FedEx_Forum writes:

Just to set a few things straight: Pastner was a player and assistant at Arizona, not Kansas. Calipari had nothing to do with this year's class... he took Cousins, Wall and the rest to KY so there is no reason to think that he is recruiting for Memphis on the side. And the reason that Memphis has very few recruits in the classes of '11 and '12 is that we just took in 8 players, 4 of which are included in the ESPN top 100, two of which are McDonald's All Americans (and all qualified to play). Only Will Barton is a likely one and done so there will be only so many scholarships to offer. Hopefully Adonis will be one of those few. So is Pastner a top 5 recruiter? There is no track record to make that call. But Tiger fans like what they are seeing so far! Looking forward to our game again this year... it promises to be a good one.

Colliervol writes:

in response to ATH:

John Calipari had absolutely nothing to do with Memphis' 2010 class. It was all Pastner. It's common knowledge that Cal consciously did not recruit the Memphis area.

Pastner is hands-down one of the top-5 recruiters in all of college basketball. All of the publications agree on this point. Just because you don't want to accept it doesn't make it any less true.

This would be the take from most Memphis fans. One year of excellent recruiting and Coach Jonas is the second coming of John Wooden. Delusions of grandeur run rampant down here and it's something you just come to understand with Memphis fan. Remember also that the Calismarmy was an excellent recruiter too and he couldn't outcoach most good church league coaches if he had to rely on his X's and O's.

"National program" piling up wins in a less than mid major league every year.
"National program" when they have NEVER won a national title. How in the world can one be a "national program" like Carolina, Duke, UCLA, Kansas or Kentucky when one has NEVER won a title? It's called delusions of grandeur. Case closed.

FedEx_Forum writes:

Do your homework before you comment. From Wikipedia: "Josh Pastner is the son of Hal Pastner, a local AAU, high school coach and basketball promoter in the Houston area. Josh knew he wanted to be a coach since the 5th grade. By the age of 13 he was publishing the Josh Pastner Scouting Report of local high school talent in the Houston area. At the age of 16, the Houston Hoops AAU squad was turned over to Pastner by his father, his first job as a head coach. While an AAU coach, Pastner coached future NBA players such as Emeka Okafor, T. J. Ford and Daniel Gibson." You don't have to like the guy or the team he coaches, but he knows what he is doing and knows how to get it done... and has for quite some time.

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