Basketball star Thomas will visit Vols this weekend

Top prospect won't be sway by Memphians

Adonis Thomas, whom Sporting News ranks as the No. 1 overall high school prospect in the Class of 2011, has Tennessee and Memphis on his short list of six schools.

Photo by Brad Luttrell / Commerical Appeal

Adonis Thomas, whom Sporting News ranks as the No. 1 overall high school prospect in the Class of 2011, has Tennessee and Memphis on his short list of six schools.

Adonis Thomas, arguably the key prospect the Tennessee men's basketball team is pursuing in the Class of 2011, has scheduled his official visit with the Vols for this weekend.

Thomas, who plays at Melrose High School in Memphis, cut the list of schools he's considering to six while at the Mobile Boost Elite 24 all-star game in Venice Beach, Calif., on Aug. 28.

The Vols, along with Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Memphis and UCLA, made the cut.

"One of the things we like about Tennessee is Coach (Bruce) Pearl relates well to his players,'' said Eric Thomas, Adonis' 6-foot-8 father and a former collegiate basketball player who led Central Missouri in rebounding in 1991-92.

"Each player comes into a program with different situations and abilities, and just by looking at the strategies (Pearl) has used with other players, I think he can get a lot more out of kids than just a straight Xs and Os coach,'' he said. "Bruce has a system, but he lets his players make plays.''

Adonis Thomas, a 6-foot-6 forward ranked No. 15 overall in the Class of 2011 by Rivals.com, has the versatility to score from all over the floor.

"He can also guard guys from 5-11 to 6-8, and one of the things I instilled in him and all of the guys I coached was to be able to handle the ball,'' said Eric Thomas, who coached his son in the youth ranks. "I told him you never know when you'll stop growing.''

Adonis Thomas' stock is growing after he averaged 19.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, three blocks and 3.5 assists per game at Melrose last season. Thomas also scored 20 points as his AAU team, the Memphis Magic, finished runners-up in the adidas Super 64 AAU tournament in Las Vegas in July.

Eric Thomas said proximity won't necessarily be a factor in his son's choice of schools.

"UCLA is 22 hours away, Memphis is five minutes away and Tennessee is five hours away,'' he said. "It's going to come down to what is the best fit for Adonis.''

Eric Thomas also said the high-pressure techniques sometimes used in West Tennessee to keep players in Memphis will not be a factor.

"If that were the case, he'd already be (committed) to Memphis,'' Thomas said with a laugh. "We can't live off what other people think is best, especially here in Memphis.''

But the Tigers remain as active in Adonis Thomas' recruitment as any of the other finalists.

The Vols have a verbal commitment from Chris Jones (Class of 2011), who was Thomas' teammate at Melrose before transferring to Oak Ridge (N.C.) Military Academy this summer.

Adonis Thomas has attended UT's elite basketball camp twice, but last summer he was in Germany playing in the FIBA U17 world championships where he averaged 8.5 points and 4.1 rebounds per game as the U.S. won the gold.

Pearl, it's worth noting, flew to Germany to see Thomas play.

Saturday, it's the Thomas family coming to tour the Tennessee campus and visit with Pearl.

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Comments » 31

james#216392 writes:

I like our chances

dvols writes:

we need to keep the memphis bloodline open! pearl knows this!

SoFlaVol writes:

in response to FirstAndGoal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Can't you read. Or are you saying his father is a liar.

txvolsfan writes:

I don't see him going to Mempuss
I see either UT or KU!!!
Best chances for him to develop and showcase his talent!!!

bawgyman writes:

"Top prospect won't be sway by Memphians" Hopefully he won't be swayed by bad grammar either.

Slystone writes:

Watch for Florida in all of this. Many believe it is down to Memphis and UT. The Gators might be the team no one expects.

IBleedOrange444 writes:

Would love to see this dude don the orange. Hope we can pull off the monster upset and show him a truely electric atmosphere this weekend.

Chris4Vols22 writes:

I really hope we can land this guy, but I think I'm a little more concerned with signing a center. Sure, any team could use a 5 star SF, but we really need an any-star center. After Brian, we'll only have Hall, Woolridge, and a slim chance that Harris will still be here. See what I mean?

MikeInTN writes:

Best of luck to the Vols in recruiting Thomas...BUT getting Memphis athletes to leave The Bluff City is very, very difficult.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

I really hope we can land this guy, but I think I'm a little more concerned with signing a center. Sure, any team could use a 5 star SF, but we really need an any-star center. After Brian, we'll only have Hall, Woolridge, and a slim chance that Harris will still be here. See what I mean?

I absolutely see what you mean! I'm sure Thomas is a good player and I would love for us to get him for a variety of reasons, but I will feel a LOT better if we can get a couple of good "big 'uns" in the next recruiting class. We are in pretty good shape for the next couple of years at the perimeter positions, but we MUST get some quality inside beef if the program is to continue to progress.

Bigger_Al writes:

Hopefully, Coach Thomas is talking to Coach Prince (JP's father) about Memphis players coming to Knoxville to play for Coach Pearl.

The7Maxims writes:

Pastner has yet to show anybody anything. He hasn't reeled in a big recruit. He hasn't made it to the Big Dance. I have to say that we have to be ahead of Memphis at this point. Pearl is a good coach with a personality for recruiting. Mr. Thomas, Rocky Top is waiting for you.

PennVol writes:

Reel him in, Bruuuuuuce!

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

I really hope we can land this guy, but I think I'm a little more concerned with signing a center. Sure, any team could use a 5 star SF, but we really need an any-star center. After Brian, we'll only have Hall, Woolridge, and a slim chance that Harris will still be here. See what I mean?

yes

Mobbdeep4life writes:

Living in Memphis I know there is a great deal of pressure for Thomas to stay home. One thing I've heard about this young man is it's not just basketball for him but academics as well. He could be the valedictorian this year.
He definitely wants to explore all his options.

Slystone writes:

in response to The7Maxims:

Pastner has yet to show anybody anything. He hasn't reeled in a big recruit. He hasn't made it to the Big Dance. I have to say that we have to be ahead of Memphis at this point. Pearl is a good coach with a personality for recruiting. Mr. Thomas, Rocky Top is waiting for you.

Wow, you really don't know much about Basketball do you. Pastner recruited the #2 class in the country. He coached Elliot Williams to where he was a 1st round pick last year (Trailblazers). He has Will Barton,Joe Jackson, Jelan Kendrick who are all top 15 players and Barton may be one and done this year. You act like Pastner has been at Memphis for 5 years. It was his first season and by most accounts considering the lack of talent and numbers he had to work with he did an exceptional job. Now that he has talent we can see what exactly can he do. I follow both the Vols and Tigers in Bball, perhaps one of the few. But to make ignorant comments like that warrants a comment from me. Do your homework next time.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to Slystone:

Wow, you really don't know much about Basketball do you. Pastner recruited the #2 class in the country. He coached Elliot Williams to where he was a 1st round pick last year (Trailblazers). He has Will Barton,Joe Jackson, Jelan Kendrick who are all top 15 players and Barton may be one and done this year. You act like Pastner has been at Memphis for 5 years. It was his first season and by most accounts considering the lack of talent and numbers he had to work with he did an exceptional job. Now that he has talent we can see what exactly can he do. I follow both the Vols and Tigers in Bball, perhaps one of the few. But to make ignorant comments like that warrants a comment from me. Do your homework next time.

Okay a couple of quick things, now dont get me wrong I AM NOT anti Memphis. However, you contradicted your own argument by proclaiming JP coached Williams to a first round draft pick but couldnt coach him past the early round loss to a very medicore Ole Miss team in the NIT..Yes, the NIT...as far as talent...several players on that team played a big role in the past for Memphis in HUGE games...granted they needed a more capable big man most of the season...but there was PLENTY of talent there...Dont know who's account you are referring to but there are some concerns for JP's ability to sideline coach...I was at several games including the Tennesseee game...more than once he appeared to have lost control of his bench during time outs...Now I do think in the long run he will be very healthy for the program, but lets be honest....HE IS NOT ON THE LEVEL WITH BP...NOT YET. Having the opportunity to be around Coach Cal a little,,,I think Memphis is in better hands now or should i say...healthy hands now...LET'S JUST KEEP THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE...He certainly has his hands full this year with all the young ones he will have...talented? YEAH, but maybe not on the level everyone is expecting...not trying to be discouraging just honest.

oskie_score writes:

Definitely need an athletic center, one who can run the court on breaks.

Thomas Adonis is a fine talent, but I'm a little concerned about his father...we don't need another Arthur Brown.
For those of you close to the situation and better in the know regarding Eric Thomas and his influence over Adonis what say you?? Thanks in advance.

TigerOne writes:

in response to txvolsfan:

I don't see him going to Mempuss
I see either UT or KU!!!
Best chances for him to develop and showcase his talent!!!

Showcase his talent at UT, LMAO! You need to check your program's history pal. Now that is funny, do you think he is going to play for Pat.

Glad to see UT still blowing time and money recruiting Memphis.

Slystone writes:

in response to tennrich1:

Okay a couple of quick things, now dont get me wrong I AM NOT anti Memphis. However, you contradicted your own argument by proclaiming JP coached Williams to a first round draft pick but couldnt coach him past the early round loss to a very medicore Ole Miss team in the NIT..Yes, the NIT...as far as talent...several players on that team played a big role in the past for Memphis in HUGE games...granted they needed a more capable big man most of the season...but there was PLENTY of talent there...Dont know who's account you are referring to but there are some concerns for JP's ability to sideline coach...I was at several games including the Tennesseee game...more than once he appeared to have lost control of his bench during time outs...Now I do think in the long run he will be very healthy for the program, but lets be honest....HE IS NOT ON THE LEVEL WITH BP...NOT YET. Having the opportunity to be around Coach Cal a little,,,I think Memphis is in better hands now or should i say...healthy hands now...LET'S JUST KEEP THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE...He certainly has his hands full this year with all the young ones he will have...talented? YEAH, but maybe not on the level everyone is expecting...not trying to be discouraging just honest.

Tennrich no contradiction here my friend. The Tiger team I saw was low on talent and barely had enough players to make up a practice squad. How quickly we forget Calipari's departure depleted this team badly. The UT game in Memphis I only saw on TV. UT had far more talent than Memphis no question. But in the long run and grand scheme of things Pastner was unfairly judged by the poster earlier. Correction was needed. As for them going to the NIT that was about right; however several writers thought they might make get and invite to the NCAA. I didn't see it because they had no signature wins. But when it all was said and done Williams did get drafted in the 1st round. Keep in mind I follow the Vols, but Chism, Smith and Prince didn't make it in the NBA, not yet anyway. So Pastner may not have gotten beyond the NIT, but considering the talent level no one should be surprised, but Williams getting drafted 1st round is big and that my friend gets attention from recruits. I agree that he will indeed be under the microscope more closely this season given the talent he has.

walt23tn writes:

in response to TigerOne:

Showcase his talent at UT, LMAO! You need to check your program's history pal. Now that is funny, do you think he is going to play for Pat.

Glad to see UT still blowing time and money recruiting Memphis.

Join a conference loser!

walt23tn writes:

in response to TigerOne:

Showcase his talent at UT, LMAO! You need to check your program's history pal. Now that is funny, do you think he is going to play for Pat.

Glad to see UT still blowing time and money recruiting Memphis.

What a joker! Pat could take her girls and win that conference. How did you get so delusional about the Kittens? Do you guys even get televised outside the NCAA tourney? I know you get to the tourney, but that's like the Braves competing in the Little League World Series for a chance at the postseason. You're funny. Nice post.

TigerOne writes:

See you made my point. As a UT fan; you don't really understand that the dance is all that matters. Since UT is usually watching after the first weekend; you probably didn't know that, LOL. If you look at history; in hoops CUSA and the SEC is pretty similar: one bell cow and the rest, well not quite at their level.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to TigerOne:

See you made my point. As a UT fan; you don't really understand that the dance is all that matters. Since UT is usually watching after the first weekend; you probably didn't know that, LOL. If you look at history; in hoops CUSA and the SEC is pretty similar: one bell cow and the rest, well not quite at their level.

I got's an idea....How about trying to beat the Vols and CBP first...then maybe someone would take you seriously..You wont mind if I "laugh out loud"....and thats coming for someone who actually roots for the Tigers as well....man don't embarrass your team by coming on our site with that elementary type trash-talking....

TopTenn writes:

in response to TigerOne:

Showcase his talent at UT, LMAO! You need to check your program's history pal. Now that is funny, do you think he is going to play for Pat.

Glad to see UT still blowing time and money recruiting Memphis.

UT basketball program has passed the tigers. Pearl has laid the foundation for the future. Pastner was lucky to recruit an AAU team for 2010. Let's see if he can continue to recruit AAU teams. Time will tell.

ETNTigerFan writes:

Enjoy your visit to UT this weekend Adonis! Hope Bruce can dry the tears from his press conference and NCAA investigation long enough to talk to you.

CUSA_NEWS writes:

Nothin more pleasing then seein UT waste their funds/resources attempting to recruit top caliber players in the Memphis area.

If you have the mulah to waste, go for it! :-)

volcrazy333 writes:

in response to TigerOne:

Showcase his talent at UT, LMAO! You need to check your program's history pal. Now that is funny, do you think he is going to play for Pat.

Glad to see UT still blowing time and money recruiting Memphis.

Why dont you check your programs history?
a losing series record with the football school in Ktown.... so unless your talking about kansas, you cant say that the other schools in contention have better history in competition with UT. UT has owned florida as well since BPs arrival. and right now we hold bragging rights to all the other schools recruiting thomas. we beat fl, mem, and kansas last year.

volcrazy333 writes:

in response to ETNTigerFan:

Enjoy your visit to UT this weekend Adonis! Hope Bruce can dry the tears from his press conference and NCAA investigation long enough to talk to you.

a tiger fan talking about NCAA investigations?
at least our schools good enough for our coach to care instead of packing up and leaving. have fun with those 38 vacated wins, Tiger High

CUSA_NEWS writes:

in response to volcrazy333:

a tiger fan talking about NCAA investigations?
at least our schools good enough for our coach to care instead of packing up and leaving. have fun with those 38 vacated wins, Tiger High

volcrazydaisy,

See if Lane Kiffin remembered to turn the coffee pot off... sometimes people over look that when theyre in a hurry.

nicknack1 writes:

Why go to Memphis? They pulled in a huge load of freshmen this year. Memphis is gonna have quite a bit of players. He could come to Tennessee and get a really good shot of playing early, especially if Hopson leaves. Jeronne Maymon is gonna be a beast for us this year, mark it

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