Change of Plans for Thomas

Change of Plans for Thomas

Ville Platte big man Mike Thomas, a recruiting target for the Ragin' Cajuns, recently had a major change in plans. Find out more inside the Cajun Redzone.

An all-state big man at Ville Platte High School, Mike Thomas made some news in December when he decided to graduate a year early in May.

Jones said Thomas would be too old to play for Ville Platte next season according to LHSAA rules. Scout.com rates Thomas as a three-star prospect and the nation's No. 18 center in the Class of 2014.

"He is definitely going to graduate in May," Ville Platte coach Tommy Jones told the Cajun Redzone on Friday. "But where he is going is still up in the air."

Jones said the 6-foot-10, 230-pound Thomas is still working to attain a qualifying score on the ACT. The NCAA's regular signing period runs from April 17 to May 15.

"If he's not able to get his score up he will go to prep school or junior college next season," Jones said. "If he gets the score he needs, he will play Division I basketball next season."

According to Jones, the Cajuns, Mississippi State and Houston are the three leaders right now for Thomas. Jones added that Tulane, Southern, Auburn, Oklahoma and LSU are also involved.

Thomas took an unofficial visit to Lafayette in October to watch basketball practice and attend the football game against Tulane. In January he had an unofficial trip to Auburn to watch a Tigers basketball game against Kentucky.

"I think he will end up at one of those three if he qualifies," Jones said of the Cajuns, Mississippi State and Houston. "Those schools are constantly calling him, and he's really comfortable with those coaching staffs."

Thomas made the Class 2A all-state first team and was recognized by NOLA.com as one of the state's best post players and top defenders this past season after averaging 18 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks per game. He was also named MVP of Evangeline Parish and District 5-2A and landed on the Alexandria Town Talk's All-Cenla first team as fifth-seeded Ville Platte advanced to the state quarterfinals.

"This was his best season in high school," Jones said. "He played good against better competition and really showed what he could do."

Jones said Thomas has improved from two seasons ago when he averaged 15 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks.

"We ran our offense inside-out and had plays designed especially for him as the focal point of our offense," Jones said. "His ability to block and alter shots was already there, but he was able to branch out a bit offensively. He showed a good mid-range jumper, hit some 3-pointers, showed he could dribble and even led some fastbreaks."

Back in October, Thomas told the Cajun Redzone that he felt like he could fit in with the Cajuns after making an unofficial visit to campus. Jones said Thomas is still high on the Cajuns.

"He watched the basketball team practice and really liked what he saw," Jones said. "He is really excited about what they do with their big men and was impressed with the program."

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