UNLV BASKETBALL:

Kansas transfer Thomas set to visit UNLV this weekend

Rebels staff hot on the trail of 6-foot-8 New Jersey product

Image

AP PHOTO

Kansas’ Quintrell Thomas (11) gets past UMKC’s James Humphrey (1) and Latreze Mushatt (4) to put up a shot during the first half on Nov. 16, 2008, in Lawrence, Kan. Thomas announced on April 9 that he will transfer from KU.

Click to enlarge photo

Kansas forward Quintrell Thomas, right, blocks a shot by Nebraska guard Ade Dagunduro (11) during the second half of their game in Lawrence, Kan., on Feb. 21, 2009. Kansas defeated Nebraska 70-53.

The Rebel Room

The offseason ... so far

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Ryan Greene and Rob Miech sit down after a brief hiatus to discuss all that has happened in the world of Rebels hoops since the end of a disappointing season. Among the topics are the passing of 'Gondo', another defection and some potential newcomers. Plus, is being labeled 'Transfer U.' such a bad thing?

UNLV is wasting no time in trying to fill out at least one of its open scholarships for the 2009-10 season.

Quintrell Thomas, who announced nearly three weeks ago his intention to transfer following his freshman season at Kansas, will be visiting UNLV this weekend. The Rebels, who already had one open scholarship for next season, saw a second one come available over the weekend when freshman guard DeShawn Mitchell was granted a release.

Thomas, a 6-foot-8 power forward who played his high school ball at St. Patrick in Elizabeth, N.J., took a trip last weekend to check out St. Joseph's in Philadelphia and next weekend will be in upstate New York to visit Siena.

But UNLV may have more history with Thomas than any of his other suitors.

A year ago, when Thomas was ranked as the No. 36 senior power forward and the No. 149 overall recruit by Rivals.com, the Rebels were one of the final programs to fall off the list before he became a Jayhawk.

"As soon as I announced I was transferring, one of my (high school) coaches told me they wanted to get in contact with me," Thomas said over the phone as he headed into class on the KU campus Tuesday afternoon.

Thomas added that since his announcement on April 9, he's spoken with both head coach Lon Kruger and assistant Lew Hill.

"It's a very real option," he said.

As a high school senior, Thomas averaged 14.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, two steals and two blocks per game.

Last season at Kansas, he saw action in 26 games, including one start, and averaged 1.5 points and two rebounds while playing just over five minutes per appearance as the Jayhawks advanced to the Sweet 16.

However, fellow freshmen Markieff and Marcus Morris emerged and moved further and further ahead of him in the rotation. Add into the mix the fact that potential lottery pick Cole Aldrich announced he'd return for his junior season, the incoming transfer of former Arizona recruit Jeff Withey and the commitment from another talented big man in Thomas Robinson, and Thomas went looking elsewhere to make his impression.

Thomas would have to sit out next season, making him eligible for the 2010-11 campaign, when he'd be able to team up with other high-profile transfers the Rebels have taken in, such as Tre'Von Willis (Memphis), Chace Stanback (UCLA) and Derrick Jasper (Kentucky).

The Rebels also have a glaring need for big men.

Junior college transfer Darris Santee slowly disappeared from the rotation as last season wore on, while Findlay Prep product Brice Massamba took some time to get adjusted to the college game. Coming in for next season is another big body from Findlay in Carlos Lopez.

With all of that said, UNLV has plenty to offer Thomas.

He said what he likes about the Rebels' style of play is that at 6-foot-8, he wouldn't be tethered to the hoop, and could develop some versatility beyond the paint.

"I don't want to be combined with the basket, just posting up, I don't want to do that," he said. "Pretty much expanding beyond that to other things. I mean, I'm only 6-8, so being a rebounder and a post-up player won't get you too far."

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Previous Discussion: 20 comments so far…

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  1. very nice

  2. Sweet.

    Pleeeeeeeeease land him.

  3. its just a visit.... don't get too excited

  4. He could very well end up here. He was between us and Kansas when he committed during high school. I saw him on campus during his visit. He went to a football game and came by the tailgates. He is a legit 6'8" I think.

  5. Perfect... just what we need. Another big-program reject who isn't tough enough to play the post and would rather use his size to jack up 3's all day.....

    yep.... sounds like a Kruger recruit.

  6. Jeff and everyone,

    He said what he said, but I also think that shouldn't be read into too much.

    I've seen QT play quite a bit. He's a tough big man. He knows that part of what comes with being 6-foot-8 is playing down low and fighting for boards. But he also has range out to about 15 feet, and I think he just wants to be as versatile as possible.

    If I had to compare him to anyone, I'd say he's a lot like Tyson Johnson, who was a big-time scorer and rebounder for Wyoming this year. They're both thick big men with that New York City toughness who have some inside-outside versatility to them. But trust me, he doesn't want to sit around and chuck 3-balls. Not at all. He'd fit in nicely in the Mountain West and could definitely develop into a 14 and 8 kind of guy, especially with a year to learn UNLV's system.

  7. That may be true Ryan, but regardless, filling your roster with transfers is a sign of really bad recruiting. Kruger has to step it up with these next schollies or he needs to be shown the door.

  8. I have no problem with UNLV taking guys who originally committed to Kentucky, UCLA, Memphis and Kansas right now. I enjoyed our success as much as anyone back in the day, but that was a long time ago. It might take a while until we can recruit those types of kids right out of high school. With all of the transfers in the college game today, there is good talent out there moving that will help us.

    Quintrell, if you are reading this, there are thousands of Rebel fans who hope you become a Rebel. We would love to have you here! We understand you choosing Kansas a year ago, but this is where you belong.

    Makes me chuckle to think what some of these posters would have said had Quintrell chosen UNLV over Kansas a year ago. Think we all would have loved that. With this logic, we should have never wanted Greg Anthony to come back home to us after his freshman season at Portland.

    Also I can't see where he is saying he wants to jack up a lot of threes. Sounds like the possibility of a bigger Wendell White. He wants to be able to play inside yet be able to hit the 15 footer. We all know we could certainly use that.

  9. The Rebels are getting an excellent player in Quintrell Thomas and we will miss him at KU. Unfortunately, there are only so many players who get to see meaningful playing time and many Kansas fans wished that Quintrell had more of an opportunity. He's capable of hitting the boards with the best of them and he handles the ball well for a 6'8" player. Perhaps most importantly, Quintrell conducted himself perfectly as a KU student and as far as the fans and media know, he didn't whine about lack of playing time. I hope he ends up with coach Kruger - who is a K-State grad, but one that even KU fans really admire. I think you will all be very surprised at the ability Quintrell will bring. Good luck with the recruiting. And Quintrell, Jayhawk fans everywhere wish you great success wherever you land.

  10. Very nice Jayhawk, your input and wishes are appreciated. Hopefully we'll get Quintrell and he can show us what he showed KU fans.

  11. I don't think you guys have to worry if QT will end up at UNLV. I'm pretty sure he's going to end up at Siena. Afterall Siena is much closer to his home town and family than UNLV is. That's what I believe will be his deciding factor. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Siena has been to back to back NCAA tournaments, including two first round wins.

  12. Q. T. Go to Siena We don't need a Kansas reject

  13. williamtomany1 is reno swine.

    "We" don't need a reno reject like toomanybongs trying to stir up the pot with fans from other schools. I wouldn't worry too much though beerboy, we would beat you with or without Thomas.

    I've never seen someone so intent on making sure the better school fails. Not happening any time soon.

    Repeat after me bonghitter, J-E-A-L-O-U-S-Y.......yes, very good.

  14. Nice perspectives from the Jayhawk. Very cool to see a program where fans are interested enough to track a guy leaving their team, and even wish that guy well.

    Just goes to show that excellence and sportsmanship can coexist.

  15. Any news on how the visit went this past weekend?

  16. Stone, I've tried a few times to reach him, but no luck so far. I'll try again over the next few days and see what I can scrounge up.

  17. Lenny_V,

    I'm new to this UNLV blog site and I'm not sure if you're one of those negative type fans. Based on your first comment, it doesn't sound like most of the other UNLV fans agree with you.

    I don't know why I'm bothering to respond to you other than I'm bored at this moment.

    Siena, as you asked, is a couple miles north of Albany in a town called Loudonville. Siena hasn't ever been to the final four, nor have they ever made the Sweet Sixteen. Siena has only been to the NCAA Tournament 5 times with a 4-5 record. I realize that this pales in comparison with UNLV's 4 final fours, 15 NCAA appearances and overall NCAA Tournament record of 32-14.

    I take small consolation in that Siena has a small chance to land a heavily recruited UNLV player (Q.T. was deciding between Kansas and UNLV his freshman year). That's about the best I can hope for, since Siena will most likely never achieve the status of an UNLV.

    I'd love for Siena to play UNLV. Does anyone on this board have any input with the coaching staff/administration? Siena is looking to schedule home & home series with other schools. Most other schools are too afraid to play at Siena's 17,500 seat arena, but are more than willing to schedule guarantee games at their venue.

    Lenny_V if you're so confident that UNLV is that much better please put in a request to UNLV to schedule a home & home series with Siena. I'd love to make the trip out and play your team.

    Too all the other UNLV fans on this site, I truly wish you guys a great 2009-2010 season.

  18. Any word, anyone?

    How'd the visit go?

    When's Quintrell supposed to decide?

    How are the individual summer workouts going?

    Sigh. . . Dog days of summer. I feel like any scrap of UNLV Basketball news is like an oasis in the desert.

  19. It's been 5 days or so TrueFan...but I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's been a drought. Ryan and Rob do very well for us as far as getting the info out ASAP.

  20. Although I do agree in regards to past summers, it has been a different story.