Hoosiers Sign Forward DeAndre Thomas
April 11, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - DeAndre Thomas, a 6-8, 295-pound forward from Chicago, Ill., (Chipola [Fla.] Junior College), has signed a National Letter of Intent to continue his basketball career at Indiana University, Hoosier Head Coach Kelvin Sampson announced on Wednesday.
Sampson feels Thomas can help the Hoosiers in one of the team's most critical areas of need.
"One of the areas we feel we need to improve is scoring around the basket," Sampson said. "DeAndre will have an opportunity to really help us because we have a need for the things he does well. He has a chance to be a really good player. DeAndre was an outstanding high school player and a part of one of the top junior college programs in the nation. He is a great teammate, has a great personality and everyone will enjoy getting to know him."
Thomas is the sixth member of the Hoosiers' recruiting class, which ranks in the top 10 nationally according to most recruiting services, and was a teammate of fellow signee Jamarcus Ellis at Chipola and Westinghouse High School. He joins Ellis, a 6-5, 200-pound guard; Indiana Mr. Basketball Eric Gordon, a 6-4, 205-pound guard from Indianapolis North Central High School; Eli Holman, a 6-9, 210-pound center from Richmond (Calif.) High School; Jordan Crawford, a 6-4, 190-pound guard from Detroit, Mich. (Hargrave [Va.] Military Academy) and Brandon McGee, a 6-7, 220-pound forward from Chicago Crane High School.
"I'm excited to be a Hoosier," Thomas said. "I feel great and can't wait to get on campus. Indiana is a great program and it will be an honor to play for Coach Sampson and to continue playing with Jamarcus."
Thomas averaged 14.9 points and 5.8 rebounds at Chipola last season while shooting 60.7 percent from the field. He helped Chipola to a runner-up finish in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Tournament and a 33-3 overall record en route to first team all-conference and all-state honors.
"DeAndre is a low block scoring machine," Chipola Head Coach Greg Heiar said. "He has great hands, quick feet and is a very good decision-maker. He understands how to pass from the post and is a great scorer with his back to the basket. I'm proud of DeAndre for heading to a great institution like Indiana with so much basketball tradition and think he will be very successful."
"DeAndre is a big man with really outstanding skills," Jerry Mullen, considered the top evaluator of junior college student-athletes, said. "Indiana is getting a highly skilled athlete who knows how to win and is an outstanding team player. DeAndre is very nimble, can pass the ball, score inside and knows how to play. He really has a great feel for the game and the sky is the limit for him."
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