Khalid Thomas enjoys Tempe visit, has a hard decision to make on Wednesday
Even when he has now narrowed down his choices to just two schools, the College of Southern Idaho forward Khalid Thomas will still be grappling with on which college to settle on in a couple of days. We caught up with the four-star junior college prospect immediately after his official visit to Tempe to get his impressions of the Sun Devils.
“The coaches showed me that they don’t only need me,” Thomas said, “but that they also want me. I thought that stood out, as well as their style of play. They get up and the floor and that really fits me. I love playing that way.
“The campus and the facilities are just awesome. I’ve seen the campus before, but it was cool to get an actual tour of it this time, get to see what life would be like being at Arizona State. It looked like a great place to be. This makes the decision harder, but I will figure it all out by Wednesday.”
Thomas is the proverbial stretch forward who is a skilled sharp shooter. As a freshman for the College of Southern Idaho, he averaged 14.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, shooting 54.8 percent from the field and 41.4 percent from three-point range.
This past season the forward missed nearly half of his sophomore campaign due to injury, which caused his numbers to drop somewhat to an average of 8.6 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 38.1 percent from the field and 35 percent on three-pointers.
“Coach Burno laid it all out for me,” Thomas commented, “and showed me how they would use me if I came there, and how I fit it. Hearing that gave me a lot to think about. He really likes my shooting especially in transition, and my ability to spread out the floor makes it harder on defense to locate.
“I hung out with Remy Martin and he told that Arizona State was a great place to be and it has a great atmosphere. He likes the team’s style of play and agreed that the way I play would fit in perfectly. It was a good time hanging with him.”
Thomas unofficially visited Oregon the day before he traveled to ASU, and admitted that his opinion of both programs did improve following his respective visits to both campuses.
“But I’m not worried about it too much,” Thomas said. “I don’t have a school that sticks out more than the other and they are both even. That’s why the decision is so hard, but I know I will figure it all out.”
Thomas committed to Texas Tech on October 1st of last year and signed with the Red Raiders a month later. At the time he had offers from the likes of LSU, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech Arizona, Baylor, Florida State, Oregon among others. He received his release from Texas Tech on May 17th and previously said that Arizona State was one of the very first schools to call him the day he reopened his recruitment.
With departures of frontcourt players Zylan Cheatham and De’Quon Lake, who both graduated, as well as Vitaly Shibel and Uros Plavsic who transferred, the Sun Devils have a pressing need to add players at this role to their 2019 class.
In a previous interview, Thomas was very pragmatic stating what he was looking for when he decides which program he will settle on.
“I don’t need anything to be handed to me,” Thomas commented, “but I need to make sure that the minutes are there for me to shine. I only have two years left to play and I want to make sure that the school I go to can get me NBA ready, and that’s where I want to go. I need to make sure that that the school can help me get there.”