Minnesota Basketball has landed the second commitment to their 2018 class with the addition of Jarvis Thomas, a power forward from Long Lake, MN. He is also the second local player from the 2018 class who is choosing to stay home and be a Gopher.
What the Gophers are getting is a physical, active athletic and strong forward. He has been turning heads and gaining attention throughout the summer with his play against other highly ranked seniors with high-major offers in the EYBL circuit as well as his play at various camps.
The Gophers were not the first to offer Thomas but they finally extended an offer in mid-June. Ryan James with the story on the offer with quotes from his Orono coach, Barry Wohler.
“Jarvis is really a freak athlete,” said Wohler. “He is a 6-foot-8 athlete that moves like a six footer. In football Jarvis runs about a 4.7 40 time. He is kind of like a gazelle. Jarvis is so explosive, when he dunks he dunks with power. He can dunk off two feet, he can dunk off one leg.
“Jarvis can guard every position on the floor. Very versatile and very explosive. Maybe, I had one coach quoted as saying, he may be the most athletic player on the national circuit this summer.”
Thomas has also spent considerable time with former Gopher big man, Jonathan Williams. Williams has been working with Thomas since his 8th grade year and it has really helped him to grow in the player he’s become.
“I thought he had a lot of potential,” Williams said. “Over time, he’s developed into a hell of a basketball player. It’s all deserving of him. He’s a rebounder, shot blocker and a junkyard dog. With his athleticism running the floor and being that work horse – you can get endless things out of him.”
What We Know...
High School: Orono
Scholarship Offers: Oregon State, Marquette, Wake Forest, Arizona St, Iowa St,
A 3-star recruit according to Rivals, Scout and 247 and appears to be on the fringe of a top 150 ranking. After an impressive summer on the AAU circuit, that ranking may improve in the coming weeks.
He has teamed up this summer with future Gopher teammate Daniel Orturu, Tre Jones and Gabe Kalscheur on Howard Pulley. This crew made the EYBL Peach Jam quarterfinals before falling last week. Now Thomas has his college plans wrapped up and will focus on leading his Orono squad with aspirations of a state AAA title.
The Gophers now have a Center and a Power Forward wrapped up in this 2018 class. Both positions were very much needed and the Gophers filled those positions with two very good local recruits. So what is next?
They seem to be prioritizing a guard who can score, whether that be a combo guard or a pure shooting guard. And then potentially adding a point guard. But the addition of Thomas gives the Gophers 2 of the top 5 local recruits in the 2018 class (and one of those top 5 just reclassified to 2017).
The turnaround by the Gopher program over the last year is having an impact on local recruiting. Adding Orturu and Thomas only strengthens the tie between the Gophers and the local high school basketball community. They will pair to be a strong frontcourt on both ends of the floor, with a local flavor.
Two scholarships remain for the 2018 class. More to come on remaining targets and needs in the coming days.
UPDATE: Coach Pitino responds to news.