Adonis Thomas: Memphis’ Savior?

Memphis Tigers Men's College Basketball NCAA Tournament

Adonis Thomas: Memphis’ Savior?

No doubt, if you are used to seeing nothing but success at the University of Memphis, the past two years have been a letdown. Other schools would love to have consistent 20-win seasons, but the fact is Memphis has records of 24-10 and 25-10 in the past two years after four straight 30-win seasons under former coach John Calipari and players such as Derrick Rose. The odds are the next great Memphis player won’t stick around for four years, but Adonis Thomas could help Memphis climb back to the top in a hurry.

Everything about Thomas spells success when it comes to basketball. A 6-6 forward/guard, Thomas attended Melrose High School in the Memphis area and quickly became a name to remember. He averaged 19.2 points, 12.3 rebounds, 4.9 blocks, 4.1 assists and 3.6 steals as Melrose went 26-7 and reached the Region 8-AAA finals before losing to White Station.

From there the postseason games beckoned. Thomas played in the McDonald’s All-America Game, the Jordan Brand Classic and the Nike Hoops Summit. He was already considered the top prospect in Tennessee, so for second-year coach Josh Pastner to pick up Thomas in October of last year was a big

Will Thomas join an illustrious list of former Memphis players that include Rose, Anfernee Hardaway and Elliot Perry? Thomas certainly has the credentials to step in and play right away. His 6-6 body and weight over 200 pounds will make him a constant threat in the post. He can do a little bit of everything, especially score and grab rebounds. He also blocks shots, dishes off the ball and takes the ball away. What more could a coach want?

Thomas might be the guy to bring the Tigers back to the prominence they enjoyed as recently as 2008-09, when they enjoyed the last of four 30-win seasons before coach John Calipari left for Kentucky. Memphis has always been a decent men’s basketball school, but there was that little spark missing.

Rose was the last good player Memphis had, and although his stay with the team ended on a down note (ineligibility cost the Tigers all 38 wins they achieved in the 2007-08 season) he was still the best player the Tigers had during Calipari’s final years.

What Rose was to Calipari, Thomas may soon be to Pastner.


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