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Ray Harper and Western Kentucky basketball may have a shot at landing junior college big man Kevin Thomas. Originally a Texas signee, Thomas spent the 2012-13 season at Palm Beach State Community College in Lake Worth, Fla. Tuesday, the Canadian recruiting website Northpolehoops.com reported that Thomas has trimmed his choices to WKU, North Texas, Troy and St. Bonaventure. Originally from Ajax, Ontario, Thomas did not qualify academically for Texas. He played the 2010-11 season at Christian Faith Center Academy in Creedmoor, N.C., where he averaged 11.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. Read more: http://www.bgdailynews.com/sports/juco-thomas-tabs-wku-in-final-four/article_b50db514-ad91-5cdc-a1ff-2d55380d73b7.html
For the Minnesota Golden Gophers, the loss of three seniors from their front court at the end of this season will create substantial minutes of immediate playing time that will need to be filled. While the roster will include some promising youth, an impact JUCO or high school power forward ready to contribute from day one would have a nice opportunity and help fill a need at the U. The Palm Beach State (Fla.) Panthers are off to a 17-0 start and #6 ranking in the NJCAA Division I national poll. Head coach Butch Estes has a strong, team-oriented group of players led by former NCAA Division I player Jonathan Holton and former Texas Longhorn commit Kevin Thomas. Highlighting the season thus far was a 68-63 victory earlier this month over Louisville-bound guard Chris Jones and Northwest Florida State College. As has been the norm this year for Palm Beach State, they had a significant advantage on the glass over their opponent, posting a 41% offensive rebounding percentage (OR%) and limiting Northwest Florida State to an OR% of just 18%. Thomas, a 6-9 sophomore forward, has played a key role in the Panthers dominance on the boards and is averaging approximately 4 offensive and 9 total rebounds in 20 minutes per game. I recently sat in on a Panthers practice at their home court in Lake Worth, Fla., which was the first time I had seen Kevin in person since his days with Grassroots Canada AAU. Minnesota has shown interest in Thomas in the past and although there has not been much recruiting activity with him recently, the talented Canadian may be a solid fit considering the Gophers current seniors. The regular National Letter of Intent signing period for the 2013-14 season begins April 17, 2013. Rodney Williams, Trevor Mbakwe and Andre Ingram are each in their final year at the U and Minnesota will need other players to step up if the team is going to continue their strength in the areas of offensive rebounding and shot blocking. Thomas doesnt have a huge frame, but the strength is there and his ability to rebound, block shots and help others on defense are enough that hes deserving of strong consideration. Read more: http://www.gopherhole.com/news_article/show/205764?referrer_id=334835