By Brian McInnis
It was a good day for the UH men's basketball team on Monday with the oral commitment of Michael Thomas to play for the Rainbow Warriors starting in 2013-14. He's the first pickup of that class for Gib Arnold, and privately the UH coaches are pretty excited about it.
Thomas, of El Camino Real High near Los Angeles, first announced his decision on Twitter at about 10 a.m., then talked about it in a phone interview in the afternoon. It happened just a day removed from him returning from the islands on his official visit.
He said the team chemistry he perceived among his future UH teammates as the biggest reason he pledged with the 'Bows over N. Arizona and UCSB. He can sign as soon as Nov. 14.
His coach, David Rebibo, said Thomas averaged 16 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three blocks per game as a junior. Thomas gave his most recent height and weight at 6-6 and 200 pounds even. He'll be expected to play the 2 through the 4 at El Camino for the upcoming season, after being more of a post player last year.
His versatility on the wing is considered his best attribute, to go with his athleticism.
"If I have a big on me, I'm going to be putting it on the floor or spacing it out and try to go by him and shoot it," Thomas said. "If I have a smaller person on me, I'll post him up or take him to the rear block and try to bully them in get a bucket, or create for my teammates off of that."
There shouldn't be academic concerns surrounding Thomas akin to some that plagued previous UH signees out of high school in recent seasons. Thomas is taking AP statistics and other honors courses. He posted a 3.8 GPA in his previous semester, Rebibo said.
More on Thomas will appear in Tuesday's Star-Advertiser.