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Thomas Becomes a Hoosier

 

 

DeAndre Thomas, playing for the Hoosiers presents him with several great opportunities: playing for tradition-rich program with five national titles in its trophy case, remaining a teammate with long-time friend, high school teammate and fellow Indian Jamarcus Ellis, as well as getting the chance to be close to his one-month-old son, DeAndre Jr.

“All three factors were really important to me,” Thomas said. “I’m  excited to play at a school like IU. And I want to be closer to my son.”

The Bloomington, Ind., campus is only four hours away from Thomas’ home in Chicago. Thomas first came onto the scene as a major basketball prospect playing alongside Ellis at Westinghouse High School in Chicago.

The duo then took their games to Chipola to lead the Indians to back-to-back Panhandle Conference titles, a state title and a runner-up finish in this year’s national tournament.

Now Ellis, who committed to the Hoosiers in August of last year, will welcome his fellow Chicagoan to Bloomington for two more years as teammates.

“It’s great because Jamarcus is a great player and a great person,” Thomas said. “He’s like my brother. I know how he plays and he knows how I play. We make each other better as players.”

The Hoosiers, who won 21 games and finished 10-6 in the Big 10 this season, lose two starters to graduation but return leading scorer and rebounder D.J. White.

Thomas and Ellis join a vaunted Indiana recruiting class that includes McDonald’s All-American guard Eric Gordon.

It gives the Hoosiers one of the most talented rosters in the Big 10 for next season. Thomas said that the talent level at Indiana will make for a smooth transition for all.

“We’re all good players, so that will take a lot of the pressure off of us,” he said. “There won’t be just one star on the team. That’s a great fit for me.”

Thomas said that he thought both he and Ellis would have a chance to play major roles on next year’s team.

“I think we’ll impact the team a lot, be impact players,” he said. “We’ll make a Final Four there.”
 

 

 
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