– BY SAM DUREN
The top guard in Oklahoma’s Boys Basketball Class of 2019 is off the board, as during an official visit this past weekend, Micah Thomas committed to Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. The Putnam City North guard also held offers from Tulsa, Oral Roberts, Missouri State, University of Alabama Birmingham and other Division One programs.
Thomas, a cerebral guard, had previously mentioned distance being a positive factor in his college choice. As he wanted to see more of the world than just Oklahoma, and he’s getting that opportunity with his verbal commitment to the Ohio Valley Conference program.
It was an impressive official visit to the school that won over Thomas this weekend. “We were treated like royalty. It was like half the school knew who Micah was,” said Mike Thomas, Micah’s father and an assistant coach at Putnam City North.
That focus by SIUE’s on the younger Thomas as their primary point guard target helped secure his commitment. As in recent weeks, the Putnam City North point guard had been fielding calls and letters from Nebraska and Wichita State, to go along with his current offers.
Following the spring commitments of the Boone Twins (Kalib and Keylan) of Tulsa Memorial to Oklahoma State, and this weekend’s commitment by Jacob Germany of Kingston to UT-San Antonio, Thomas is the fourth member of 2019 in Oklahoma to announce that he’s Division One bound.
An intelligent player, Thomas will likely be able to carve out an immediate niche as a contributor as at least a backup point guard. While score first lead guards are currently in vogue in basketball, there will always be a place for table setting guards. Especially those that understand the flow of the game and get their teammates the touches they need.
Which is exactly what the Putnam City North Panther brings to the table. Thomas has proved his floor general capabilities these last two seasons by setting up current UT-San Antonio guard Adoiyke Iyaye and fellow graduated impact players Chris Braggs and Blake Owens.
Thomas, a starter since his freshman year. was so good at this aspect, that his Panthers have been to three straight Class 6A State Tournaments. And this spring, he played a key role in North winning the school’s first State Title. Thomas even played much of the second half with a broken thumb, but he routinely nailed free throws down the stretch to ice away the victory.
The smooth point guard is more than a tight handle with good passing vision. Thomas is one of the more effective shooters in Oklahoma, with great shot selection. He has a nearly automatic mid-range game, along with strong shooting ability from beyond the arc.
The 5 foot 11 guard will likely take on an even bigger score role, as he’s the only returning starter from the Panther’s Class 6A state championship team. While he will certainly set up North’s talented sophomore class, which includes Tobias Roland and the Nwankwo twins (Josh and Jeff); Thomas will be among top scorers in Class 6A and all of Oklahoma this season. 20 point games should become routine, with a few 30 or more scoring outburst on the horizon as well.
In some ways, Thomas is one of the safest college prospects among Oklahoma’s current seniors, because of his high floor. His cerebral style of play and high skill level, will ensure he will always find a way to make a positive impact.
The only true questions on his game, is his lack of ideal athletic ability for the next level. Thomas has never been an explosive athlete, which does raise some questions on if he will be able to create space against Division One guards, or stay with quicker foes on defense. These questions and factors could limit Thomas, especially early on. But he still has the feel of a 4 year cornerstone of a successful Division One basketball program.