Fall tour: George Washington Danville

DANVILLE, Va. -- It had been almost a year to the day since I’d seen shooting guard Ahmad Thomas (Danville, Va./George Washington). Last September we caught him at a camp in Charlotte but this time around it was on his turf.

Thomas is a 6-foot-3 scoring guard who pumped in 16 points per game as a junior. At the workout Monday night, he was the best player on the floor. Delaware head coach Monte Ross made the trek from Newark (cheap plug for my hometown. Hi, mom). Thomas has offers from Robert Morris, Western Kentucky, Gardner Webb and Tennessee Tech. Charleston Southern was in the building watching him too. Delaware is likely to be Thomas’ first official visit.

The best part about making fall trips is reconnecting and gauging the progress of players. For Thomas, he exudes confidence and is laced with scoring talent. He’s an easy target for the programs on his list and given his explosion in the lane, likely a guy that can be not just a signee, but a good player in the program. This is his year, his team, his time.

Making his second appearance at GW is senior wing Jarod Williams. The Danville, Va., native played last year at Blue Ridge Academy down the road in Dyke, Va. While Thomas is the scoring maven, Williams is the No. 2 scoring option with a keen sense for setting guys up. He’s not a point guard because he doesn’t have that speed or handle but he can run an offense and see the court. Duquesne, Ohio, the Hilltoppers, Northeastern, Marist and Appalachian State are interested.

The trip was almost according to plan but an ankle injury kept junior forward Jamarcus Hairston out of the mix. A quick check of the notes revealed the last time I saw Hairston he was 6-4 and a small forward. He’s probably 6-6 now and you never know, maybe he’ll be a big man.

Finally, the most refreshing part of the trip to George Washington was pre-practice. As the guys from the squad filed into the gym, they didn’t waste time and they went right into their routine. They broke up into baskets and each guy warmed up shooting the basketball the same way. You’d be surprised how often you walk into a gym and it’s a straight up free for all. These guys have a nice team with a few Division I players. The community’s excited to see how their season goes and why not? This group has a new coach in Thomas Carr and I’d be surprised if they bowed out in the second round of the states this year.