Q&A: Orono Junior Jarvis Thomas on Gophers: "That would be awesome to play for U"

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Nov 3, 2008
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Q&A: Orono Junior Jarvis Thomas on Gophers: "That would be awesome to play for U"

Q&A: Orono Junior Jarvis Thomas on Gophers: "That would be awesome to play for the homestate."
By Chris Monter


Jarvis Thomas, a 6-foot-6 junior forward from Orono (MN) High, is one of the top wings in the Midwest in the Class of 2018 and is considered the number six prospect in the Class. His strong play this summer earned him offers from power conferences such as the Big 12 and Pac 12.

Thomas had planned to play this year as Nevada powerhouse Bishop Gorman, but transferred back home after a family tragedy.

Thomas is averaging 14.6 points per game as he has helped Orono to a 13-3 start. He scored in double figures in 13 of 16 games with five games of more than 20 points, including a season-high 24 points versus Minnetonka. Gophers assistant Ben Johnson recently attended one of Thomas’ games.

Gopher Hole caught up with Thomas recently to learn the latest on his junior season and college recruitment.

Gopher Hole: You had some tough early tests, including a win over a very good Fergus Falls team that was ranked number two in the state. How much do you think that games like this are going to help in the season?

Jarvis Thomas: Games like this are going to get us ready for March and I think that is obviously what it did. That was a really good team. Our team played very well and the effort was there. We didn't have a perfect game, but we had perfect effort.

Gopher Hole: How pleased were you with the effort?

Jarvis Thomas: Very pleased. I couldn't have asked for anything more from my guys.

Gopher Hole: If you walk outside you might not be super excited to be back in Minnesota, but how does it feel to be back?

Jarvis Thomas: It feels great to be home. Your home is home, so it will never change.

Gopher Hole: Did you get any games at all this year?

Jarvis Thomas: Just Minnesota because of everything that has been going on. I went to a couple of Minnesota games.

Gopher Hole: Which games did you go to?

Jarvis Thomas: I went to the Arkansas game and their season opener scrimmage.

Gopher Hole: Minnesota didn't have a great season last year, but are much improved this year. Does that makes you look at them differently than you did in the past?

Jarvis Thomas: I am kind of waiting for Minnesota to pull the trigger on me. They are the home team, so they are always an option.

Gopher Hole: How many offers are you up to right now?

Jarvis Thomas: Six.

Gopher Hole: What was the most recent one?

Jarvis Thomas: The Marquette offer

Gopher Hole: So, you have Green Bay, Oregon State, Arizona State, Iowa State, Cal State Bakersfield and Marquette?

Jarvis Thomas: Yes.

Gopher Hole: It is obviously an honor to have that many offers this early. Does that make you want to work even harder to hear from more schools?

Jarvis Thomas: Of course. It always makes me want to work harder, because there are other bigger schools that are looking at me and every time, I am just thinking, you got to keep working for this school, for that school and you have to do it for yourself at the same time.

Gopher Hole: Who are you hearing from besides the schools that have offered you?

Jarvis Thomas: Madison. UCLA and Texas.

Gopher Hole: What things have you been really focused on to continue to improve yourself as a player?

Jarvis Thomas: Definitely my jump shot and perimeter game. I can attack the basket pretty well and the jump shot would have to be something that would put me over the top.

Gopher Hole: Orono is expected to be one of the top team in Class 3A. What is it going to take to get to the state tournament?

Jarvis Thomas: We have easily the toughest section with DeLaSalle, Delano, Minneapolis Henry and ourselves in there. We just have to give a perfect effort all the time. All the time in those games in the section. There is no easy way through our section.

Gopher Hole: What does it mean to have that chance to play Division I basketball?

Jarvis Thomas: That's my education. That's my future. That's why I'm doing it.

Gopher Hole: When you watch college basketball, are there certain players that you watch or try to emulate your game or pick things up from?

Jarvis Thomas: I used to watch KAT (Karl-Anthony Towns) obviously. I was at the
Timberwolves game last night. Aaron Gordon. When Kentucky had all the big boys when KAT was there and Willie Cauley-Stein. I used to watch them a lot.

Gopher Hole: Do you watch certain things of their games that you can incorporate or what are you looking for?

Jarvis Thomas: Especially KAT's face-up game, because he is so agile and even though he is so big, he is good with the moves and I am trying to add that to my game as a post.

Gopher Hole: Is that kind of nice because you watched him in college and now he is playing in your back yard?

Jarvis Thomas: Yes. Right in my back yard.

Gopher Hole: What would it mean to have the opportunity to play for the homestate school?

Jarvis Thomas: That would be awesome to play for the homestate.


Active member
Nov 27, 2013
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This kid is all athleticism, he's still incredibly raw. Kind of reminds me of Rodney Williams, can't shoot a lick.


Sep 20, 2014
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#6 prospect in the class? I looked him up, he's an un ranked 3 star


Active member
Sep 26, 2010
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#6 prospect in the class? I looked him up, he's an un ranked 3 star
I'm guessing #6 in the state of Minnesota.

Tre Jones
Daniel Oturu
Race Thompson
Gabe Kalscheur
Adam Trapp
Jarvis Thomas

I remember Doogie tweeting awhile back that there's no way he'd play for the Gophers. To quote myself from last August:

He's transferring to Bishop Gorman out in Las Vegas. Doogie says an Arizona-based handler is behind the move, and will result in Jarvis Thomas staying out west.

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Jarvis and his mom then get upset at Doogie for referring to Jarvis having a "goofy situation," and Doogie replies by asking them if he said anything untrue.
Maybe Doogie was just being a dink, idk. I thought "handlers" were usually guys who were utilizing a pre-existing relationship with a top 50 type talent to try to get money or an assistant job in exchange for said touted recruit's commitment, which I thought was the deal with Rashad Vaughn and Isaiah Whitehead.


Feb 11, 2016
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Thomas' situation is weird. He does have handlers and from what I've heard his mom is very easily influenced into some questionable moves hence all the transfers he's made in the last four years.

I don't know all the details but given how many details there are, I'm not sure anybody knows them all. Complicated situation.

On the court I've never been impressed that much by Thomas. He's amazing in the warm ups. He's bouncy as hell and he looks like a DI basketball player but he's got very little basketball skill. Might be a guy somebody takes a flier on and hopes they can essentially teach him all the basketball stuff, but I think he's basically a smaller Murphy from a skill-set standpoint.
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