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Syracuse Basketball: 3-star son of Etan Thomas was excellent in Nike AAU

Syracuse basketball (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /

Malcolm Thomas, a 2024 big man who is the son of former Syracuse basketball star and NBA basketball player Etan Thomas, put forth some strong performances during the most recent Nike EYBL session on the AAU circuit in Memphis, Tenn.

Malcolm Thomas is a 6-foot-8, 215-pound power forward/center in the junior recruiting class. He attends the famed DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md. In grassroots basketball, Thomas runs with the 17U squad of the Oxon Hill, Md.-based Team Durant.

Multiple recruiting services presently rate Thomas as a three-star prospect in the 2024 class, although based on his recent play in EYBL games, he sure looks like a four-star prospect to me.’

According to media reports at the time, Thomas competed in the Orange’s annual Elite Camp in late August of last year. Per recruiting services, his offer sheet currently includes Creighton, Xavier, Howard and Tulsa.

The son of former Syracuse basketball player Etan Thomas was terrific in a recent AAU session.

Last weekend, the EYBL held its fourth and final regular-season session this spring at the Memphis Sports & Events Center, prior to this league’s annual Peach Jam tournament commencing in early July.

Per the EYBL Web site, in Memphis, Team Durant went 4-1 to finish the regular season at 10-7 overall. A big reason why Team Durant had a strong showing in Memphis was the play of Malcolm Thomas.

Here are his statistics for Team Durant’s five games at the EYBL fourth session:
Game One: 4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal
Game Two: 12 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block
Game Three: 16 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block, 2 steals
Game Four: 17 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 4 steals
Game Five: 0 points, 2 rebounds (only played 5 minutes)

Thomas’ best outing of the weekend also resulted in an impressive win for his AAU squad. Team Durant defeated the New York City-based New Heights Lightning, one of the country’s top EYBL groups, by a final count of 71-70.

In that victory, Thomas led Team Durant in scoring, with those 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field in 26 minutes. The New Heights Lightning has a stacked roster, led by 2023 five-star point guard and former Syracuse basketball target Elliot Cadeau, who is committed to North Carolina.

As a junior in the 2022-23 season for DeMatha Catholic, Thomas had a solid term. According to the MaxPreps Web site, he averaged 19.2 minutes, 11.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game, while connecting on 49 percent from the field.

DeMatha Catholic is a member of the loaded Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. Other teams in this conference include St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C., and St. Paul VI Catholic High School in Chantilly, Va.

Syracuse basketball 2024 commit Donnie Freeman, a four-star power forward, is an All-American player for St. John’s College High School. One of the standouts for St. Paul VI Catholic High School is 2024 four-star center Patrick Ngongba II, who received an offer from the ‘Cuse in late April.

At this juncture, the industry-generated 247Sports Composite, 247Sports and ESPN all rate Thomas as three stars. When I penned this column, the 247Sports Composite had him ranked as the No. 200 overall prospect in the 2024 class, as well as the No. 34 center and the No. 4 player in Maryland.

In mid-March of this year, Thomas conducted a Q&A with his dad on I encourage you to check it out. Naturally, they discussed Thomas’ recruiting process and Etan’s alma mater, Syracuse.

"Here is what Malcolm Thomas had to say on that particular topic. “I’m looking for a school that best fits me and I would fit the best in. Of course, I grew up going up to Syracuse since I can remember, watching games at the [Carrier] Dome, seeing all the love you get when you go back there, so naturally I grew up loving the school. I mean, both my parents went there. But there are a lot of factors that come into play: My personal connection with the coaches, with the players, the environment, the school itself. I’m doing my homework. I’m not going to go to a school because of an NIL deal or because my parents went there. It has to be the right situation for me.”"

It remains to be seen whether the Syracuse basketball coaching staff might end up offering a scholarship to Malcolm Thomas. Either way, I’m excited to follow his recruitment. He’s a talented, intelligent young man.

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