Memphis is playing their best basketball of the season right now, and they just picked up some even better news: star freshman Adonis Thomas, who had been out for two months with an ankle injury, has been fully cleared by team doctors and will play Thursday in the Conference USA Tournament.
Thomas, who had been averaging 9.7 ppg as a starter at the three, had been doing conditioning drills in practice since last Tuesday.
The question now is whether or not this ends up being a good thing for the Tigers. Over the course of the last three months, this group had gelled. They’ve gone from a team where their star point guard (Joe Jackson) was considering transferring midseason, their senior leader (Wesley Witherspoon) was getting benched for attitude and performance and their fanbase was calling for the ouster of their head coach.
Memphis won the CUSA by two games. Their three losses in the league came by a combined six points. Those are the only three games they have lost since a two-hour post-game meeting that followed an embarrassing loss at Georgetown, and at this point, I don’t think I’m the only one that believes Memphis is the most underrated team in the country heading into the postseason.
Some of that turnaround involved Thomas. Some of it came when he was out. Personally, I don’t think it is going to be a huge issues. Thomas can score, but he’s not a guy that needs a ton of shots when he plays. He is willing and able to help in other areas. And, for what its worth, I don’t think adding a future pro back into the mix is ever really a bad thing.