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Oakland Soldiers SG drawing Pac-12 interest

Photograph courtesy of Thomas Wallace.

Class of 2013 combo guard Thomas Wallace has already started drawing attention and offers from Pac-12 schools, but he’s still hoping to attract more interest as his summer progresses with his Oakland Soldiers (CA) AAU team.

“I’m just waiting and trying to improve my game,” Wallace told NRS. “I just want to get out there and show coaches what I have to offer them.”

However, the 6’3, 200-pound guard already has four offers from Fresno State, San Jose State, Santa Barbara and Arizona State and has drawn interest from many Pac-12 schools including California, Stanford and Utah.

Colorado, Boise State and Notre Dame are among the other programs who have shown recent interest in him and the California native also has an idea of who he wants to visit.

“I plan on visiting Santa Barbara, Fresno State and Arizona State,” Wallace said. “I think right now those are my top three schools that I’m interested in among those who have offered me. I just want to get a feel for what they have to offer me. I know I’m going to visit Santa Barbara mid-June but I don’t have dates for the other two schools.”

California is the only other school the Oakland Soldier has already visited and they’re also in his top five that takes into consideration schools who have shown interest but have not offered yet.

“It’s probably Stanford, Cal, Arizona State, Santa Barbara and Fresno State who make up my top five out of all the schools recruiting me,” Wallace said. “They all have solid academic programs and I know some schools like Arizona State are re-building as far as basketball goes but I still feel like the way their system is — how they get up and down the floor — would allow me to play my game. Also, the coaches are good coaches and they allow their players to play their game and make the most of their playing time.”

Wallace also says that Fresno State and Santa Barbara are the schools recruiting him the hardest which is a big reason why he likes those two coaching staffs the most.

“I would say the coaching staffs that I have the strongest relationships with are Fresno State and Santa Barbara,” he added. “I’ve been talking to [head] coach [Rodney] Terry of Fresno State and [assistant] coach [RyanMadry at Santa Barbara. They’re both really cool guys and they’re who I have the best relationships with. They’re laid back like myself, I feel like they would allow me to play my game and they’re who I talk with the most.”

In addition to which coaching staff he likes the most, location also plays a factor in his recruitment.

“Yeah, location does matter because I’m a west coast kid born and raised so I want my family to have the chance to come down and watch me play,” Wallace said. “I don’t want to go too far away but any school that provides me with the best opportunity to play my game — even if it’s an east coast school — I’m open to them as well. It plays a key role but it’s still about going to a school that fits me best.”

Photograph courtesy of Thomas Wallace.

One of those schools that is close to Wallace is USC, a school who he grew up a fan of and a program who previously showed interest in him but has since cooled off because of the coaching change a few years ago.

“I was always a USC guy because I grew up watching O.J. Mayo and those guys,” he added. “USC was actually involved my freshman year but they kind of dropped out after the coaching change when [former head coach] Tim Floyd left.”

Wallace is interested in another school that’s located nearby and hopes that the Aztecs will begin to recruit him.

“San Diego State is a school I’d be interested in but hasn’t contacted me,” Wallace said. “It would be a pleasure to be able to play with [head] coach [Steve] Fisher. I have a friend — he’s actually more like an older brother to me — who attends San Diego State, [sophomore guard] Xavier Thames, and he tells me that Steve is a really solid coach, he’s a player’s coach, he is a defensive minded coach and they just have everything I’m looking for in a school. It’s in a great location, has a beautiful campus and Steve Fischer is a legendary coach, who wouldn’t want to play for him?”

However, in order to start gaining interest from more programs, Wallace has to keep working hard and improving his game. “I’m just trying to keep getting better and show coaches what I can offer them,” he said. “I want to work on my jump shot and getting that consistent and improving my basketball-IQ. I think those two things are important to improve on.”

In the mean time, Wallace does have a timetable for when he wants to make a decision. “I want to commit before my high school season to get that out of the way so I can focus on the task ahead of me which is winning at the high school level,” he added. “I want to make sure I get that out of the way.”

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