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NCAA Basketball: Analyzing early contenders for 5-star guard Maleek Thomas

Nov 22, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers guard Nelly Cummings (0) shoots a three point basket against the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights during the first half at the Petersen Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 22, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers guard Nelly Cummings (0) shoots a three point basket against the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights during the first half at the Petersen Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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NCAA Basketball Kansas State Wildcats guard Markquis Nowell Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
NCAA Basketball Kansas State Wildcats guard Markquis Nowell Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

Kansas State Wildcats

No program improved its standing with future perimeter prospects this past season than Kansas State. In the first year under Coach Jerome Tang, the program had guard Markquis Nowell become an All-American and one of the stars of the NCAA Tournament. That helped land North Texas transfer and Conference USA guard Tylor Perry as well.

The program does have a pair of four-star commits in Darrin Ames and David Castillo for the future but it won’t impact the potential recruitment of Thomas. And the Wildcats will not only offer him a huge role in what looks like a friendly offense but they’ll also play in the Big 12, which has been the best conference in NCAA Basketball the past couple of years.

Kentucky Wildcats

It’s been a rough offseason for Kentucky when it comes to transfers but they not only still have the No. 1 incoming recruiting class, but it could be growing as well in the coming weeks. Top prospects will always have an interest in the program, especially for a head coach in John Calipari that will play freshmen compared to others in NCAA Basketball.

The only question with this Wildcats program is who either commits before or with Thomas. Will he ultimately be the lead point guard on the team or will someone even better be the top guy? Either way, expect them to be a contender for his services.