Class of 2017 four-star power forward Lance Thomas has committed to the Louisville Cardinals as of Sunday afternoon. Ranked as the No. 76 player in the country in the 2017 recruiting class by 247sports, Thomas becomes the fourth four-star recruit to join the Cardinals’ class, alongside center Malik Williams, point guard Darius Perry, and small forward Jordan Nwora. Louisville now has the top-rated class in the ACC, and the third-best in the nation for 2017.
A 6-foot-10, 210-pound forward out of Norcross HS in Norcross, Georgia, Thomas cut his list down to four back in July, naming Florida, Miami, USC, and Louisville, from the schools he would choose from. He since took official visits to all four schools before deciding Louisville on Sunday.
Last season’s Louisville team was cost a chance to make the NCAA Tournament by a self-imposed ban for alleged improper sexual benefits for former players on the 2010-2014 teams. The team would end the regular season with a 23-8 (12-6 in the ACC) record and finished the season ranked as the No. 16 team in the country.
The 2016-17 installment for Louisville will be head coach Rick Pitino’s 16th season at the helm for the Cardinals. They’ll have to replace three starters from last year’s team, but boast five-star incoming freshman V.J. King to soften the blow. They’ve been ranked No. 14 in the country by the early season coaches poll.
Prior to last season, the team hadn’t missed the NCAA Tournament since 2006, which was their first season in the Big East. Under Pitino, the team won the 2013 National Championship and has made six appearances in the Elite Eight.