June 18, 2013 by Ryan MacDougall
By Ryan MacDougall
One big man that clearly stood out was Thomas Welsh. The 7-foot, 245-pound center is heading into his senior season at Loyola High School in Los Angeles. In his junior season, Welsh averaged 12.6 points, 10.9 rebounds and 2.8 blocks for the Loyola Cubs, according to MaxPreps.
Throughout the past couple weeks on the camp circuit, observers have praised Welsh’s vast improvement in his game. On offense, Welsh has soft hands and great touch around the basket, combined with a decent mid-range jump shot. He also is a great rebounder and a solid shot contester with a fantastic motor.
Currently, USC only has three frontcourt players available for next season: Omar Oraby, Strahinja Gavrilovic, and Nikola Jovanovic. Of those three, Oraby is the only player to have logged more than 11 minutes of college basketball.
With Oraby graduating after this season, USC needs to add a solid big man like Welsh for the 2014-15 season. Welsh is rumored to be one of USC’s top center targets for the 2014 recruiting class, along with Khadeem Lattin, Payton Dastrup, Idrissa Diallo, and Jabari Craig. The Trojans will also add Charlotte transfer Darion Clark in 2014.
So far, Welsh has been offered by Santa Clara, USC, Arizona State, Portland, California, Gonzaga, St. Louis, Pacific and San Francisco, with many more likely to come. California, USC and Stanford are rumored to be in the lead in his recruitment, with Arizona State, Arizona, Santa Clara, Wake Forest and Portland still in the mix. He is currently rated a 4-star recruit by ESPN and 247 Sports and a 3-star recruit by Rivals and Scout. Welsh will likely be rated higher in Rivals and Scout’s next updated rankings.
Galen Central had the chance to briefly talk with Welsh after the USC Elite Basketball Camp:
What did you think of the USC Elite Camp?
“It was a lot of fun. A lot of good competition.”
What is your impression of USC so far?
“I definitely like it. It is definitely a great school but I think I am still open to a lot of possibilities. Not really, I guess, favored to it. I’m still open to all recruiting.”
Do you have any top schools right now?
“Don’t really have any.”
How would you describe your playing style?
“I try to play in the low post because it is the closest to the basket and easy to score down there. If I like to I pick and pop, pick and roll and try to do what I can off screen and rolls.”
What do you think of Coach Andy Enfield?
“I definitely like him. He’s a great guy. I have really liked him for the short time I have known him.”
Follow @USCGalenCentral for more recruiting updates.