Hornets Training Camp Spotlight: Lance Thomas

In the first of our series profiling of some new member of the Hornets training camp roster, we turn our attention toward Lance Thomas, the former Duke forward who went undrafted after four solid years mostly in the background in college. He stands at 6-8 and weights 225 pounds, and therefore is a bit of a tweener by NBA standards. His most noteworthy performance since leaving college was probably his performance on the 2011 Pan-Am games team.

His Twitter (@SlangMagic) describes him as the “most driven person you will ever meet”, which will likely be tested for accuracy over the next few weeks of camp by Monty Williams and the assistants. He doesn’t have much of a basketball injury history, but he did suffer a seizure on the court in March. 

As for his game, he’s been known as a high energy/glue guy, which just about everyone competing for an end-of-the-bench spot needs to be. Monty Williams said specifically that he would be searching for glue guys among the nine late training camp additions.

Thomas comes directly from the D-League, and was averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds a game in four contests prior to his camp invite from the Hornets. In 2010-2011 D-League action, he averaged 12.6 points and 5.5 rebounds in 46 games, while shooting 50 percent from the floor.

He’s pretty good defender who struggles on the defensive boards, but excels on the offensive side. Judging from that alone, I’d say he needs to get better at locating his man and boxing out on the glass, as typically that’s the case when someone does well on on the offensive side, but not on the defensive side.

Honestly there isn’t much about his game online, especially considering he was a starter at Duke, so if you know anything about him particular about him on the court (Duke fans, anyone?), please do tell. If I know anything about our readers, it’s that they are all about helping each other get smarter. I’ll give you my two cents from watching him throughout camp, but I’m far from an expert scout.

7 responses to “Hornets Training Camp Spotlight: Lance Thomas”

  1. I think he was pretty good at playing defense & w/ rebounding at Duke, especially in the latter years. He was a co-captain in his senior year and most people regarded him as the vocal/emotional leader of the 2010 National Champion team. I didn’t follow his career in the D-League, but I heard he’s been working pretty hard over the past year and a half and I hope he does well at training camp.

    • Thomas is a super-high character guy — a vocal and on-court leader who’s well-liked by everyone who played with him at Duke. He didn’t show a lot on offense at Duke — didn’t shoot much, and did most of his damage off offensive rebounds, two-footed power-ups when he got the ball down low, and occasional 7-to-14-foot jumpers. His best asset is he’s a very versatile defender — quick enough to cover pro SFs and maybe even a few SGs, but capable of playing well against PFs bigger than he is. Very good at both individual defense/denial and team defense rotations.

  2. Lance Thomas was a member of the 2010 Duke championship team. He’s a power forward who excels on the offensive boards, can score around the basket, has a decent hook shot. Was a former high school All-American, is athletic, can score around the basket, good rebounder, good defender, works hard. High-character guy.

  3. Lance Thomas had a few early moments of good at Duke his first two seasons. However, by his Junior and Senior seasons, he became a much better and stronger defender and offensive rebounder. He sometimes was a bit land-locked on D and would be whistled for a reach-in foul as he tried to recover from being out of position with his feet. His offense was not his strength at Duke, but he had some “break-out” games scoring; high energy from Lance was a constant. During his final two seasons, if Lance had a big game, Duke would cruise to a W. The Hornets have a nice player who could give some serious minutes should he improve his defensive rebounding. Best wishes LT!

  4. Your comments are right on regarding Lance. He was always one of my favorite Dukies – always played so hard, through injury, on defense, giving energy to his teammates…anything the team needed. I wouldn’t underestimate his ability on the defensive boards, however. Lance is a solid rebounder on both ends – though you are correct when you say that offensive boards are more of his strength. Reliable shooter from 15-18 feet. Wouldn’t be surprised if he’s pushed his range out beyond the college line – just not the NBA. Don’t expect him to be popping threes for the Hornets. Also, don’t expect much scoring from around the basket – unless he is posting up a guard/small forward type. If so, he has a nice little hook shot with his right hand, but is offensively limited outside of his jumper and putbacks. Would not be surprised to see him land in the league as a 7th-8th guy long term, and as far as this season – he will do nothing but help any team he is with….and for not a lot of money. Good find Charlotte!

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