Shocked and Excited

Shocked and Excited

With two openings left in Wisconsin's 2013 recruiting class, the Badgers have been waiting for Onalaska (Wis.) junior Matt Thomas to take his game to the next level before offering a scholarship. On Thursday night, the 6-4 junior got confirmation that he had, getting a scholarship offer from Bo Ryan.

MADISON - Matt Thomas was under the impression from the Wisconsin coaching staff that he needed to do more in order to impress coach Bo Ryan and associate head coach Greg Gard enough to earn a scholarship.

Apparently, the off again, on again relationship has been permanently switched into the on position after Ryan called Thomas to offer him a scholarship Thursday night.

"It was definitely unexpected," Thomas told Badger Nation. "I didn't see it coming at all. It had been just once in awhile that I had talked to them and then Coach Ryan called. I don't know what happened that they decided to offer now, but I am definitely glad they did."

The way the 6-4 Thomas figured, the motions started in his favor in early October when Gard traveled to Onalaska to watch him work out and then returned a second time. What Gard saw was likely how Thomas has his athleticism and quickness had improved in such a short period.

"I think I have developed and have gotten bigger and stronger than last year," said Thomas. "I feel getting more athletic has really helped me since last year, too, which are things I am sure they looked at."

Thomas is averaging 21.8 points per game, reaching double figures in every game and scoring 20 or more points nine times to lead Onalaska to a 11-1 start. The Hilltoppers only loss was to Minnesota powerhouse Apple Valley, 66-64, at the Target Center on January 7, a loss they could avenge this weekend in St. Paul against 2010 Class AAA state champions St. Paul Johnson.

"Our team is doing really well," said Thomas. "We're playing real well as a team. Overall, I've been playing pretty well. I'm a little inconsistent at times but I've been playing pretty solid early in the season."

In addition to Wisconsin, Thomas has offers from Boston College, Creighton, Green Bay, Iowa State, Marquette, Minnesota, Northwestern, Northern Iowa and Virginia.

"I am still pretty open," Thomas said. "I really don't feel too rushed to make a decision. I want to let it sink in a little bit and after the season I will think about it more in detail. Wisconsin is certainly in the mix right away."

Wisconsin already has one verbal commitment in the 2013 class from point guard Bronson Koenig (La Crosse Aquinas), one of Thomas' archrival in the Mississippi Valley Conference.

"I haven't talked to him since the offer, but I talked to him a week ago," said Thomas. "It definitely would be different. We've been competing against each other pretty much our whole life. It would be pretty cool teaming up with him."

Along with Thomas, Semi Ojeleye and Kyle Washington have offers from Wisconsin for the 2013 class.

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