The DePaul Blue Demons picked up a pledge from 6′-10″, 280 pound center Thomas Hamilton, according to WeAreDePaul.com. Hamilton is a Chicago-native that played at IMG Academy (FL) this year after previously being at Whitney Young (IL) for his first three years of high school. Hamilton was ranked as the No. 21 center in the country in our post-summer rankings.
Hamilton is the son of the former NBA player by the same name. He reportedly picked DePaul over Bradley.
DePaul now has five recruits in their 2013 recruiting class. Top-100 guard Billy Garrett Jr. is the headliner in the class (his father is an assistant coach), and shooting guard RJ Curington brings a winning background from Oak Hill Academy (VA). Hamilton will have time to develop with two junior college big men, Greg Sequele (who was also previously at Washington State) and Forrest Robinson.
Perhaps the stock of no player has fallen as much as Hamilton over the last several years. He was originally ranked as a top-25 prospect nationally in the class as a freshman, but has since fallen significantly as he is no longer ranked by in any top-100.
With Hamilton, his success in college will all be about desire. He is an accurate shooter, good passer and is nimble on his feet when he is shape. Unfortunately, he has lacked conditioning and seemingly interest at times over the year. For DePaul’s sake, hopefully the change of scenery to IMG Academy will be a positive change in the long term.
Things were clicking for Hamilton for a time at the LeBron James Skills Academy last summer, at that event we wrote:
Somewhat maligned throughout the spring, Hamilton was originally thought to be an elite big man in the class, but has been downgraded by some over the years. He came to play for the most part on Sunday, and looked better than he has against significant competition in quite some time. While Saturday is only one day, if Hamilton can re-emerge among his classmates as a top big man it will be a nice story.
Though he was gone for a season, there’s no doubt DePaul will continue to pursue a recruiting strategy of pursuing prospects with ties to Chicago. The talent level in the Windy City right now is extraordinary, and certainly there are enough talents to improve the Blue Demons’ fortunes on the hardwood with more pledges from the immediate vicinity.
A player like Hamilton is more than worth taking a gamble on this stage in the recruiting cycle, and if Hamilton sets his mind to it, he can be a quality D-1 player.