HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Marshall has signed basketball guard Chris Thomas, a 6-foot-4 former five-star, highly regarded recruit who ran into legal problems and was apparently released from a letter-of-intent to Manhattan College.
MU coach Tom Herrion confirmed the signing of Thomas and said the player would be enrolled in school for the fall and be eligible for three seasons.
Thomas had been attending Chipola College in Marianna, Fla., where he averaged 9.9 points but, according to the Jackson County Floridian, sat out some of last season's junior college state tournament in jail.
According to the newspaper, Thomas was "granted no bond in his first court appearance . . . after testing positive for marijuana in a standard drug test given as a matter of course to defendants who are on conditional release in a pre-trial intervention program."
The paper went on to say "Thomas had been granted the conditional release and pre-trial intervention late last year after being charged with driving without a valid driver's license and with operating an unregistered vehicle."
In June, Manhattan coach Steve Masiello told NYBuckets.com, "We have to make some decisions as a program. Is that something we want to move forward with, and that type of thing?"
Thomas is originally from Denver, where he attended Montbello High as a freshman. Greg Willis, a mentor to Thomas, told the Denver Post the year was a "disaster" for the player and urged him to move.
Thomas then went to Princeton (Md.) Day Academy, where he helped lead his team to a 31-6 record.
He transferred from there to Westwind (Ariz.) Prep, but arrived too late to play and wound up at South Kent (Conn.).
In January of 2012, Thomas, then 19, left South Kent and enrolled at Chipola, where he spent a summer getting his GED before playing and taking classes last season. In addition to averaging 9.9 points on 47 percent shooting in 26 games there, Thomas converted but 18.4 percent of his 3-point tries and 51.5 percent of his free throws. Thomas averaged 5.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists.