Nov. 8, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Point guard Chris Thomas (Indianapolis, Ind.) and forwards Jordan Cornette (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Jemere Hendrix (Covington, Ga.) have signed national letters of intent to attend the University of Notre Dame beginning in the fall of 2001 as it was announced today by Irish head men's basketball coach Mike Brey.
"We're thrilled that all three of the players will be attending Notre Dame next fall," Brey says. "How this class came together is rather strange," Brey says. "Two of the players (Chris Thomas and Jordan Cornette) were recruited by the former staff, but decided to come to Notre Dame because they love the school. Jemere is a developing player with unlimited potential.
"These three players give us athletic ability and speed, something that we need for the future."
Thomas, who has led Pike High School to a 65-12 record in his three seasons, averaged 24.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 3.5 steals as a junior a year ago as he led his squad to an 18-6 record. He shot .480 from the field and .810 from the free throw line and connected on a personal best 61 three-pointers. The 6-1, 165-pound Thomas garnered second-team all-state accolades following last season and earned all-conference and all-Marion County honors for the third straight year.
Thomas, who has played in all 77 games throughout his scholastic career, owns career averages of 19.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and assists and 2.6 steals. As a sophomore, he averaged 22.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.5 steals as Pike finished with a 17-5 mark. In his freshman season, he netted 12.9 points while helping his team capture the 1998 Indiana state championship with a final record of 30-1.
"Chris is going to be a real key player for us next season," Brey says. "With the graduation of Martin Ingelsby at point guard after this season, there is going to be every opportunity for Chris to come in and contribute immediately. He's an exceptional and gifted player with tremendous skills. I'm counting on Chris to be a big part of this team next year."
Cornette led his St. Xavier High School squad in 2000 to its first-ever Ohio state crown en route to a 25-2 mark. The 6-9, 200-pound Cornette averaged 9.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocked shots as a junior and garnered all-Greater Catholic League honors as well as second-team all-city accolades in leading his team to the most wins and best winning percentage in the program's history.
Cornette led his Cincinnati #1 AAU team to a runner-up finish at the 120-team AAU national tournament in Orlando, Fla., in July of 2000. Cornette's squad advanced to the championship game after defeating Thomas' Bloomington Red team in the semifinals.
"I'm excited about Jordan Cornette and what he will bring to this team," Brey says. "He has tremendous defensive instincts and a great feel for the game. He's a good perimeter player who handles the ball very well."
As a junior, Hendrix averaged 17.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocked shots per game in leading East Side High School to its first playoff appearance in school history and a 15-11 record. Last season he established a single-game mark for rebounds when he grabbed 28 against Monroe Area Regional. In addition to his 28 rebounds, Hendrix also scored 30 points in the contest. Named MVP of his team, the 6-8, 215-pounder also has played for two seasons with the Atlanta AAU All-Stars.
"Jemere is a player who is only going to get better and improve with each season," Brey says. "He has a great frame and body for the game and is a skilled defensive player. Jemere has tremendous ability and talent, he has yet to reach his potential."