Former Texarkana area prep star Dustin Thomas (6-7, 225) announced Sunday that he will be transferring to Arkansas after two years at Colorado.
He did so after taking an official visit to check out Razorback head coach Mike Anderson's program this weekend.
"It was really a matter of just loving the coaches and the players and feeling like the opportunity that Coach Anderson presented to me and how he is going to use me is just ideal," Thomas said Sunday afternoon. "I already feel like part of the family and I am looking forward to playing in the SEC."
Thomas, who will have to redshirt during the 2015-2016 season, averaged 20 points, 14 rebounds and 5 steals per game for Pleasant Grove as a senior and averaged 4.4 points and 2.5 rebounds for the Buffaloes this past season.
He shot 44.5 percent f(49-of-110) from the field overall (49-of-110), 31 percent (6 of 19) from 3-point range and 67.9 percent (36-of-53) from the free throw line in an average of 16 minutes per game.
"I just feel like the system just didn't fit me and I just needed a fresh start," Thomas said. "I am going to use the year sitting out to work as hard as I can on every facet of my game and just getting ready to be the player I know I can be on this level.
"I think having the new practice facility (the Arkansas Basketball Performance Center opening on July 1) will be a big help and I can't work to get back to Fayetteville and start working with my new teammates. I am going to be in the gym all the time."
He will come to the Razorbacks as a player with a lot of versatility that can play and guard several positions.
"I can be whatever I need to be for Arkansas," Thomas said. "I feel like I am a very good shooter, can score from the outside and also get down in the post and score over people. I can also dribble penetrate and get to the rim or get in lane and help my teammates get shots. I can also guard just about anybody.
"I think that Coach Anderson really likes my versatility and I am looking forward to getting back to being the player I was." Thomas will finish up his finals this week at Colorado and then matriculate to Arkansas.
"I'm thinking I will be there pretty soon, but I don't know all those details yet," Thomas said. "I'm just happy this is working out for me because I think Coach Anderson's system is a great fit for me."
Jimmy Whitt (6-4, 170) and Huntington, W.V., Prep power forward Ted Kapita (6-9, 240) and will also have Texas Tech transfer Dusty Hannahs (6-4, 210) eligible this season.
The Razorbacks - who have two remaining scholarships with the addition of Thomas - are expected to host Charlotte, N.C., Victory Christian center Ebuka Izundu (6-10, 210) next weekend and also possibly Delbarton, N.C., Mingo Central small forward Dikembe Dixson (6-7, 190).
Thomas will be a older, stabilizing force on a 2016-2017 team that could bring in anywhere from four to six youngsters to a program that is coming off a 27-9 season and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
"Coach Anderson and I talked about that and it's a role that I think I can fill," Thomas said. "I think Arkansas has a bright future, is headed in the right direction and has a great plan on what they want to do. That's another reason to come to Arkansas."
Thomas, whose chose Colorado over Oklahoma and Kansas State out of high school, is good friends with 2016 Razorback football recruiting target McTelvin Agim, a Hope defensive end that is a 5-star prospect per ESPN.com.
"He is just a beast and someone that I think is just going to be great," Thomas said. "He plays hard, he's big and he's got a lot of dog in him. It's great to see guys from our area that have big things ahead of them. That's my guy."
My bro told me what's up, I know he gone ball at Arkansas @YehThatsMe_DT13 !!! Don't sleep he from TEXARKANA, TX #903??— McTelvin Agim (@So_Splash) May 3, 2015
Dustin Thomas dunks last season against Arizona State