No Doubting Thomas

Junior College Transfer Doug Thomas entertained the PTL fans Monday night with a high-flying, rim-shaking dunk show en route to 38 points. Afterward, he spoke about his joy of finally being a Hawkeye and putting the offcourt troubles from Southeastern well behind him. Read all about that and more in this HN.com premium feature.

What did you think (of your play tonight)? It was a lot better game than last week. I felt like I was rushing a lot of my shots. I just tried to use my strength, and I went inside more and worked on the 15-footer. Instead of going like 3-for-25, I had 38 points. But we got that loss. So, that really don't mean nothing.

Was it nerves the first night?

Yeah. I just had to get used to the league and the people that I'm playing around. I felt like I did that, and I let the game come to me. A lot more of my shots were able to fall.

You got on a roll there in the first half where you had about five dunks in about five minutes. What was going on there?

That's what I love for to score, but mostly I'm looking for dunks. I figure if I get two or three dunks a game, I'm happy with it.

When was the last time that you had 38 in a game?

Way back in grade school, maybe.

What has this summer been like for you so far?

I'm just getting up here and getting used to the...I really haven't gotten in the gym yet because they're redoing our floor. I got a little job on the side. I come straight from work to the Prime Time League. Now, I feel my summer is going a lot better now that I've got basketball involved.

What are you doing?

I work at the Sheraton in maintenance. I'm just on-call. I don't get that much work. But it's money to put in my pocket.

Are you taking any classes?

I'm finishing up a class in Burlington. I've got an Internet course. After that Internet course, it's all official, and I'm part of the team.

Is this competition here what your used to?

Winning two national championships, I'm used to a fast-paced game and slowing in down when you have to. I've got Horner. I've got Pierre. And I've got a lot of big guys surrounding me. So, I can put on a show along with them. As long as we run up and down and play as a team, I don't see why we can't maybe be tops in the Big Ten.

How do you fit in next year? What will be your role?

I really don't have to be a scorer because I've got so many guns around me. I've just got to go out there and get like 10-plus rebounds and maybe a couple of blocked shots and maybe eight points. I can't ask for nothing less than that.

What parts of your game are you looking to improve on this summer?

My outside shot, and I really want to work on my dribbling. Playing in the Big Ten, there are a lot bigger guys and I'm going to be playing on the perimeter, too, some. I still have to work on that jump shot and my handles and being a consistent rebounder.

What position are you?

In high school, I'm used to playing center. In junior college, they had me playing power forward-center. We had a 7-footer, but he didn't get that much playing time. He was just there to rest us. I felt more comfortable playing inside. But as the year went on, I worked with my coaches; my jump shot, I started feeling more comfortable with it. If i get that little hook shot, and I get that 15-foot jumper down, I'm going to keep shooting it. If they go for that fake, I'm going to go to the basket and tear it down.

What is your range?

I'd say 15-feet; no more than 15 feet right now. I mean maybe on the NBA level they'll probably have me shooting threes, but now I've got Horner and I've got Pierre and I've got a couple of other players on my team that can shoot the threes. So, 15-feet and in, that's my area.

Is dunking your game?

I don't feel my game is on unless I get a dunk and pump the crowd up.

What is your vertical leap?

Coach (Bill) Maxwell put these mats up in the weight room the other day at 48 inches. He said to jump up on there, no steps. The first time, I didn't get it. The second time, I went clear above it. That's from a standstill.

What is your height?

6-8

Is it a relief to finally be here?

Yeah. Even though I had two years at a good junior college, my heart has been set on getting to the Division I level. I've been committed to Iowa for two years now. I haven't had any change in my mind. Coach Alford is a good coach surrounded by a good coaching staff.

Did they still tell you that they wanted you during these two years?

After I found out that I couldn't get my scholarship and I had to go to junior college, Coach Alford told me, "That if you tell me that you'll come here after your junior college years, I'll put your scholarship up in the safe." I kept in contact with Coach Lansing and Coach Walker. No other schools tried to step in. If they did, my coach would tell them that I'm already going to Iowa.

So that scholarship from Iowa was always on the table for you?

Yeah. It was always out there for those two years.

Do you appreciate being here a little bit more after the offcourt issues you had to deal with?

Yeah. That's all in the past, all the bad decision I made. I knew that I couldn't have any more slipups like that or my career in college was to be over. Last year, I held tight and kept my nose clean and went on ahead and won another national championship. I got my grades. I signed my letter of intent, and now I'm part of a good thing.

How old are you?

20 years old.

Do you feel like you've matured a lot in the last two years?

People always ask me how old I am. I say, "How old do you think I am?" I have people tell me 25. I tell them that I'm 20 year old, and they're like, "What?" I feel like I've matured over these two years, and my body...I've always been around 230, but whem I went to Southeastern, they helped me get a build on it and they showed me how to throw it around a lot better.

What did Coach Alford say to you during the offcourt troubles?

We really had no contact. We just let it all kind of die down and made sure everything was under control before we got back in contact. He wanted to see how I'd do this year. And like I said, I kept my nose clean, graduated and now I'm part of the Hawkeyes.


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