Thomas accepted his role

Senior Sheray Thomas came to Kentucky hoping to develop into a star player. Instead, he had to accept a spot as a role player — and he did that without complaining.

Senior Sheray Thomas came to Kentucky hoping to develop into a star player. Instead, he had to accept a spot as a role player — and he did that without complaining.

"If the team is winning, that's enough for me. I don't really focus on individual stats. I just come out and try to win. I feel if I focus on that, I play better and the team plays better," said Thomas.

He thought he might have more of an impact offensively this season. In October, he openly talked about his improved shooting range and that he wanted to showcase more of his offensive skills. However, his role has not expanded and even though he's shown at times he can hit outside shots, he seldom shoots.

"It depends on the situation and what the team needs. Certain games the team needs me to score if somebody else is struggling. Other times, the team doesn't need me to score. They need defense and passing, and maybe rebounding," Thomas said. He also thought he might have a chance to crack the starting lineup this year, something that didn't happen. Again, rather than pout, he accepted his status.

" I don't mind starting or coming off the bench. I don't have to start. I am real comfortable coming off the bench because I know what to expect. Starting would have been nice, but if that's not what the coaches need from me, I can accept that," Thomas said.

Isn't that hard, especially in today's college basketball scene where everybody wants to be the star player?

"That's just the way I am. I roll with the punches pretty much. I am laid back, but I also know things can change in a heartbeat. You can't get too happy or too down with way things are going. You just have to accept your role," Thomas said. "How can I complain? I've had a great four years here. Coach Smith has been wonderful for me. I love my teammates. I love the fans. Sure, I wish we could have won more, but that's no reason for me to feel sorry for myself or be selfish about my playing time. I just want the team to do well."

And how can you not admire that attitude?


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