Commitment Impact: PG Devon Thomas
But slight physique aside, there is much to like in Thomas’ game. Last season’s Red Raider guards often had difficulty penetrating, let alone converting when they got to the rim. They were often deterred by physical guards and trapping defenses. Thomas should help solve that problem.
Quickness is his game. He’s got a deft handle and maintains complete control of the rock even on his jet-like bursts down the lane, often times redirecting in traffic. What’s more, he has the knack for getting his shot off and converting once he gets to the tin. Tech missed a mind-blowing number of layups and bunnies last season; Thomas looks to be a real help in this area.
As evidenced by his modest 30-percent conversion rate from beyond the arc, Thomas is not a marksman from deep. But the lefty connected on 52 percent of his overall efforts from the floor—a superb percentage for a guard—and has a very nice little pull-up game from just inside the 3-point line to about nine feet out.
Thomas is also an excellent floor general. In high school his assist/turnover ratio was an amazing 4-to-1, and last year in the JUCO ranks it was still a highly respectable 2.2-to-1. Thomas’ quickness gets him to the rack, and when the defense collapses he has the vision to find shooters and the accuracy to get them the ball. He averaged six assists per game for Cloud County Community College last season, and it’s easy to see why. He also scored 17 points per contest, grabbed 2.2 steals and pulled down four rebounds per night as well.
Areas of concern are free throw shooting (64%), and a propensity to foul. Thomas fouled out in five of the 32 games he played last season, suggesting that he’s a gambler on defense who doesn’t always make good decisions on that end of the court.
Thomas, who was rated the nation’s No. 4 JUCO point guard by one service had offers from a veritable plethora of mid-major schools: Creighton, Quinnipiac, Vermont, Binghamton, Stetson, East Carolina, Eastern Illinois, Fairfield, St. Peter’s, Robert Morris, LIU-Brooklyn, Hartford, Arkansas-Little Rock, North Carolina Central, Towson, Georgia State and Bryant all sought his services.
Thomas began his collegiate career at Missouri State (formerly Southwest Missouri) before transferring to Cloud Community College. Of possible interest, Missouri State’s Marcus Marshall, the Missouri Valley Conference’s No. 2 scorer is transferring and looking for a new basketball home. It is not out of the question that Thomas’ presence in Lubbock could give Tech an edge in recruiting Marshall.