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Oklahoma basketball: Houston transfer TaShawn Thomas finds a perfect fit at the school he never thought he'd attend

After leaving Houston, the native of Killeen, Texas, didn’t think he’d play for any college other than Houston and never thought he’d wind up a Sooner.
by Ryan Aber Published: July 7, 2014
/articleid/4986474/1/pictures/2279119">Photo - Texas Tech forward Jordan Tolbert (32) defends as Houston forward TaShawn Thomas (35) takes a shot in the second half of their NCAA college basketball game, the consolation game of the Legends Classic, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Texas Tech forward Jordan Tolbert (32) defends as Houston forward TaShawn Thomas (35) takes a shot in the second half of their NCAA college basketball game, the consolation game of the Legends Classic, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

“We have that window and we’ll find out,” Kruger said. “Obviously we hope it works to where Tay can play right away and yet if it doesn’t, from our perspective, it’s still going to be good.”

If Thomas is able to play this season, it would be a big boost for a team looking to break through and take the next step by winning games in the NCAA Tournament.

He’s the leader to step into the starting lineup to replace the only subtraction from last year’s starters, Clark. Clark averaged 15.6 points and 5.5 rebounds last season.

Thomas isn’t near the outside threat that Clark was, having hit just three 3-pointers in three seasons as a starter with the Cougars compared to Clark’s 37 last season alone.

But Thomas feels like he can still create plenty of matchup problems after averaging 15.4 points and 8.1 rebounds as a junior. Thomas has started every one of his 96 collegiate games.

“I don’t feel like a lot of people my size can guard me,” Thomas said.

Thomas already has settled into his new relationship with Texas.

He says Oklahoma first when mentioning the rivalry, talks about the respect between the programs and doesn’t downplay the significance of playing the Longhorns as a Sooner.

“We played UT my sophomore year of college at Houston and we beat them,” Thomas said. “I’m looking forward to doing that again.

“I’m not a Longhorns fan anymore. I’m ready to play them and beat them.”

by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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