TaShawn Thomas Ruled Eligible for 2014-15 Season: Latest Details and Reaction

Oklahoma’s men’s basketball team received a huge boost in the opening days of the 2014-15 season, as senior power forward TaShawn Thomas has been ruled eligible to play.

Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports broke the news:

Thomas’ eligibility for this season had not been granted following his transfer from the University of Houston. He entered the season expecting to be granted a waiver from the NCAA, as he abided by all of Houston’s transfer restrictions.

“Because I followed all the restrictions at Houston that they asked of me,” Thomas said, per Tulsa World‘s Guerin Emig. “I stayed out of Texas. I’m not going to a school on their schedule for two years. And the fact I’m going to graduate this year, I feel like that helps me.”

Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger expressed his satisfaction, per ESPN’s Jeff Goodman:

A four-star prospect by 247Sports composite out of high school, Thomas averaged almost 15 points and nine rebounds for Houston in his three seasons there. The 6’8″, 240-pounder will add a physical post dimension to Oklahoma that it currently lacks.

The news continues to bolster what is already a formidable Oklahoma team. As Fran Fraschilla of ESPN noted, the Sooners have a complete team:

ESPN’s Jeff Borzello went as far as to pick Oklahoma as Final Four-bound:

The Sooners were dangerous last season as a No. 5 seed in the NCAA tournament but were upset by North Dakota State. This year, a number of improvements have Oklahoma knocking on the door of Big 12 contention.

Now eligible, Thomas figures to play a huge role in those efforts as the Sooners begin their season.

Oklahoma has its hands full in the Big 12, with Kansas, Iowa State and Texas all fielding impressive units that could make a deep title run. But with Thomas bolstering the post, the Sooners have to like their chances a bit more than previously.

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Thomas Robinson Still Searching for Place Among His NBA Peers

There was some debate at the time of the 2012 NBA Draft as to how much upside Thomas Robinson offered, but I’m not sure anyone had him pegged as a bust clinging to an eight-minute-per-game role three years later. And on his third team no less.

What happened?

Robinson was a monster his final year at Kansas, having averaged 17.7 points and 11.8 rebounds on 50.5 percent shooting. Athletic, energetic, gradually on the rise—he possessed qualities that typically lead to NBA success. 

Unfortunately, his strengths from college haven’t held strong enough in the pros, while his weaknesses never improved and have ultimately weighed on his effectiveness.

Offensively, it just hasn’t happened.

Despite shooting a mediocre 35 percent on jumpers the year before was drafted, it seemed reasonable to think Robinson’s stroke would eventually come around. He had taken nearly four times as many jumpers that season, per DraftExpress‘ Walker Beeken, and his free-throw percentage spiked to 68.2 percent from 51 percent.  

But since then, his shooting stroke has actually regressed in a league that practically requires its forwards to carry a threatening jumper in their arsenal. 

On 147 mid-range attempts since being drafted, Robinson is shooting 29.9 percent, per NBA.com.

Robinson hasn’t quite given off the impression he’s much of a back-to-the-basket scorer either.

Actually, he doesn’t really appear to have any go-to route for offense at all. And that really crushes his ceiling while limiting his purpose on the floor. 

The Portland Trail Blazers even chose not to pick up his option for next season. 

At this stage, Robinson’s margin for error is tiny. If he wants to generate some interest on the free-agent market next summer, he’ll have to make something happen in the limited minutes that come his way the rest of the season.

And it’s a possible feat, as long as he recognizes his limitations and milks his strengths for all their worth. 

For the most part, those strengths center on his blend of physical tools—6’9″ size, 7’3.5″ length—and explosiveness, which at the of the day, fuels most of his production and activity.

Robinson’s ball skills might not have developed, and that’s led to a minimal offensive impact, but his presence under the boards has been pretty steady over the years. 

In 147 games, he’s got a strong 18.05 percent rebounding percentage. This season, it’s at 23.5 percent, and though he’s only played 55 total minutes, that number actually ranks fourth in the NBA.

But the activity shouldn’t stop at rebounding. Apparently, based on his career 13.5-minute-per-game average, pulling in boards in limited action isn’t enough.  

Tip-ins, tap-backs, rejections, deflections, buckets off running the floor—these are the types of plays that need to become Robinson’s bread and butter. They’re the types of plays powered by energy and athleticism, something Robinson offers a ton of.

“[Coaches] just want to see me do that over and over,” Robinson said of being a “spark off the bench,” per Jabari Young of CSNNW.com. “Every time I touch the floor, just go like a wild animal pretty much and be a dog, so that’s what I have to do.”

It’s time to forget about the No. 5 overall label attached to Robinson’s name, along with the offensive production expected to follow it. 

Robinson’s value now comes in the form of activity—not necessarily points. 

His best shot at turning his career around is really as a specialist contributor—a forward who specializes in making plays without needing the ball in his hands. Because it just doesn’t look like he’s got much to offer with it. 

Robinson will have to accept his new NBA purpose, which is to focus solely on injecting the lineup with baseline-to-baseline energy.

When that motor is revved, he’s capable of making special plays above the rim. Hopefully Robinson gets the chance to continue making them and ultimately restore some of his lost credibility. 

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Thomas leads Suns over Warriors 107-95 (Yahoo Sports)

PHOENIX, AZ - NOVEMBER 9: Gerald Green #14 of the Phoenix Suns shoots over Shaun Livingston #34 of the Golden State Warriors on November 9, 2014 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)

PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Suns didn’t do much different to defend the high-flying Golden State Warriors in the second half Sunday night. They just stuck with their effective bench play and let the Klay Thompson-less Warriors get tired and make mistakes in a fourth quarter that saw the Suns outscore them by 20.


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Thomas on leaving Kings: ‘I wanted to be wanted’

Isaiah Thomas plays against the Sacramento Kings Friday for the first time since leaving via free agency during the summer.

      
 

 

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Thomas, Morris lead pesky Suns past Spurs 94-89 (Yahoo Sports)

PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 31: Eric Bledsoe #2 of the Phoenix Suns drives for a shot against the San Antonio Spurs on October 31, 2014 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)

PHOENIX (AP) — Isaiah Thomas scored 10 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, rallying Phoenix with a relentless series of driving layups, and the Suns beat the San Antonio Spurs 94-89 on Friday night.


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WATCH: Isaiah Thomas forces OT, stares down Mayweather

Phoenix Suns point guard Isaiah Thomas hit a jump shot at the buzzer to force overtime, then stared down boxer Floyd Mayweather in the front row, during Tuesday night’s preseason game against the L.A. Lakers.Thomas was in the perfect spot to grab the rebound of Gerald Green’s missed three-pointer, and he sank the jumper to tie the game at 94-94 and force OT. After making the shot, he turned to Mayweather, who happened to be sitting close by, and playfully stared him down as he walked off the court towards the bench. Mayweather got a real big laugh out of it, so it was all in good fun.Thomas led the Suns with 26 points, including 5 points in overtime, to give the Suns a 114-108 victory over the Lakers.Video via NBA. This post appeared first on Holdout Sports. Check us out on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

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Isaiah Thomas stares down Floyd Mayweather after forcing overtime (Video)

Phoenix Suns point guard Isaiah Thomas hit a jump shot at the buzzer to force overtime, then stared down boxer Floyd Mayweather in the front row, during Tuesday night’s preseason game against the L.A. Lakers.Thomas was in the perfect spot to grab the rebound of Gerald Green’s missed three-pointer, and he sank the jumper to tie the game at 94-94 and force OT. After making the shot, he turned to Mayweather, who happened to be sitting close by, and playfully stared him down as he walked off the court towards the bench. Mayweather got a real big laugh out of it, so it was all in good fun.Thomas led the Suns with 26 points, including 5 points in overtime, to give the Suns a 114-108 victory over the Lakers.Video via NBA.
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Elijah Thomas picks A&M over SMU, Illinois

Elijah Thomas picked Texas A&M over LSU, Illinois, SMU and Oklahoma State.

      
 

 

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Elite forward Elijah Thomas picks A&M over SMU, Illinois

Elijah Thomas picked Texas A&M over LSU, Illinois, SMU and Oklahoma State.

      
 

 

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Iowa St’s Thomas, Nader suspended 3 games (Yahoo Sports)

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State’s Matt Thomas and Abdel Nader will serve three-game suspensions for offseason drunken-driving arrests.

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