NBA Comparison: Romero Osby/Lonnie Baxter
Strengths: Thomas is a polished inside the arc scorer, both with his back to the basket and facing up out to about 15 feet, with good instincts, and a nice feel in terms of sizing up opponents 1 on 1 … He possesses a 7’2’’ wingspan, has good strength, and a wide frame that allows him to finish with both hands around the rim … Last season at Oklahoma he shot 70.1% at the rim, and took 50% of his shots close to the hoop (according to hoop-math.com) … Part of this high frequency of close shots comes due to his prowess as an offensive rebounder (2.2 per game) … Definitely a below the rim player, Thomas is great at boxing out, and using his strength, and frame to gain inside position against defenders. After playing his first 3 seasons at Houston, he also transitioned well into a complimentary role at OU, and this adaptability and knowledge of his game bodes well for a transition to an NBA role player … He’s also improved significantly from the free throw line since his freshman year. He raised his FT clip from 53% to 69% during his stint in college, and despite a slight dip in his percentage of 2 point jumpers (33.8%, according to data from hoop-math.com) as a Senior, his clip over his first 3 years was right around 40%, and TaShawn has face up and pick-and-pop potential in the NBA. He’s also a pretty solid post passer, and tallied 4 games of 4 or more assists last year as a Sooner … Thomas’ long arms, and good timing make him a surprisingly adequate shot blocker. A 9’ standing reach paired with his instinct, he blocked 262 shots during his 4 year NCAA career.
Weaknesses: TaShawn’s biggest weakness is probably the fact that he’s just 6’8’’ in shoes and lacks the ball handling skills, 3 point range, and athletic ability to play the small forward spot … His length dimensions are really pretty solid, which helps make up for this, but his lack of high caliber leaping ability and quickness doesn’t do him any favors … His 3/4 court sprint, and agility drill were both in the bottom 10 of this year’s NBA combine participants … Lacks great speed and explosiveness … He’s definitely used to using his bulk to his advantage, but in the NBA where the game pace is faster, plus the games and seasons are longer, he’ll need to trim down the 12.4% body fat he measured in Chicago … He seems to be working on this as he measured in 4 pounds lighter at the combine than he did in April’s Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.
Overall: TaShawn Thomas is a polished, mature player, with some NBA translatable skills as a face up 4 man, and a player who could really develop into an automatic mid-range shooter with more reps and experience as a professional … He is a tad undersized, and must improve his conditioning, but he knows his game, plays to his strengths, and doesn’t try to do too much … He’s also transitioned from a feature player at Houston, to an important cog on a very good Oklahoma team … This kind of maturity, and team attitude is often a good sign when looking for players to bring in as NBA reserves.
Notes: Measured 6’8’’ in shoes, with a 7’2’’ wingspan and 240 lbs at the 2015 NBA Combine. Also sported a 9’ standing reach at the same event … 3rd Team All-Big 12, and Big 12 Newcomer of the Year as a Senior in 2014-15. 2nd Team All-American Conference as a Junior at Houston in 2013-14. 1st team Conference USA as a sophomore in 2012-13, and All Conference USA Freshman 1st Team as a freshman the year before.
David Ray 5/29/15