Jevon Thomas


Former Kansas State guard ends up at Seton Hall

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source: AP

Kansas State transfer guard Jevon Thomas will continue his career at Seton Hall, a source confirmed to The transfer was first reported by Adam Zagoria.

As a sophomore at Kansas State, the 6-foot-0 Thomas played in 25 minutes per game and averaged 4.5 points and 3.3 assists and 3 rebounds per contest. One of the better perimeter defenders in the Big 12 when he was engaged, Thomas also chipped in 1.1 steals per game and was a difference-maker on that end when he was providing pressure.

Thomas will have to sit out the 2015-16 college basketball season due to NCAA transfer restrictions, but he’ll have two years of eligibility remaining after that.

With the departure of Sterling Gibbs this offseason and Jaren Sina during last season, the Pirates could use another guard, even if it’s just a practice body to go against guys like Isaiah Whitehead and Desi Rodriguez this season.

What role have injuries played in college basketball this season?

Grant Gibbs, Kameron Rooks, David Kravish
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Dan Hanner, who crunches numbers over at, puts out one of my favorite columns of the year when he breaks down the offensive and defensive efficiencies of teams that suffer serious injuries throughout the season.

You can read it here and here. It’s worth your time.

Some of the most interesting numbers that Hanner produced:

  • Offensively, Kansas State is significantly better with Jevon Thomas in the lineup even though Thomas has been utterly atrocious shooting and scoring the ball. The reason for this is Thomas’ ability to create offense for others. Case in point: he was 1-for-6 from the floor in the win over West Virginia, but he had eight assists and no turnovers and took the pressure to create off of guys like Shane Southwell and Marcus Foster.
  • On paper, it looks like Creighton is significantly worse defensively and significantly better offensively without Grant Gibbs in the lineup. Those numbers are a bit skewed because of a blowout win over Butler at home and a blowout loss to Providence on the road. There’s an argument to be made that Creighton is better offensively with Devin Brooks getting more minutes, but where the Bluejays miss Gibbs is with his toughness and his leadership. He’s a presence. He’s not going to be intimidated going on the road to play Providence or Villanova or Marquette, and he’s not going to let his teammates be intimidated, either.
  • “Notre Dame has been playing like the 109th best team in the nation with [Jerian] Grant out,” Hanner wrote. Yikes.

The most surprising team in the country: Kansas State

Marcus Foster, Jeff Mullahey
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I think there’s a valid argument to be made that Kansas State is the most surprising team in the country, and it’s not because their expectations entering the season were so low that a 13-4 start overall, a 3-1 start in Big 12 play and home wins over Gonzaga, George Washington, Oklahoma State and — after Tuesday night’s 72-66 victory — Oklahoma.

It’s because a Kansas State team expected to be NIT-bound and finish in the bottom half of the Big 12 started out the season with a loss at home to Northern Colorado and a 1-2 performance in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, losing to Charlotte and following that up with a 27-point drubbing at the hands of Georgetown.

Thanksgiving had yet to come and go and just about everyone was ready to write this off as a rebuilding year for the Wildcats.

But then they started winning.

Ten straight, to be exact, and 11 of their last 12, the lone loss being an ugly loss at Phog Allen Fieldhouse.

The Wildcats have done it with defense. According to, Kansas State has been a top 15 team nationally in terms of defensive efficiency despite getting blown out by both Kansas and Georgetown. They run you off the three-point line, they force you out of the sets you want to run and they do a fair job of forcing turnovers. Get a bit better clearing the defensive glass, and you’re looking at a team that’s elite on that end of the floor.

The issue is scoring. The Wildcats don’t have a lot of real offensive weapons. Marcus Foster’s emergence has been enormous, giving the Wildcats a go-to guy in half court sets, but beyond Foster, there really isn’t much creativity on that end of the floor. That’s what makes the addition of Jevon Thomas so important. He can get in the lane off of the dribble, which is something that Kansas State is lacking.

The next step for Thomas is actually taking advantage of getting into the paint. Right now, the freshman is shooting 30.2% from the floor and just 5-for-17 from the line. Keep in mind, he’s only played six games at this level, so he hasn’t found a rhythm just yet.

If he can find a way to be a consistent scorer, to take some of the defensive focus away from Foster, the Wildcats have a chance to be pretty good. We’re probably not looking at a team that will compete for the Big 12 title, but sneaking their way into the top four isn’t out of the question.

Freshmen come up big in Kansas State’s win over No. 6 Oklahoma State

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Winners of eight straight games entering Saturday’s Big 12 opener against No. 6 Oklahoma State, Kansas State hasn’t been mentioned along with the likes of the Cowboys, Kansas, Iowa State and Baylor when it comes to who’s capable of winning the conference title. The reasons included the need to account for the graduation of Rodney McGruder, Angel Rodriguez’s decision to transfer to Miami and the lack of a clear-cut primary scoring option.

If Kansas State is to be successful they’ll need to do so as a committee, and that was the case Saturday as they beat the Cowboys 74-71 in Manhattan. And two of the key figures were players who were not Wildcats last season, as freshman Marcus Foster racked up 17 points and eight rebounds and classmate Jevon Thomas added ten points and five assists in his third game at K-State.

Offensively Foster’s somewhat taken over the role left vacant by McGruder, entering the game averaging a team-best 13.8 points per game, and that continued to be the case on Saturday afternoon.

Thomas on the other hand proved to be the spark plug the Wildcats envisioned against Oklahoma State, with his speed proving to be a factor on both ends of the floor but especially on offense. Offensively he gives Kansas State a point guard capable of applying pressure to the opposition off the dribble, something they lacked while he sat out during the remainder of the fall semester. After using that speed to set up teammates in his first two games (5.0 apg), Thomas got untracked scoring-wise against Oklahoma State.

Add in the interior toughness displayed by rugged forward Thomas Gipson (11 points, ten rebounds) and 15 points from Nino Williams, and Weber’s Wildcats were able to put forth the effort needed to survive shooting 36% from the field. Kansas State will be successful when they’re balanced offensively, and defensively when they make teams work for everything they get in the half court.

Oklahoma State’s perimeter tandem of Markel Brown and Marcus Smart entered Saturday averaging a combined 33.7 points per game with both shooting at least 46.7% from the field. They may have scored 31 points against Kansas State, but the duo did so while shooting 8-for-22 from the field (36.4%). And when this happens it’s tough for the Cowboys to win, even with Le’Bryan Nash accounting for 20 points and nine rebounds.

Can Kansas State surprise some people and contend for another Big 12 title? That remains to be seen. But if there’s anything to be taken from their win over Oklahoma State, it’s that the Wildcats have no intention of going down without a fight.

Kansas State PG Jevon Thomas won’t be eligible until December 21

Kansas State Athletics
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With point guard Angel Rodriguez deciding to transfer after posting averages of 11.4 points and 5.2 assists per game last season, Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber needed an answer at the point as his Wildcats look to at the very least duplicate their accomplishment of winning a share of the Big 12 regular season title. One played expected to be in the mix at the point is freshman Jevon Thomas, who joined the program back in January but did not take the floor.

And it seems as if Thomas will have to wait a little longer to make his Wildcat debut, as it was reported by Jeff Goodman of that the 6-foot Queens, N.Y. native will not be eligible to play in games until the Wildcats face Gonzaga on December 21. Thomas averaged 15 points and seven assists per game at St. John’s Northwest Military Academy last season, earning Most Outstanding Player honors at the National Prep School Invitational in Providence, R.I.

“He is the type of player with really good quickness and the ability to push the ball and create for others,” Weber said of Thomas when the signing was officially announced. “He also gives us some quality depth at the guard position.  We believe he has the ability to become a lockdown defender as he develops as a basketball player.”

With Thomas out of the fold for the time being the expectation is that senior guard Will Spradling will assume the point guard responsibilities during the early portion of the Wildcats’ schedule. Spradling averaged 7.4 points and 2.4 assists per game last season, and he’s been a dependable option on the perimeter for both Weber and (prior to him) Frank Martin.