Transfer forward cleared to play immediately at Oklahoma

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With most of the rotation from last season’s NCAA tournament team returning to Norman, Oklahoma is expected to contend for the Big 12 title in 2014-15. However the question mark regarding Lon Kruger’s team is whether or not the Sooners have enough depth in the front court, with Big 12 rebounding champion Ryan Spangler expected to lead the way.

Late Saturday evening the Sooners received some very good news regarding the status of one of their transfers, as senior power forward TaShawn Thomas has received a waiver that makes him eligible to compete immediately. The news was first reported by Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com. Oklahoma announced the news itself shortly thereafter.

“We’re really pleased for TaShawn,” Kruger said in the release. “He’s worked really hard to be on course to graduate in May, and this gives him an opportunity to finish his degree and his eligibility concurrently. We’re very happy to be adding an experienced player to an already veteran group.”

Thomas played three seasons at Houston before leaving the program following the departure of then-head coach James Dickey, averaging 15.4 points and 8.1 rebounds per game in 2013-14. With the Sooners having lost their best front court scoring threat in the versatile Cameron Clark, Thomas will assume that designation as a result of his being cleared to play.

And with Thomas in the fold not only does Oklahoma strengthen its standing within the Big 12, but the Sooners also become a team capable of making a run deep into the NCAA tournament. Guards Buddy Hield, Jordan Woodard and Isaiah Cousins will lead the way on the perimeter, with Thomas and Spangler being the stalwarts in the front court. Khadeem Lattin and D.J. Bennett will provide additional depth in the post.

Oklahoma opens its season Sunday afternoon at home against Southeastern Louisiana.