UALR appears to have put the wraps on the 2013 roster with the signing of former Chipola Junior College point guard J.T. Thomas, Burn The Horse has learned.
Here’s what Chipola Coach Jake Headrick said about Thomas on Twitter.
“Shoutout to my former PG at Chipola J.T. Thomas on signing with Arkansas-Little Rock!!! Was loyal, hard working and a leader. … Good luck!”
Thomas gets the scholarship vacated by the departure of point guard John Gillon, who hopes to transfer to another Division I school later this summer. UALR has not yet officially confirmed Thomas' signing.
Thomas originally signed with Toledo in 2010. He then transferred to Chipola. The scouting report we heard on Thomas a couple of weeks ago said he was a team-first guard who would fit in to the chemistry of the team.
Thomas is a 6-1 guard from New Orleans. His statistics won’t wow you. He averaged 4.8 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists during his sophomore year at Chipola. But it’s his character that stands out for those who have been around him.
Thomas has an interesting back story. When he signed with Toledo, this was what Rocket Digest had to say about him:
"Thomas has been through a lot the last few years. After Hurricane Katrina, his family lost their home and spent three years in Dallas, Texas during the relief efforts. He was finally able to return to New Orleans for his senior year of high school, and he averaged 18 points and 6 assists per game."I think it (Hurricane Katrina and the time in Dallas) made me stronger and more mentally tough than I was before," J.T. told Rocket Digest.He then went to IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL this past season. Unfortunately he broke his foot and only played in 16 games. However, he averaged 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists per game for those 16 contests.A source close to the Rocket basketball program has told Rocket Digest that J.T. has good shooting ability and can score off the dribble.
He stayed his entire freshman year at Toledo, but played much of his 19 games (starting 7) while injured. He averaged 4.5 points. He left when Toledo had to reduce its scholarship allotment by three amid NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) penalties.
Thomas played his sophomore year at Chipola before sitting out last season.
Thomas will compete for point guard minutes with returning sophomore Josh Hagins and junior college signee Devonte Smith. Returning sophomore Kemy Osse also played some point guard last season.
Because Thomas signed outside of the NCAA spring period, his National Letter of Intent would be non-binding until he begins classes at UALR. Thomas likely signed a grant-in-aid agreement, which would be standard for summer signees.