On #NationalWaffleDay, a player named Cleveland ‘Pancake’ Thomas was making the headlines across the college basketball world.
One simply can’t make stuff like this up.
After just one season with the Hartford Hawks in the America East Conference, Thomas was granted his release on Wednesday morning, and will be a graduate transfer who is eligible in the 2016-17 season.
The first regular season game is only 79 days away, and the transfer market has slowed down considerably, but the addition of Thomas to the transfer list just shook things up a bit.
In his only season with the Hawks after transferring from the New Mexico Lobos, Thomas put together a season that landed him on the America East Second Team at season’s end. He led the Hawks in scoring (18.9), rebounds (6.4), and assists (2.8) per game, while averaging over 35 minutes of court time per night.
He is an electric shooter who will provide a big boost on offense for whichever school he chooses to attend. Thomas shot 42.6% from three point range last season, and 43.7% from the floor as a whole.
Thomas scored 30 or more points on four occasions in 2015-16, including offensive outbursts of 38 points against the New Hampshire Wildcats and 37 at home against the Massachusetts-Lowell River Hawks.
He closed out the season by recording double-digit points in 10 straight contests.
Hartford will be hard-pressed to replace the production that Thomas provided. The likes of John Carroll, who was injured after just five games last year, and Jalen Ross appear to be the likely candidates to make the biggest jumps this season.
In a statement from Hartford head coach John Gallagher, the “biggest priority for Cleveland was that he graduate from the University of Hartford with a valuable degree. That happened.”
Gallagher went on to wish Thomas the best, but they would not comment on another program’s players, signalling they have quickly turned their attention to the upcoming 2016-17 campaign.
Hartford opens the regular season on November 11th on the road against the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils.