College Court Report Player of the Week: Jahad Thomas, UMass-Lowell River Hawks

Jahad Thomas recorded the first triple-double in program history on Saturday in the River Hawks' 71-55 win over Hartford.
Jahad Thomas recorded the first triple-double in program history on Saturday in the River Hawks’ 71-55 win over Hartford.

Recording a triple-double at any level is an impressive feat, unless your name is Russell Westbrook, where it’s becoming more of a feat when he doesn’t record a triple-double in a game.

When you record the  first triple-double in program history, it becomes even more special. For guard Jahad Thomas, that’s exactly what he did on Saturday afternoon for the UMass-Lowell River Hawks against the Hartford Hawks.

It was the culmination of another strong week for the native of Williamsport, PA. Over his career with the River Hawks, Thomas has regularly stuffed box score, and the 2016-17 season is no different. He has been on quite the roll on an individual level since the start of the season, and has the River Hawks near the top of the America East standings after their first four conference games.

For his efforts this past week, a stretch of two games where he averaged a double-double and etched his name into the history books twice, junior guard Jahad Thomas has been named the College Court Report Player of the Week for the week of January 9 – 15, 2017!

Last Sunday, Thomas recorded a double-double of 28 points and 15 rebounds in the River Hawks’ win over the Binghamton Bearcats.

This week, he picked up right where he left off.

Up first, UMass-Lowell went on the road for a date with the Maine Black Bears. While they would fall by a pair, 73-71, Thomas recorded his second-straight double-double on the night.

He finished the game with 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists, while shooting 8-of-13 (61.5%) from the field. It was Thomas’ fifth double-double of the year, and his 11th-straight game scoring in double digits.

Saturday, however, was the game everyone was talking about.

Against the Hartford Hawks, Thomas etched his name into the record books twice in front of the River Hawks’ home crowd.

UMass-Lowell came away with the 71-55 win, using a strong second half push to secure the win, and Thomas was the star of the show. He surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career on the afternoon, but his final stat line was what grabbed all the headlines.

On 8-of-13 shooting, Thomas recorded 19 points, pulled down 19 rebounds, and dished out 10 assists, recording the first triple-double in UMass-Lowell history. He flirted with a triple-double earlier this season (14 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists on Dec. 12 v. CCSU), but fell just short.

He wouldn’t be denied on Saturday, and his name will be both in the record books for the school, and the answer to future trivia questions on the topic at the school.

Over the two games, Thomas was his usual, productive self, filling up the stat sheet while helping the River Hawks improve their America East record to 3-1.

Thomas averaged 18.0 points, 15.0 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per contest, while shooting 16-of-26 (61.5%) from the field. He was an identical 8-of-13 from the floor on both nights.

For the season, Thomas is averaging 17.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game, while shooting 60.9% from the field. All four of those marks are career-highs for the 6’2” guard. He has been an underrated star during his time at UMass-Lowell, and it’s about time that people start to recognize the name.

Despite standing at 6’2”, Thomas is highly effective on both ends of the floor. With his size (210 lbs), he is a tough body to move in the paint, and he will battle for rebounds on both ends of the floor.

While he rarely shoots from outside the three point line (1-for-1 in 2016-17), he is effective in and around the basket, and can shoot the mid-range jumper with relative consistency.

After his record-setting week, one that included the first triple-double in program history, and topping the 1,000-point plateau, junior guard Jahad Thomas has been named the College Court Report Player of the Week for the week of January 9 – 15, 2017!

– T. Bennett

Previous Winners

Jan. 2 – 8, 2017: Ryan Taylor, Marshall Thundering Herd

Dec. 26, 2016 – Jan. 1, 2017: DeAndre Harris, Nicholls Colonels

Dec. 19 – 25, 2016: DeWayne Russell, Grand Canyon Antelopes

Dec. 12 – 18, 2016: Ian Baker, New Mexico State Aggies

Nov. 28 – Dec, 4, 2016: Jaylen Adams, St. Bonaventure Bonnies

Nov. 21 – 27, 2016: Marquise Moore, George Mason Patriots

Nov. 14 – 20, 2016: Eric Mika, BYU Cougars

Nov. 11 – 13, 2016: Jairus Lyles, UMBC Retrievers

**College Court Report Player of the Week recipients are selected from teams in the following conferences:

America East, Atlantic Sun, Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Conference USA, Horizon League, Ivy League, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot League, Southern, Southland, Summit League, SWAC, Sun Belt, West Coast, and WAC