Pack Pride is reporting that Thomas will graduate and move on from the program. After graduating he could also transfer and play right away somewhere other than NC State.
According to NC State head coach Sidney Lowe, redshirt juniorÂ Johnny Thomas is graduating this summer and could look to move on from NC State, possibly transferring to another school.Lowe reportedly addressed the situation at the Wolfpack Coaches Caravan last night in Atlanta, Georgia.
Thomas averaged .8 points and 1.1 rebounds in 5.2 minutes per game last season. He averaged 2.1 points and 2.1 rebounds in 11 minutes per game during the 2008-2009 season. One of Lowe’s first recruits as head coach, Thomas has battled injuries throughout his career and redshirted as a true freshman.
This rumor started gaining some ground in the last few weeks and came to a head in the last couple of days. There was some interesting discussion on the forums about it. Thomas, who has had aÂ roller-coasterÂ career with injuries and playing time, is one of those players you could never quite understand. He seemed talented enough to at least contribute at the ACC level but he was never healthy enough to make that a reality. Because of this his playing time never reached the level he would have liked and I always got the sense he was unhappy in Raleigh.
I could be wrong, but it’s the only way I can explain why Thomas would leave before the season when he would likely see the most minutes of his career.
This move also makes a mark on the 2010-2011 season more than you might think because of the depth Thomas would have provided at the small forward position. Unless the Pack take a transfer NC State will enter fall camp with 10 scholarship players, three of which will be freshmen. Obviously those freshmen will be more advanced than the freshmen from recent classes, but they will still be freshmen. Thomas would have been an important part of practice and early season games from a depth and experience point of view. His departure may not impact the point and rebound sections of the box score, but it will make a mark on minutes.
Another interesting aspect to this story is why Thomas is leaving. The rumor is that an AAU coach advised by Thomas and Josh Davis to leave NC State and get more playing time. I don’t know how true or untrue this belief is, but based on the impact AAU coaches have on kids every single day it would not surprise me at all. James at Riddick and Reynolds touched on this in his post about Thomas this morning. It’s worth the read.