Thomas hoping to play more minutes for new school

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics
Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Jake Thomas is transferring from Marquette, but where the redshirt junior guard will end up remains to be seen.

Last Wednesday night, CBS college basketball insider Jeff Goodman reported via Twitter that Thomas had decided to leave the Golden Eagles. Since then, initial details of the tweet have been clarified by Marquette’s Associate Athletic Director Scott Kuykendall.

Kuykendall refuted the initial list of schools mentioned in the tweet, including University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, University of Illinois-Chicago and University of South Alabama, as inaccurate.

He confirmed, however, that Thomas asked for his release last week, and it was granted by Marquette.

Thomas transferred to Marquette from South Dakota in 2011 as a walk-on. He sat out the following season and was awarded a scholarship for 2011-12 and 2012-13 because the program had one available under the NCAA maximum of 13.

In an email, Kuykendall stated that Thomas was informed he would lose his scholarship due to the size of the incoming 2013-14 recruiting class.

The Racine, Wis., native said the loss of the scholarship didn’t weigh heavily on his choice, and he was more motivated by the opportunity to play more minutes in his final year of eligibility.

“My decision wasn’t based on whether or not I had a scholarship for next season,” Thomas said. “Buzz had explained to me when I first got here that a scholarship for my third year was unlikely. I just want to have my last year of college basketball be at a program where I can play significant minutes and contribute to a team.”

Thomas expressed gratitude for his time with the Golden Eagles as well as the efforts of his coaches to work with him through the transfer process.

“My two years at Marquette have been some of the best of my life, and I have loved the opportunity to be closer to my family,” Thomas said. “All of the coaches at Marquette have been helpful during this process and understand my situation.”

Coach Buzz Williams praised Thomas’ commitment to the team while on the roster and supported the guard’s decision.

“We are grateful for all the energy and work Jake put in our program while he was here,” Williams said.  “He was a great teammate, and I am thankful for my relationship with Jake and his entire family. As a graduate student, he is looking for a new opportunity, and we are all in complete support of that.”