Oklahoma’s men’s basketball team announced Tuesday they have signed TaShawn Thomas, who is transferring from the University of Houston.
Division 1 transfers are required to sit out one season, but OU is appealing to get Thomas eligible for the 2014-15 season.
Thomas is a 6-8 forward who was second team All-American Athletic Conference last season.
Thomas averaged 15.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.7 blocked shots a game.
Thomas was a first team All-Conference USA selection as a sophomore, when he averaged 16.9 points and 9.8 rebounds a game.
“We’re just delighted to add a person and player of TaShawn’s caliber,” said OU head coach Lon Kruger. “He’s terrific on the court, he’s terrific off the court. Everyone who we talked with at the University of Houston had nothing but great things to say. We’re just really looking forward to his contributions to our program and university.
“With the graduation of Cameron Clark and Tyler Neal on the inside, the timing of this addition is perfect. Now the next step is to address the waiver. Our folks will work on the presentation of the waiver immediately and we’ll see how that goes.”
“When I got my release, OU was one of the first schools to contact me and show interest,” said Thomas, who also visited Miami (Fla.) after deciding to transfer. “That caught my attention. When I got to Norman, I just fell in love with the campus. It’s beautiful.
“And the coaching staff is A-1,” Thomas continued. “I have a really good relationship with Coach Kruger and (Assistant) Coach (Lew) Hill. Everyone who met with me had a smiling face.”
“I’ve got one year to play,” said Thomas, “so I wanted to go to a program that’s already good, a place I could help be even better. If I went somewhere else, I might be taking a risk as to how good they would be. With OU, they were going to be good whether I chose them or not. But with that said, I feel like I can be a big help to the team.”
Thomas is leaving a Houston program which is ironically now coached by former Sooner coach Kelvin Sampson.