Pancake Thomas joins Western Kentucky basketball team

Pancake Thomas joins Western Kentucky basketball team


BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU men’s basketball head coach Rick Stansbury announced Wednesday the addition of graduate transfer Cleveland “Pancake” Thomas (6-4, Guard) to the Hilltopper program in 2016-17.

Thomas, a Baton Rouge, La., native, brings years of experience to the Hilltoppers' backcourt for his final season. He's eligible to compete immediately after graduating and transferring from Hartford.

Thomas was named a Second Team All-America East selection last season after averaging 18.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists for Hartford – all team highs. He also led the program with 36 steals and was the only player in the America East to finish in the league's top 10 in points, rebounds, assists and steals.

As one of the country's top 60 scorers, Thomas scored at least 35 points four times last season, including a career-high 38 points at New Hampshire. He hit at least four 3-pointers 11 times while at Hartford and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds twice.

The sharpshooter shot 42.6 percent from 3-point range (ranking him 27th in the nation) with 81 makes in 2015-16 – including a career-high eight 3s against Vermont – as well as an 82.7 percent clip from the free-throw line. His 566 points were the eighth-most in a season in Hartford history.

Thomas was a workhorse for Hartford, leading the conference with 34.6 minutes per contest last season. He played 194 of the team's 200 minutes over its final five games.

Thomas sat out the 2014-15 campaign at Hartford after transferring from New Mexico. He was named to the America East Academic Honor Roll during his season sitting out.

Thomas appeared in 67 games across his first two seasons with New Mexico and made 10 starts as a sophomore. The Lobos reached the NCAA Tournament in both of his seasons with the program.

Prior to college, Thomas was a four-year starter for Scotlandville Magnet School in Baton Rouge. He averaged 20.1 points as a senior in helping the Hornets win the Louisiana state title with a 36-2 record, and his squad finished as the state runner-up the year before as he averaged 17.5 points as a junior.

Thomas joins graduate transfer guards Que Johnson and Junior Lomomba, as well as high school guards Tobias Howard, Damari Parris, Marty Leahy and Marko Stajkovski as active newcomers on the 2016-17 roster.

Former University at Buffalo guard Lamonte Bearden has also transferred to WKU but will sit out the 2016-17 season per NCAA transfer rules.

Stansbury on Thomas:

"We're excited to have Pancake Thomas join our team and our family. He brings a wealth of experience, and he's a guy that has the ability to make shots. To go along with the other new faces we have, we think he's a great addition to our program. He's a high-quality person that brings additional leadership."

Official release from WKU sports information