NORMAN, Okla. -- Once a week until the beginning of the fall semester in mid-August, SoonerSports.com will introduce a new member of the OU men's basketball team. This week's feature subject is 6-8, 240-pound senior TaShawn Thomas (first name pronounced TAY-shawn).
A transfer from the University of Houston, Thomas averaged 14.5 points and 8.7 rebounds during his three seasons with the Cougars. The forward started all of UH's 96 games during that span and was a second-team All-American Athletic Conference selection last year as a junior (15.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg). As a sophomore, he earned first-team All-Conference USA honors (16.9 ppg, 9.8 rpg).
The question for Thomas and the Sooners is whether the Killeen, Texas, product will play in 2014-15. The NCAA requires Division I transfers to sit out a year before competing at their new institution. However, OU is filing an appeal in an attempt to make Thomas eligible for the upcoming season.
Regardless of that outcome, Thomas, who will wear No. 35, has begun transitioning to his new team and says the process is going well.
"I thought it would be a little difficult because Coach (Lon) Kruger told me he wanted me to be a leader," said Thomas, who grew up a Texas fan but quickly points out he has dumped any previous allegiance to the Longhorns. "I knew that would be hard coming in for my last year and (with) a lot of people not knowing me. But so far it's been better than I thought.
"The guys understand that I've got a little more experience than some of them. The type of player I am, I like to lead. But I'm also not trying to step on anyone's toes."
A big football fan -- he says he played wide receiver and quarterback before he ever played basketball -- Thomas is also enjoying his time in Norman.
"I like the fact that it's a college town," he said. "Everything is OU. Just being in a college town and being able to have this experience is a big thing for me; being a part of the tradition."
Learn more about Thomas in the embedded video above and in the following Q&A.
GET TO KNOW TASHAWN THOMAS
Shoe Size: 15
Roommate: Dinjiyl Walker
Interests/Hobbies: music and video games
Three Words That Describe Me: humble, driven, strong
Favorite Food: lasagna
Favorite Late Night Snack: trail mix
Meal I Prepare Most Often: grilled chicken salad
Favorite Spot on Campus: Lloyd Noble Center
Favorite Childhood Activity: playing basketball in the driveway
Moment in History I'd Like to Have Witnessed: Game 6 of 1998 NBA Finals (Bulls at Jazz)
Best Advice I've Received: "Don't let you highs get too high or your lows too low."
Person I'd Trade Places With For a Day: Bill Gates
Most Memorable Personal Sports Moment: playing in my first college game
Biggest Fear: being unsuccessful
Job I'd Like Outside of Basketball: Apple CEO
Best Non-Athletic Talent: cleaning
Favorite Sports Movie: "Coach Carter"
Favorite Non-Sports Movie: "The Wood"
Best Sports Talent Besides Basketball: throwing the football
Favorite Pro Athlete: Kevin Durant
Favorite NBA Team: Oklahoma City Thunder
Favorite OU Sport to Watch (Besides Men's Basketball): football
I Don't Know What I'd Do Without: my mom and sisters
Pregame Ritual: pray and listen to music
My Focus This Summer: my jumpshot