Kyhri Thomas entered his junior year as borderline NBA draft prospect at best. So far early this season he’s looking like he’ll follow in the footsteps of fellow Creighton Blue Jay and Omaha native, Justin Patton to the NBA. Despite being named Big East Co-Defensive player of the year last season, coaches only voted him preseason Honorable Mention for the 2017-18 season.
Offensively, Thomas is a versatile scorer who can space the floor, attack closeouts and make plays for others. He has a strong frame that allows him to bully smaller defenders in the mid/ low post , while possessing a quick first step that allows him to get to the rim on straight line drives. He finishes with both hands at the rim and utilizes euro steps and floaters to throw off the timing of shot blockers. Thomas reminds me a little of Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson with his style of play. While he’s not as tall or as flashy as Stephenson, I see similar movements, footwork and passing instincts that would make him a solid secondary creator on the floor. Thomas is around a 40% 3 point shooter for his career and overall has been an efficient scorer making nearly 50% of his field goals in his first two seasons.
On the defensive end is where Thomas really stands out. He uses his instincts, agility, strength and wingspan to lock down defenders and disrupt passing lanes. Last season he grabbed 5.8 rebounds per game and is a threat to start or finish fast breaks after getting a stop on the defensive end.
Overall, Thomas is an interesting prospect that should rise on draft boards as the season goes on. At the minimum, he fills a role as a 3 & D specialist. However, I believe he has the offensive versatility that will allow him to be more than spot up shooter and defender. I think Thomas has potential to be a threat in the pick & roll with his ability make plays for others and get down hill when slashing. If Thomas can continue to show his playmaking skills on top of his defensive and shooting, he may be a 1st round pick in a weak guard draft.