OMAHA, Neb. – Creighton University’s Khyri Thomas, the 2017 and 2018 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, announced Sunday that he will be signing with an agent and remaining in the 2018 NBA Draft. By doing so, Thomas will give up his final season of eligibility with the Bluejays.
An Omaha native, Thomas averaged 15.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game for the Bluejays in 2017-18, which earned him Second Team All-BIG EAST acclaim. He led the team with 56 steals (1.7 spg.) and 31.7 minutes per game, and shot 53.8 percent from the field, 41.1 percent from three-point range and 78.8 percent at the line.
In league play Thomas ranked third in the conference in steals per game, fifth in both field goal percentage and three-point percentage, ninth in assist/turnover ratio, 10th in minutes per game, 14th in assists per game and in three-pointers per game, and 16th in points per game. He was also the first BIG EAST player in more than a dozen years to rank among the top-five in both steals per game and field goal percentage in conference action.
The 6-foot-3 guard also was a lockdown defender, becoming just the 10th player in BIG EAST history to be named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year multiple times. Due in part to Thomas’ defensive impact, the 11 players named to the All-BIG EAST Conference team averaged 15.2 points per game against Creighton, compared to 18.9 points per game in all other league contests.
Thomas played in 102 games at Creighton, starting 96 of them. He closes his Bluejay career ranked 10th with 141 steals and 30th with 1,140 career points.
“I’m thrilled for Khyri as he moves on to the next stage of his career,” said Creighton head coach Greg McDermott. “His selfless approach to the game, positive attitude and tireless work ethic has been a joy to be around the last three years. It has been an honor to be part of his development during that time. I look forward to supporting him as he pursues his dream of playing in the NBA and appreciate the manner in which he has represented Creighton University and our basketball program.”
Creighton’s last selection in the NBA Draft came in 2017, when Justin Patton went 16th overall in the First Round to the Chicago Bulls, and was immediately traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Patton is currently joined in the NBA by fellow Creighton alums Kyle Korver (Cleveland Cavaliers), Anthony Tolliver (Detroit Pistons) and Doug McDermott (Dallas Mavericks).
Thomas has been projected as a First Round pick by NBADraft.net (19th), NBCSports.com (19th), CBS Sports (20th) and Bleacher Report (26th) in recent mock drafts. Should Thomas be a First Round pick, it would mark the first time in program history that Creighton has had First Round picks in consecutive seasons.
Coached by Greg McDermott, Creighton went 21-12 in 2017-18. The Bluejays tied for third place in the BIG EAST Conference and reached the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in the last seven seasons.
The 2018 NBA Draft will take place on June 21st in Brooklyn.