Speedy Claxton has landed another star-studded guard in Sacred Heart transfer Tyler Thomas. Thomas averaged 19.1 points per game during the 2020-21 season, following it up with 16.4 points per game this past season.
“Before basketball, I wanted to get my degree on time and a lot of schools couldn’t do that,” Thomas told The Portal Report, “Basketball wise, Speedy, 10-year pro. He lets his guards go, there’s a consensus around Hofstra and I think I can learn a lot from him and his coaching staff.”
There is no doubt that Claxton lets his guards go. Last season, the Pride had five guard’s average double-digit points, ranking 72nd in offensive efficiency. When one didn’t have a strong game, another stepped up and put up 30 points. There’s a bevy of backcourt at their expense.
They all seemed to grow off each other too. Their leading scorer, Aaron Estrada had never averaged more than 8.1 points per game in college basketball. Last season, he averaged 18.5 points per game and won the CAA’s Player of the Year award.
Along with him, former all-league players in Jalen Ray and Zach Cooks averaged double digits while players like Darlinstone Dubar and Omar Silverio who never produced much before did as well.
There’s a bevy of resources at Thomas’ expense.
“It makes life a lot easier for me. Spacing is a big role in how they play,” Thomas said, “There’s guards that push you every day. They want to get better, and I want to get better. It’s a great environment to be around.”
In the last two seasons, Thomas was the primary shot taker for the Pioneers. He shot over 30% of the team’s shots in both of the last two seasons at a fairly efficient rate, shooting around a 48% effective field goal percentage over that time. In 2020-21, he also ranked nationally in free throw percentage, assist rate, and fouls committed per 40 minutes. You could say he was he was Mr.Do It All. He was far from that in his freshman year, only shooting 34% from the field.
“I don’t think I need to change my game, I just need to do it more efficiently,” said Thomas.
Now, dominating like that wasn’t anything new to him. Thomas was a McDonald’s All-American candidate in high school, scoring over 1500 points.
He didn’t have as many offers the first time around as he had this time though. When first committing, he only had offers from the NEC. This time around, seemingly every mid-major conference had an interest in him.
“It’s basically the same process, different people, different schools,” said Thomas.
Thomas ultimately chose the Pride over Loyola (IL), Saint Bonaventure, and Towson. Hofstra should immediately contend for another CAA title.