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Thomas eager to hit full stride

Jan. 27, 2014 @ 11:37 PM

RUSTON, La. -- Chris Thomas wants to keep going fast while slowing down.

That sounds confusing, but the Marshall Thundering Herd men's basketball player knows exactly what it means.

"It's a matter of picking my spots," he said.

Thomas is a 6-foot-5 sophomore guard averaging 11.2 points a game in his first season of NCAA Division I basketball. The Denver, Colo., native played junior college basketball last season at Chipola College in Marianna, Fla.

Marshall head coach Tom Herrion once described Thomas as a scary fast player in the open court, and he's shown that on several occasions.

Someone as fast as Taylor can take the ball to the rim almost at will.

"I feel like the game comes easier to me when we can get in transition and I'm making plays," he said before practice Monday in Cam Henderson Center.

Stopping someone that fast requires a defender to have good position.

Louisiana Tech players had a hard time staying in front of Thomas when he scored 13 in Saturday's game, Herrion said.

Word has gotten around Conference USA about Thomas and teams know how to defend him. At the same time, he's learning to adjust.

"A lot of people know my drive and know what I'm capable of," he said. "I've got to pick better angles to attack and when to attack."

Thomas said it's going to take some time for him to hit full stride.

He's shooting just 43.1 percent from the field, but heated up to 53.6 in the last three games following a 1-for-13 performance Jan. 16 in a loss to North Texas.

"I didn't let it bring me down," Thomas said.

Thomas said it feels good to be playing for the Herd.

Last summer he had some academic work to complete at Chipola and wasn't signed by Marshall until July. He has two more years of eligibility.

"The bad part is we're not winning," he said.

Marshall has a 7-14 record with five losses in its last six games. Since a late November victory against Western Kentucky, the team is 3-12. The Herd is at home Thursday-Saturday for C-USA games against FIU (11-9, 3-2) and Florida Atlantic (7-13, 2-3).

FIU won back-to-back weekend home games in Miami against East Carolina (68-64) and Florida Atlantic (66-57). The Panthers are led by 6-5 senior Tymell Murphy averaging 16.4 points and 8.0 rebounds while Louisville Cardinals transfer Rakeem Buckley, a 6-7 senior, averages 13.3 and 9.1.

Marshall men's basketball

FIU (11-9, 3-2)

at Marshall (7-14, 1-5)

7 p.m., Thursday

Cam Henderson Center

Tickets: $10

Radio: WDGG 93.7-FM, WRVC 930-AM and 94.1-FM, WMUL 88.1-FM

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