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MSU's Thomas leaves program

By EDWARD MARLOWE emarlowe@paducahsun.com

Murray State freshman forward Gilbert Thomas Jr. is no longer a Racer, first mentioned on verbalcommits.com and a social media post from Thomas on Friday.

"First I would like to start off by saying this has been a great year for me to be a part of this journey with a great group of guys that I can call my brothers, and to also have the opportunity to play in front of the great fans in the country and to also be a part of a wonderful tradition they have here at Murray State," he said. "But unfortunately I will not be attending Murray State next year. God must have a different plan for me.

"I would also like to thank the fans (in) the community that supported me throughout the year making this place feel like home. Thanks Everyone #GoRacers."

MSU head coach Matt McMahon, who has been on the recruiting trail since season's end and is in route to the NCAA Final Four, confirmed the departure through MSU Assistant Athletic Director Dave Winder.

Thomas averaged 3.0 points and 2.7 rebounds in 7.5 minutes per game last season by shooting 65 percent from the field (30-for-46) and 7-for-18 from the charity stripe.

The 6-foot-7, 225-pound forward was a native of Houston and a graduate of Cortes Ewing King High School who finished up his prep career playing AAU hoops for Basketball University.

Thomas was known for his transition dunks and ability to play under the rim. He scored a career-high 12 points against Green Bay, Bethel (TN) and Austin Peay and played double-digit minutes 14 times. He added 10 steals and six blocks and chipped in at least five rebounds on four occasions.

He was a two-star recruit before coming to MSU.

With the departure of Dondre Griffin this spring and former Racer Justin Seymour last summer, the Racers have three scholarships available for the 2017-18 season.

The current frontcourt consists of Terrell Miller, Brion Sanchious and Jalen Dupree, and the trio had solidified itself as the rotation of choice for McMahon and his staff as the season progressed.

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