Big Bobcat on campus
Jordan Thomas leads GC Men’s Basketball into a bold new era
Chris Collier | Senior Writer | Oct. 30, 2019
GC men’s basketball opens its 2019-2020 season against Erskine on Nov. 8 with nine freshmen filling its roster. Jordan Thomas, junior exercise science major and guard for GC men’s basketball, plans to lead the youthful unit by example.
“I feel like some people that try to lead their team want to do it like a coach,” Thomas said. “I feel like you have to lead the team like a player. Don’t lead it like a coach—that’s what your coach is for.”
Thomas led the Bobcats in scoring last season with 19.2 points per game, earning a spot on the All-PBC Second Team.
But with the graduation of former GC men’s basketball star Desmond Mitchell-Laflam, an influx of freshmen, and a Kohl Roberts knee injury, Thomas has to raise his game even further.
“For me, I really am trying to be player of the year in conference,” Thomas said. “I want to improve every stat really—scoring, assists, for sure. I want to at least average about five rebounds a game, [and] at least four to five assists.”
Thomas also wants to improve his free throw percentage, which was just under 70% last season.
“That’s the biggest thing I want to turn around because I think I shot about 69% last year, and I want to get that to at least 80% this year,” Thomas said. “I shot a lot of free throws this past offseason.”
With nine freshmen Bobcats running the floor, Thomas’ ball distribution will be integral to the team’s confidence and chemistry early in the season.
“I remember being a freshman—once you just feel like you’re comfortable in the game, you’re just more comfortable overall,” Thomas said. “It just feels better in the game—the flow of the game—when you’re contributing to the team, not just out there running up and down.”
Thomas also said the freshman will gain confidence throughout the season.
“The more games, the more practices [and] the more playing time they get, the more they’ll be more comfortable with everything in the game,” Thomas said.
Austin Sloan, freshman accounting major and forward for GC men’s basketball, saw Thomas’ leadership qualities on display during the team’s exhibition game at Georgia Tech in downtown Atlanta on Oct. 20.
“He kind of calmed us down a little bit because we had a lot of adrenaline and because it was our first game against an ACC team—it was huge,” Sloan said.
Sloan also said that Thomas pushes the younger players to raise their energy level during practice.
“I really am trying to be the player of the year in the conference.” -Jordan Thomas
Head coach of GC men’s basketball Mark Gainous said that Thomas’ work ethic separates him from other players in the Peach Belt Conference. Over the offseason, Thomas aimed to sink 500 shots per day.
As the Nov. 8 season opener against Erskine approaches, Gainous looks to Thomas for points, rebounds, assists and leadership that his young squad can turn to.