December 8, 2008

Thomas dismissed

Last week, forward/center Ibrihima Thomas did not make the trip to Seattle, Wash. for the Cowboys matchup with Washington in the Big 12-PAC-10 Hardwood Challenge. His status with Cowboy basketball has been in doubt ever since.

Head coach Travis Ford announced tonight through a media relations release that Thomas has been dismissed from the Cowboy basketball team.

According to Ford, the decision comes after multiple visits with the sophomore big man.

"After several conversations with Ibrahima over the past week, we have decided that it is in the best interest of both he and this basketball program if we parted ways," Ford said. "We are looking for players who are fully committed to doing whatever it takes to make this program successful. The guys currently on this team are dedicated to doing just that."

Thomas' departure leaves an already-thin front court even thinner, though the Cowboys did recently gain the services of 6-11 freshman Teeng Akol last week. An NCAA Clearinghouse issue had delayed the start of Akol's career, but the freshman was cleared to play around the same time that Thomas' status became in doubt.

Thomas was averaging 20.6 minutes, 8.3 points and 3.9 rebounds per game in seven starts for the Cowboys this season. The 6-11 native of Dakar, Senegal, averaged 6.0 points and 4.1 rebounds a year ago.

Cowboy big men Anthony Brown, Malcoln Kirkland and Marshall Moses should see increased roles while Akol acclimates to Division I basketball.

OSU returns to action on Sunday, Dec. 14, as OSU travels to south Texas to face the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders in a 3 p.m. tilt. The game will be televised by the Cowboy Sports Network.



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