Jasmine Thomas is a combo guard that should hear her name called on WNBA Draft day (Photo by Duke Athletics)
From now until the WNBA draft on April 11, 2011, Swish Appeal will be providing you with information, quotes and audio clips on some of the top prospects. We hope you enjoy them, and they help you prepare for the new crop of WNBA players entering the league this summer!
The quote in the title came from Coach Joanne P. McCallie of Duke, describing her senior 2nd team All-American. Known for big plays on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court, Jasmine Thomas took on the role of team leader this year, and led a freshmen-laden Blue Devils team to the ACC title and the Elite Eight.
A combo guard with good size and strength, Jasmine Thomas really carried a heavy load for Duke this season. As a senior captain, Thomas not only helped bring along a talented group of freshmen, but she was also the leader in scoring, assists, and minutes played. While she is only 5'9, she is physically strong, and has no problem shedding defenders while driving the lane. Duke's post players have struggled offensively, so it's a bit of an unknown how her ability to penetrate and lay the ball off will develop in the pros.
STATISTICAL STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES
- Led the team in scoring each of the last two seasons
- Increased scoring from 15 ppg to almost 18 ppg in the NCAA tournament
- MVP in 2011 ACC Tournament
- Shot only 39% from the floor, but also 39% from 3-point range
- Assist to turnover ratio was only 1.17
STRAIGHT FROM THE PLAYER'S MOUTH
Coach McCallie made the comment earlier this season that no other player in the country had taken on or done as much for one team as Jasmine Thomas did for Duke this season. The season began for her last summer, sticking around campus to work with the freshmen coming in. She had high expectations this season.
While some may consider Thomas' lack of a true position as a one or two guard to be a problem as she goes into the WNBA, Jasmine considers it a plus, and she uses the career of former Duke All-American and now star point guard Lindsay Harding as an example.
Thomas has been a player willing to put in the extra work to improve, something she'll need to do for the WNBA. Last summer, she worked on improving her game in part with the USA Basketball Select team that played against members of the Senior National Team.
WHAT THE COACHES SAY
Joanne P. McCallie was reliant on Thomas on both ends of the court. Her intensity, her competitiveness and her desire were all things that impressed her college coach.
One coach not sorry to see Jasmine graduate, is Brenda Frese of Maryland. Having known her since the recruiting days of high school, Coach Frese has seen Thomas grow and evolve as both a person and a player. She described the Duke star's game.
FROM ELSEWHERE ON SBNATION
"As a senior leader and a person who has been in almost every circumstance possible and given the schedule that we’ve played, Jasmine has a lot of confidence. She’s had game winners on the defensive side of the ball, on the offensive side of the ball and she’s relentless. I think that is what makes her an All-American. I think that’s what makes her a special kind of player. I also think some of the other players have caught on to that. It’s been neat to see other folks step up as well."
WHAT THE BROADCASTERS SAY