ASHEVILLE, N.C. – UNC Asheville men's basketball senior Ahmad Thomas has been ranked among the top-10 small forwards in mid-major college basketball by CBB Central.
Thomas is described by Kevin Sweeney of CBB Central as "one of my favorite players to watch in college basketball. He plays with such incredible energy and toughness, and is an elite perimeter defender. Not only that, but he has improved his offensive repertoire drastically as well to make him one of the top wings in the Big South and across the country. His improvement from the 3-pt arc a season ago was incredibly impressive and speaks to just how hard a worker Thomas is."
Listed as a guard by UNC Asheville, Thomas is one of many that Sweeney sees in mid-major college basketball that "spend significant time at multiple positions, whether it be guys on the small side who also see action at shooting guard or 'big wings' who are also deployed as small-ball 4's."
A first-team Big South All-Conference and NCAA Division I NABC District 3 selection, Thomas averaged 18.0 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 2.3 assists per game in the 2016-17 season.
The 2016-17 Big South Conference Defensive Player of the Year will enter his senior season in the 2017-18 season with 1,098 points and 519 rebounds. The 56th player in Big South Conference history to score over 1,000 points and collect over 500 rebounds, Thomas with 189 steals in his career is nearing becoming just the sixth player in league history with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 200 steals. Thomas' 99 steals this season for the Bulldogs is a program record.
Thomas finished last year fourth in the country in total steals with 99 and fifth in steals per game at 3.00. The junior do-it-all Thomas led the Big South Conference in field goal percentage at 54.4 percent shooting (243-of-447).
In addition to Thomas finding his way into the top-10, UNC Asheville's MaCio Teague just missed the cut of the top-10 at the shooting guard position according to CBB Central.
A first-team Big South Conference choice and NABC All-District 3 selection also, Teague finished his freshman season averaging 15.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.
A Kyle Macy Freshmen All-America Team member, Teague ended his first year in a Bulldog uniform with 509 points to become just one of seven players in league history to record 500 or more points during their freshman season. At one point during Big South Conference play this past season, Teague connected on 29 consecutive free throw attempts.
In putting together his Freshmen All-America season, Teague scored in double figures in 25 of UNC Asheville's 33 games. The Cincinnati, Ohio native scored 20 or more points in eight games.
In total, Teague finished in the top-10 in the Big South Conference in free throw percentage (second-88.6), field goal percentage (fourth-46.8), minutes played (fourth-34.1), three-point field goals made (sixth-70), scoring (seventh-15.4) and assists (ninth-2.7).
The UNC Asheville men's basketball program picked up its sixth Big South Conference regular-season title in the 2016-17 season (1996-97, 1997-98, 2001-02, 2007-08, 2011-12 and 2016-17).
The Bulldogs will commence the 2017-18 season having collected back-to-back 20-win seasons and having made two straight postseason appearances with the Bulldogs playing in the 2016 NCAA Tournament and the 2017 CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
The 2016-17 Bulldogs earned the second-most wins in program history in a season with 23. Asheville reached 20 wins faster than any other team in program history in 27 games.
UNC Asheville is currently accepting deposits for season tickets, and fans can reserve their season ticket for only $50 per seat. The season ticket includes both men's and women's home regular-season basketball games.
To purchase your tickets today, please visit HERE. To see the entire CBB Central top-10, please click HERE.