Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Men’s college basketball: Demons add Nicholls transfer Micah Thomas, Chipola’s Jerald Colonel

by Russell Hedges
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By Jason Pugh, Northwestern State Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations

NATCHITOCHES – Second-year Northwestern State men’s basketball coach Rick Cabrera has announced the addition of two transfers to his 2024-25 roster – one of whom is extremely familiar with the Southland Conference.

Cabrera announced Micah Thomas and Jerald Colonel as two of the newest Demons on Thursday as he shapes his second NSU roster.

Thomas, a 6-foot, 165-pound point guard, joins the Demons after spending the past two seasons at fellow Southland member Nicholls.

In his debut season with the Colonels in 2022-23, Thomas led Nicholls with 3.2 assists per game and ranked fourth on the team in scoring at 8.4 points per game, including a 20-point performance at No. 17 Arizona. His 2.8 assist-to-turnover ratio was the best in the Southland and helped him land a spot on the 2023-24 Preseason All-Southland Conference second team.

Injuries limited Thomas to seven games in 2023-24, but he averaged 8.7 points in those contests, reaching double figures three times, including 16 points against nationally ranked Baylor.

An Oklahoma City native, Thomas started his Division I career at Indiana State, averaging 9.7 points per game in 27 games (15 starts) in the 2021-22 season. Thomas reached double figures 13 times as a Sycamore, including six games with at least 15 points. 

In his first collegiate season at Northwest Florida State College, Thomas started 20 of his 21 appearances and led the team in scoring (13.3 points) and assists (3.5 per game).

Thomas’ time in college came after a decorated prep career at Putnam City North High School in Oklahoma where he helped lead the Panthers to the 2018 state championship, earning state tournament MVP honors. A 2,000-point scorer in high school, Thomas also helped Putnam City North to a state runner-up finish in 2019. Included in that tournament run was a career-high, 44-point performance in the semifinals. Thomas was Oklahoma’s Super 5 Player of the Year, Big 10 Player of the Year, Big All-City Player of the Year and a Class 6A All-State selection.

““Micah brings a wealth of D1 experience from the lead guard position that we need to get to a championship level,” Cabrera said. “He has shown the ability to be an all-conference caliber player in the Southland Conference. We are expecting Micah to make an immediate impact for us this year.”

While Thomas gives the Demons a new face at point guard, Colonel adds to the NSU front court.

A 6-foot-9, 200-pounder from Savannah, Georgia, Colonel comes to Natchitoches after spending two seasons at Chipola College in Marianna, Florida.

While with the Indians, Colonel earned first-team all-state honors, scoring 9.1 points per game and leading Chipola with 6.6 rebounds per game. A versatile defender, Colonel added 1.4 blocks and 1.1 steals per game as the Indians went 29-5 and reached the second round of the NJCAA Tournament.

Colonel produced 15 double-figure scoring games and grabbed double-figure rebounds in six games, including a 10-point, 11-rebound double-double against No. 5 Northwest Florida State College. He added his second double-double (13 points, 12 rebounds) against Tallahassee Community College in the conference tournament in March.

As a freshman, Colonel averaged 5.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game while playing alongside current NSU forward JT Warren.

Prior to Chipola, Colonel helped Groves High School to its first regional championship in a decade as a senior. He twice earned Defensive Player of the Year honors and led the state in blocked shots both seasons. While at Groves, Colonel helped lead the Fighting Scottish Rebels to a combined 43-7 record. 

“Jerald brings a high-level motor, athleticism and toughness that we look for in recruiting,” Cabrera said. “I look for Jerald to be an immediate impact from the minute he steps on campus. He’s been coached well and is prepared to make the transition from junior college to Division I.

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