Thomas Brings Toughness, Talent

Guard eager to learn from Stackhouse, Pippen

by Chad Bishop

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Trey Thomas doesn’t mind questions about his height. At this point in his life so many doubters have figured the 5-foot-11 point guard wouldn’t be able to hold his own against the best that Thomas is used to the naysayers.

“People talk about my size all the time,” Thomas said. “I played against the highest of competition and I never really let my size hold me back. I went out there and did whatever I could do.

“Now going to Vanderbilt they’ll help me put on weight and when that happens I feel like it’ll be over because then my size won’t really be an issue.”

Thomas officially signed with Vanderbilt on July 20. That was definitely a momentous day for the young Canadian who first fielded a call from Vanderbilt assistant coach Faragi Phillips in May.

From that point on Thomas knew Vanderbilt was the place he wanted to be.

“Besides from the education that (Vanderbilt) provides me, I think coach (Jerry) Stackhouse and his history – the basketball sense that he has – he really has a great history in basketball, playing in the NBA then also coaching in Toronto as well and winning the (championship) with Raptors 905. So all that history, all that stuff that he could teach me is something I’m really looking forward to and I know that he’s going to really push me and get the best out of me every day.

“Just being in that atmosphere is something I’m really looking forward to doing and the main reason I picked Vanderbilt.”



Thomas grew up in the Durham Region of Ontario, just east of Toronto, Canada. Last season at Crestwood Prepatory College he poured in 24.2 points per game to go along with 5.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 3.9 steals per contest while leading CPA to an Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations championship.

Twice during the ’19-20 campaign Thomas scored 31 points and seven times he finished a game with at least five assists. He also created a legend for himself by demanding to play with a separated shoulder.

“At Crestwood I scored the ball but I also got my teammates involved,” Thomas said. “I play defense, am athletic, get up and down really fast, hit open shots and just lead.

“I’m going to lock up on defense, I’m going to do whatever I got to do. If coach needs me to score 20 then I’ll go out there and score 20. If he needs me to get 20 assists, I’ll get 20 assists.”

Because Thomas signed with Vandy late in the recruiting calendar, his focus has turned to educating himself on how to best become a Commodore. He said he often texts or calls Stackhouse to ask what will be expected of him as a point guard and to learn more about Vandy’s sets and plays.

Thomas said he’s also looking forward to playing with Vanderbilt’s sophomore point guard Scotty Pippen Jr. Before Thomas ever even considered playing for Vandy he found himself watching Vanderbilt games and studying Pippen’s high-level play.

So despite not being the tallest Division I student-athlete out there, and despite being recruited a bit later on a prospect timeline than most, Thomas has the utmost confidence he’ll be able to come in and compete from Day One while making the most of an unforeseen opportunity.

“Playing at the highest level in Division I is something I’ve been working on my whole life,” he said. “Being able to finally pursue that dream and going to a school such as Vanderbilt where is the education is really high and to play for a coach like coach Stackhouse? Being able to do that all at once is something I’m really looking forward to.”

Chad Bishop covers Vanderbilt for Follow him @MrChadBishop.