With Arkansas in line for at least an at-large berth, and Fresno State and Toledo in the mix to win their respective league tournaments, it hasn’t been out of the question that the three wayward players from Colorado’s 2013 freshman class — Dustin Thomas, Jaron Hopkins, and Tre’Shaun Fletcher — would have an opportunity to compete in the 2018 NCAA Tournaments while the Buffaloes could only watch.
Thomas can officially be crossed off that list.
On Monday Thomas’ checkered career at Arkansas came to a close just ahead of the SEC tournament, as Razorbacks coach Mike Anderson announced the senior forward has been kicked off the team for a violation of team rules.
It wasn’t the first strike that caused Thomas to lose his roster spot. He was sentenced to 12 months probation on forgery charges in 2015 after he transferred out of CU, and he also was suspended for the first three games of this season (including a matchup against Hopkins and Fresno State) due to a violation of team rules.
Thomas averaged five points and 4.1 rebounds in 26 games for Arkansas this season. Before transferring he appeared in a total of 67 games for the Buffs during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons, averaging four points and 2.1 rebounds.
Hopkins was averaging 11.4 points and 5.7 rebounds for Fresno State before suffering a season-ending foot injury on Feb. 24 against Wyoming. Like CU, Fresno State will be in Las Vegas this week as the No. 4 seed in the Mountain West Conference tournament.
On Monday, Fletcher was named to the All-Mid American Conference first team after ranking third in the league in scoring at 18.7 points per game in his lone season at Toledo. Fletcher, who transferred from CU after the Buffs’ NCAA Tournament appearance in 2016, also ranked fourth in the MAC in rebounding (8.2 per game) and third in assists (4.5). Last week, Fletcher recorded just the second triple-double in Toledo’s history with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists in a win against Northern Illinois.
The Rockets will be the No. 2 seed in the MAC tournament later this week.