Saturday, April 21, 2007

Ex-Jayhawk Thomas will play for Cagerz


— Billy Thomas is back in basketball.

Thomas, a 6-foot-5 guard who played for Kansas University from 1994 to '98, has signed a contract with the Kansas Cagerz of the United States Basketball League.

He's familiar with the Salina-based team. His jersey, No. 12, was retired by the Cagerz in May of 2002.

Thomas, 31, has three years of NBA experience with the New Jersey Nets and Washington Wizards. He was cut by the Wizards last preseason and played seven games in Serbia before returning to KU in January where he had a full load of classes.

Thomas has been invited to participate in a tryout camp of the San Antonio Spurs this summer.

"He has NBA experience, he's a floor general, and we know he can play defense. He's also a very good shooter. When he's on, there aren't many who are better," Cagerz general manager Carroll Long said.

Former KU guard Michael Lee is a member of the Cagerz. Lee, who is playing point guard, has seven points in Thursday's season opener, an 86-78 win at Gary, Ind. Thomas did not make the trip for that game.


12 years, 10 months ago

Since the Cagerz retired Billy's jersey, will he have to use a different #, or is that only when they retire a specific #? I doubt there are many situations where a player returns to a team where their jersey was previously retired.

ku98 12 years, 10 months ago

Back in the late 90s, I played against Billy a couple of times in the summer at Robinson. He is strong, athletic, and really quick to pull the trigger. There are NBA players who are not as good as Billy. Unfortunately, it seems that he never was at the right place, at the right time. I give him credit for continuing to try and make an NBA team and get a contract. I think he has another year or two to try and make it to the NBA "full-time". After that, I think he should go and make some good money in Europe, like Langford, Miles, Bradford, and Gregory. Good luck, Billy. Rock Chalk!

Michael Leiker 12 years, 10 months ago

I used to see Billy at Robbinson all the time as well. Guy had an unbelievable work ethic and when you played with him, he actually passed the ball to you. You're right he looks like a brick s-house in person, nothing like what he looked like on TV back in the day. Good luck BT

Craig Lang 12 years, 10 months ago

Billy graduated right before Jeff Boschee joined the team. Could you imagine a team with both of those 3-point threats?

ralsterKUMed95 12 years, 10 months ago

Im imagining the 07-08 squad with Chalmers, Collins, Rush(hopefully), and Robinson(over 40% in March) ALL stroking the 3. This team makes really good shot selection decisions (on the 3 ball) and is really good at finding the open shooter IN rhythm, which is also key for a 3-shooter. Very hard to guard 3 different guys on the perimeter all the time--ask TX, esp in the BigXII champ game...

ralsterKUMed95 12 years, 10 months ago

I do remember Billy Thomas' shooting--one of the finest at KU...I wish him the best, especially at the Spurs tryouts..

Lash 12 years, 10 months ago

Billy was screwed by Williams. From day one he could score enough to be in the lineup for the defense that that team played and if he played 25 minutes a game we would have won more games. Thank God Williams is gone.

KU 12 years, 10 months ago

Lash.........Peace be with you, my friend. You dared to do the unspeakable: disparage The Almighty Roy. You're about to experience something akin to the wrath of God from the posters that can't seem to let Ol' Roy go. Suffice to say, I agree with you.

Mike Young 12 years, 10 months ago

Back when BT was playing we only had one 3 pt shooter on the team. If he was cold it was going to be a long day.

ku98 12 years, 10 months ago

I disagree, mightyjoyung. Pierce could hit the three. Robertson too... and a few others... OK, they were not as proficient as Billy was, but they could pick up the slack if/when Billy was struggling. I don't remember many "long days". I was at KU from 94 to 98, just like Billy. We never lost a home game. We had arguably the best team in the country each year. The only "long days" I can remember are when we lost way too early in the tournament. Syracuse, Arizona, Rhode Island... You know what I am talking about. I would not trade my days at KU for anything in the world. Best time of my life. Rock Chalk, and good luck, Billy.

ralsterKUMed95 12 years, 10 months ago

To KU and Lash, i agree. Although I liked the Roy years, I like Self's "play any kind of ball with anybody" better. Our D is brutal. Top5. Our transition game is fun as ever. We have a half-court offense, and have busted zones all season a variety of ways.. The way that Roy left could have been handled SO much better (ask Simien, Miles, Langford..). Our team lost some spirit that April, and Bill Self walked into that situation and took them about as far as he could, I dare say. Whatever, its old history now. I wondered aloud many times what would have happened THIS YEAR if KU played UNC on a neutral site????? Our atheletes vs. theirs??? We play D. And even our occasionally inconsistent team usually got way motivated for top-tier foes. We woulda sent Roy & his newBoys packing...

Joe Ross 12 years, 10 months ago

Apart from your feelings one way or the other about Roy Williams, notice how the poster KU attempts to hedge his opinion against anyone who might disagree with him by characterizing them as argumentative in the event that they offer an opinion, then he goes on to offer his own (by attaching his wagon to Lash's horse).

Ladies and gentlemen, behold: someone who is death-afraid to stand on his own two feet and make an argument.

Jacobpaul81 12 years, 10 months ago

You guys obviously missed out on 1985 & 1986. Billy and Jeff were decent 3 point shooters. Id take downtown Terry Brown over both... but in the history of kansas basketball, never have there been two more pure outside shooters than Ron Kellog and Calvin Thompson. Never.

KU 12 years, 10 months ago

jross.....Save your breath.......and the rest of our time.

KU 12 years, 10 months ago

jross....That's just my personal opinion of you. And I'm standing on it.

Lash 12 years, 10 months ago

This was not a history lesson on good shooters at KU. This was about Billy. But since you mentioned Kellogg and Thompson I will offer input. This could have been the best offensive team ever at KU (remembering this was pre three). Who was the coach? What was the record thru Dec? That coach realized he didn"t have the defensive players he needed to play the D he wanted and in mid stream relaxed and pushed offense, and if Marshall doesn't get anniliated we win a National. If the officials call tha game like they do now Dreiling is one of the most dominate big men ever. And we don't have to use Turgeon for Cedric (who was awesome.)

Joe Ross 12 years, 10 months ago


I will post to my heart's content. If you don't like it too bad. That's my personal opinion and I'm standing on it.

jaybate 12 years, 10 months ago

  1. Ease up on jross1972. What's wrong with him being right?

  2. He's wasting our time? Whoever wrote that IS wasting our time.

Joe Ross 12 years, 10 months ago

Thanks jaybate! You know I bet we could sit down and have a beer and be able to talk all night about guys like APD, jimjones, and (the poster) KU. Fonts of useless and shortsighted opinions, all of them.

ku98 12 years, 10 months ago

I'd rather sit down, have a beer, and talk about the great guys who wore the KU jersey than the occasional morons on this board.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.