Lady Rebels Add West Virginia Transfer Bailey Thomas|
April 20, 2017
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV women's basketball team has added another outstanding talent to its roster as Bailey Thomas will transfer from West Virginia to play for the Lady Rebels, head coach Kathy Olivier announced on Thursday. Thomas will sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer rules, and will have three years of eligibility remaining after having playing her freshman season for the Mountaineers in 2016-17.
A 5-9 guard, Thomas becomes the fourth player on next year's roster that will have transferred in from a Power Five school, joining Katie Powell (Arkansas), and Dakota and Dylan Gonzalez (Kansas). She appeared in 15 games and registered 10 points, five steals, three assists and two rebounds for the Big 12 tournament champion Mountaineers, who would reach the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
Thomas will be making a return to Las Vegas after playing her senior year of high school at Centennial High, where she played under head coach Karen Weitz and helped the Bulldogs to a 33-1 record, a state championship title and a No. 3 ranking by USA Today. She averaged nine points, four rebounds, four steals and three assists per game on the way to earning first team all-state honors.
Previous to her move to Nevada, Thomas played three years for Marian High in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and was a part of the school's first back-to-back state championship teams (2014, 2015). In all, she helped Marian claim three district titles, three regional titles and two Catholic league championships, and the team was ranked No. 7 by USA Today following the end of her junior campaign. Thomas was a three-time All-Catholic League and Detroit Free Press All-State selection, while also earning second team all-state honors from the Detroit News as a junior. Other honors for the Rochester Hills, Michigan native include MLive Detroit Metro Girls Basketball Freshman of the Year (2013) and an invitation to the USA Basketball U17 Team Trials in 2014.
"We are excited about Bailey - a fundamentally sound player who will bring us even more defensive intensity," said Olivier. "She makes good decisions on the offensive end and has always been a part of a winning program. It is great to bring back a Las Vegas local, especially from Centennial High."
Thomas comes from a family with a successful athletic background, as her father Derek Thomas played college basketball at Johnson County Community College and Missouri-St. Louis while also serving as head men's basketball coach at Western Illinois from 2003-08. She is the granddaughter of Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Thomas (Kansas City Chiefs), while her younger sister, a senior at Centennial, recently signed with Arizona.
UNLV is bringing back a stacked roster for the 2017-18 season, as all 13 players, including six starters, return from last year's squad that posted a 22-11 overall record and earned an at-large bid to the WNIT.