As Rubie mentioned on Friday, we're going through these by average minutes played last year for Marquette. Since both are players with NCAA experience, Jake Thomas wins a tiebreaker with Trent Lockett by getting to practice with Marquette last year.
In any case, unless I missed a memo somewhere, Jake Thomas is back to being a walk on player after being awarded an available scholarship last season. Thomas earned a rep as a shooter at South Dakota before transferring to Marquette and sitting out last season, but I've never anticipated seeing him actually get playing time once he became eligible. Yes, I realize he averaged over double digits in scoring at USD, but my perspective has always been "If Buzz wanted him to be playing significant, he'd be on scholarship." So I didn't originally plan on writing a preview for Thomas, even after he won the MVP at the 2012 Milwaukee Pro-Am.
So we know he can shoot. He has the athleticism to win a dunk contest. He at least is trying hard enough on defense to keep up with players as talented as Mayo. It's completely possible that I've been wrong all this time.
I'm not going to do the usual list of expectations here, because let's be honest: If Thomas doesn't play, no one's really surprised and if he does contribute anything, then it's all bonus for Marquette. What I am going to do here is post a poll. Marquette has a guaranteed 32 games on the schedule this year, so let's play over/under: Over or under 159.5 total minutes this season for Jake Thomas? That's 5 minutes per game in every game of the season. Which side do you fall on?
TUESDAY UPDATE! Paint Touches uncovered that Thomas *is* on scholarship this year. So draw your own conclusions as to what that means as far as playing time goes.