Ibrahima Thomas, a sophomore 6'11" center has been granted a release from Oklahoma State. Villanova is one of 10 schools that the OSU Athletic Director has granted Thomas permission to speak with.
Jeff Goodman is reporting that Marquette, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Illinois State and Rutgers are also in the running.
The Senegal native is averaging 8.3 points and about 4 rebounds a game for the Cowboys in 20 minutes through 7 games this year.
Background: Thomas was contemplating transferring over the summer. He was dismissed from the team 2 weeks ago. Coach Travis Ford noted, ""We are looking for players who are fully committed to doing whatever it takes to make this program successful. The guys currently on this team are dedicated to doing just that."
Update: There are some questions in the comments about the type of kid Thomas is. Here are some quotes from The Oklahoman sports writers...
He’s one of the most likable kids on the planet. Big smile, sweet nature, friendly, stays out of trouble.
Last week I was writing a story about how the players are adjusting to Ford’s in-your-face style, and how he was adjusting to them. I happened to talk to Thomas for the story, because I’ve noticed that Ford is really hard on Thomas. Keep in mind that Thomas has only been playing basketball for five years, and it shows in some of the basics.
An assistant told me last night that it isn’t yet official, and that Thomas is dealing with some family issues in Africa.