Tyler Thomas came into Sacred Heart with very high praise from his head coach, Anthony Latina. The Amity Regional high school product came into his freshman season with the ability to score, but struggled to find consistent minutes.
From the minute last season ended, Latina expressed that Thomas will be in consideration for the Northeast Conference’s Most Improved Player award at season’s end.
Although the Pioneers dropped a 97-90 overtime decision to Merrimack Thursday night, Tyler Thomas continued to show that he was the go-to option for Sacred Heart this season. The sophomore poured in a career-high 36 points behind the strength of seven three pointers, also a career-high.
This is the third time through the first six games of the season that Thomas has recorded a new career-high in points.
“He’s showing a little more consistency. He’s as good as any of the other great guards we’ve had in the past,” said Latina.
Latina described Thomas as a “shot maker deluxe”, also adding that his confidence and swagger is beginning to build as he continues to produce at a high level.
For a team as young as the one Sacred Heart is, having a player with a scoring mentality helps when things can become stagnant.
“We have a very unselfish team. Obviously the more balanced we are, the tougher it is to guard,” said Latina. “We have some balance, but we’re not going to shy away from him carrying us.”
Following his 36-point night, Thomas averages 19.4 points per game, which would currently make him second in the conference in scoring.
There are some things that Thomas will have to do throughout the course of the season, such as keep a fairly high scoring average. But if he can do it, the award’s as good as his.
“The better your team is, the more likely you are going to get postseason honors, because winning matters,” said Latina. “His jump is going to be so dramatic, not many players will have as big a jump. A few wins along the way will go a long way for us.”
Thomas and the Pioneers look to split their third straight pair of conference games tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m.