By Alex Byington
Killeen Daily Herald
That was the first thing out of Tashawn Thomas' mouth after being notified he'd just won the KDHpressbox.com Player of the Week for Dec. 12-18.
Not, "Thank you." Not, "Really?"
Yes, Tashawn, after averaging 24 points and 15 rebounds in leading the 11th-ranked Running' Roos over Copperas Cove and Victoria West last week, you were selected by the Daily Herald sports staff for the second time in the first five weeks of the season.
The towering 6-foot-8 Killeen captain also won the Player of the Week award for Nov. 28 to Dec. 4.
It was his sheer consistency that allowed Thomas to beat out the Harker Heights duo of Brandon Bullock and Royce O'Neale, who combined for 43 points and nearly 30 rebounds in a 69-61 win over San Antonio Wagner last Friday.
Thomas scored 23 points and 12 rebounds in a 79-54 rout of Victoria West on Dec. 14, and then following that with 25 points and 18 boards in a 76-63 win over the neighboring Bulldawgs three nights later.
This kind of output isn't really out of the norm for the University of Houston signee, who is averaging 20-and-10 for Killeen (16-2) already this season.
"I don't really shoot for (the double-double), I just play - I let the game come to me," Thomas said.
Although scoring comes easy for the imposing post, it's his ability to control the boards that he takes the most pride in.
"You're not going to be able to score every time, but you don't have any excuse for not rebounding," Thomas said.
A not-so-promising trend for the Runnin' Roos has been their inconsistent play during games, something Thomas is taking on himself to correct.
"As a captain of the team, I guess I have to get more on the team, tell everybody we need to play harder a lot (more during games)," Thomas said, "because I just let the coaches do it, but they can't do everything, so I need to help out myself."
While their KISD 5A counterparts are already a game into district play, Killeen still has three weeks before it starts in the new District 8-4A.
In the mean time, Thomas and the rest of the Roos will look to keep improving at the Fort Worth ISD Coca-Cola Classic, beginning Monday in Fort Worth. Killeen opens tournament play against Fort Worth Paschal at 12:30 p.m.
"I plan on getting us ready for district in this tournament over Christmas Break," Thomas said. "Try and work on our chemistry and finishing off games early."