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San Diego State Men's Basketball Adds Xavier Thames

Xavier Thames has joined the SDSU men's basketball program.
Xavier Thames has joined the SDSU men's basketball program.

May 24, 2010

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego State men's basketball program has added Xavier Thames to its roster, head coach Steve Fisher announced Monday. Thames, a guard who last year played his freshman season at Washington State, must sit out the 2010-11 campaign due to NCAA transfer rules and will be eligible to compete in time for the 2011-12 season.

"He is an outstanding guard with a year of college experience," Fisher said. "We recruited him out of high school so we have a pretty good feel for his game. He will make a great practice player and gives us outstanding depth at the guard spot as he prepares to play a year from now. We're very excited to have him. He is a good student as well as a good basketball player.

A native of Sacramento, Calif., Thames appeared in all 31 games for the Cougars in 2009-10 and earned the starting nod on four different occasions. The 6-3, 186-pound guard averaged 4.6 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 17.6 minutes. Thames reached double figures in scoring four times, including a career-high 15 points in a personal-best 26 minutes vs. NCAA Tournament participant Washington. His other top-three scoring performances came against Gonzaga and California, both of which advanced to the NCAA Tournament, and Oregon.

As a prep at Pleasant Grove High School, Thames was a three-year letterwinner and three-time team captain. In his three years on the varsity squad, Thames averaged 20 or more points each season, including 26 as a junior, while earning first-team all-league accolades three times and all-city recognition twice. In addition to scoring 20-plus points per game, Thames also filled the stat sheet by averaging five rebounds, four assists and four steals as a sophomore, five rebounds, six assists and three steals as a junior, and four rebounds, six assists and three steals in leading his team to the third round of playoffs in his final season at Pleasant Grove.

The Aztecs are coming off a 25-win season after finishing the year with a 25-9 record. San Diego State, which won its third MWC tournament title en route to earning the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament last year, is also fresh off its fifth consecutive 20-win season and postseason appearance.

SDSU, which finished 30th in the final Associated Press poll, is scheduled to return all five starters and eight of their nine top scorers from last year, including MWC tournament MVP Kawhi Leonard and seniors D.J. Gay, Malcolm Thomas and Billy White. What is expected to return for San Diego State has caught the eyes of the national media as ESPN.com's Andy Katz and Pat Forde have placed the Aztecs in their preseason top 25, and Fox Sports' Jeff Goodman has listed San Diego State among the nation's top teams for the upcoming campaign.