They're best friends off the court and a dynamic duo on the court.
Seniors Thomas Walkup and Trey Pinkney have gone through it all together to make SFA a household name across the country when it comes to wreaking havoc in the NCAA Tournament. The two have one last shot at this March Madness thing and they're looking to make it count- together.
Thomas Walkup brings the flash offensively, while Trey Pinkney manhandles the responsibility that comes with the Lumberjacks defense.
“When one zigs the other one knows to zag,” said head coach Brad Underwood. “They play off each other great not just on the court, but off the court as well.”
The two are not only best friends, but roommates, and their tag team relationship started long before college.
“We’ve been playing with each other six, seven years all the way back to high school ball,” said senior forward Thomas Walkup. “Our chemistry on the court is perfect. I know exactly what he's going to do and he knows what I'm going to do. He always puts me in positions to score.”
“Offensively, Thomas really gets it going and defensive is my thing. We know each other’s strengths and each other’s weaknesses," said senior point guard Trey Pinkney. “We just want to help each other to the best of our abilities. That’s what it comes down to. We do whatever it takes to win.”
Walkup is a name you'll hear repeatedly over the speakers at any given game as he brings the eye candy fans love seeing in basketball. However, while Walkup is going his thing Pinkney has become one of the best defensive players in the country.
“Trey is the best on-ball defender I've ever coached. The thing about Trey is he's never taken a play off,” said Underwood.
Pinkney has the second highest assist turnover ratio in the nation (4.11). The point guard has 49 steals and 115 assists in 32 games.
“His on-ball defense is incredible and I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Walkup.
“I take a lot of pride in defense knowing that a stop can help lead us to getting a basket. Me playing defense is kind of equivalent to them playing offense,” said Pinkney. “Getting stops wears on the other team and it takes away from them defensively because they get so focused in on trying to score.”
As two of the winningest players in program history and amongst the leaders in the nation at 114 career wins, the duo has set a culture that has forever changed SFA basketball.
“They're best friends. They've been through every battle there is to go through together. They're extremely high IQ basketball players. They’re both extremely full of charisma and extremely full of personality,” said Underwood. “I love to have fun with them because they're the life of the party and life of the team. They make everyone else that way.”
The Thomas-Trey tag team is going to need to be at their best Friday night when they take on West Virginia in the NCAA tournament. Lumberjacks are the No. 14 seed, West Virginia is No.3 and it all tips off in Brooklyn, New York at the Barclay's Center at 6:10 p.m.
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