Instead, he understands part of his role needs to involve more assertive leadership since he's one of only three seniors.
"At times I look back and see shots I could have taken from spots I like. I could have done that a lot more," Thomas said. "Friends and family that have seen me play tell me I am not as aggressive as I used to be. I have just been too lackadaisical at times.
"I have just tried to play my role. I don't try to be the team's star. I know I am not going to be a one-man show. But if a shot is there, I have to take it and make it. If not, then I am not helping the team and setting the right example. My offense could be a huge help to this team.
Looking forward to final year
"At times last year, I fell off offensively. People have seen what I can do in spurts, but I know coach Smith wants to see more of that on a consistent basis. I can't go on a run for a few games and then just fall off. I have always been a scorer. I have done that all my life except for my years here. That's something I have to do better this year."
Thomas says he's definitely "looking forward" to his final year even though the Wildcats lost eight players from a team that lost 13 games last year.
"I am not a real vocal guy. I just try to lead on the court," Thomas said. "But all summer I thought about helping this team do better. If I can stay healthy, I could have a big year, make shots and help this team a lot more. I still don't think people have seen the real Sheray Thomas. I'll admit my play has been kind of disappointing at times. Now it's my time to have a big year."
Thomas insists he's not taken criticism of his play from fans and media members personally. He also emphasizes that criticism has not given him any extra motivation to prove critics wrong.
"When I see, hear or read the criticism, it doesn't bother me," he said. "Everybody has his or her point of view. I just want to try and make myself better. My goal is to change the point of views my critics have. I want to go out and have them say, 'Sheray really is a great player for Kentucky.'"
He has no qualms with the way Smith has used him or treated him.
"He's done pretty much what he said when he recruited me," Thomas said. "Your emotions go up and down. You love him, you hate him. Every player thinks he's the best and wants to play more and gets mad at the coach when you don't play. But there are a lot more times that I am thankful he is my coach."
Surgery set him back
Thomas now openly admits the surgery he had before his sophomore year to remove a non-cancerous tumor set him back more than he acknowledged. He not only lost weight and strength, but he missed valuable practice time.
"It set me back a lot. Coming back from that surgery, I was just down and didn't really have the energy to help the team," Thomas said. "I never wanted to make excuses. It was hard mentally and emotionally as well. Everybody was looking at me and seeing how weak I was."
He says Dave Kindy, UK's trainer, helped him through his most difficult time.
"He kept telling me I would be fine. I would go over and he would reassure me I would be fine. The coaching staff also took its time bringing me back real slow, and I appreciated that," Thomas said. "All that did change my perspective on life and basketball a little. I realized when you are hit with something, you deal with it and keep on pushing."
Thomas isn't sure the Wildcats did that last year when they let losses and other distractions influence the team.
"We can't base this year on last year. We can't dwell on the past," he said. "It's still early and I can't promise anything, but I believe you are going to see a different mindset on this team. That mindset is huge. You can see teams on paper that don't look as good as you, but if you are mentally weak you have no shot at a team that is mentally stronger and can outlast you in tough times.