No. 8 Tristan Thompson
6-10 / 235 / Forward
Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)
Headed to: Texas
2009-10 season: Thompson, along with teammate and fellow Canadian Cory Joseph, helped Findlay Prep pile up a 29-2 regular-season record. The Pilots will attempt to defend their title at the National High School Invitational in Baltimore, Md., April 1-3. The future Longhorn averaged 16.1 points and 9.5 rebounds per game while shooting over 60 percent from the field.
Notable efforts include 23 points and 11 rebounds against Winter Park (Fla.) in December at the City of Palms Classic and 30 points and 15 rebounds against Princeton (N.J.) in November. He accumulated 15 double-doubles.
Next-level analysis: Few players look the part of college star more than Thompson. He has contributed to considerable team success at Findlay Prep and New Jersey’s St. Benedict’s Prep, and helped the AAU outfit Grassroots Canada emerge as a dominant force on the summer circuit. However, his frame is still more impressive than his game on many nights – not uncommon for high school big men.
Thompson’s best basketball is still ahead of him and he should have an opportunity to display his progress right away in Austin with Longhorn big Dexter Pittman moving on. He isn’t a true 5-man like Pittman, but with only one other post player (Gary Johnson) among UT’s top seven non-senior scorers, Thompson’s size and skill will be needed.
With promising backcourt talents like Dogus Balbay, Avery Bradley, J’Covan Brown, Jordan Hamilton and Varez Ward expected to return for the Longhorns, Thompson won’t be asked to pile up points – a huge positive since he has never really been a go-to scorer at the high school level. Providing a consistent, complimentary post presence with an occasional double-double would be a successful scenario for both Thompson and the Longhorns in 2010-11.
10 to watch for 2011 countdown:
No. 10 Cory Joseph
No. 9 Perry Jones