Late Attention Doesn't Hurt Thompson

Brandon Thompson has learned that good things come to those who wait. The San Antonio guard decided to not to sign a letter of intent in November, opting to see if his quality of offers would improve in the spring. Mission accomplished. A trio of high major programs, including Arizona State, are now in pursuit of this lone star standout. Thompson talked to Devils Digest about his recruitment.

The 6-2 185 Brandon Thompson has racked up an impressive list of accolades in his prep career. Stevens, a 5A high school, was 31-4 this past season and finished ranked #9 in the state, and was back to back district champions. The guard was selected to the Texas All-State team, as well as All-District squad and was voted greater San Antonio Player of the Year. As a sophomore and a junior he was an all-region player as well.

As a senior, Thompson averaged 17.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.1 apg and 3.1 spg.

"My shooting and my defense are my strong points," said Thompson of his skills. "I need to work on being more of a vocal leader."

"Brandon doesn't have any glaring weaknesses," said Stevens head coach John Hirst. He'll obviously have to adjust to playing in college, like any other high school player. He's a terrific competitor. He's a 6-2 guard with a 6-7 wingspan. He can really shoot the ball well, but is a very unselfish guy too. He can score six points and we would still win by 50, and then he scored over 35 points a few times. He can really distribute the ball and has unbelievable vision."

Since Thompson hasn't been an active participant in the AAU circuit during his high school career, it was easy for him to go relatively unnoticed in the recruiting circles.

"A lot of AAU teams here in San Antonio can't afford to go to all those AAU tournaments," said Thompson. "It's hard to find sponsors because some people think that there are not a lot of good athletes here in San Antonio. But I know that there are a lot of good players here and I hope we can take that big step and get some recognition."

Stevens high school has been in existence for just four years and thus Thompson is one of the school's first four-year senior players, which was another reason why the guard was under the radar recruiting wise. Nonetheless, Stevens has been to the state playoffs the last three years.

Hirst commented that the individualized nature of AAU games wasn't particularly attractive to Thompson who is a very team-oriented player. "When there's something on the line that's when he plays his best," Hirst said. "He has a very low key personality and is very unselfish and that's the antithesis of AAU ball."

Thompson certainly hasn't been idle during his off-seasons. He has been honing his skills working out with various players from different levels. Some of that made possible by his godfather and 11-year NBA veteran Paul Pressey, who played for the San Antonio Spurs and is now an assistant coach with the New Orleans Hornets. During his time in the Alamo City, Pressey got to know Thompson and his family and has taken the young guard under his wing.

"He helped me be the person that I am now," Thompson stated. "He taught me to always be humble. He has helped me a lot with my game but also as a person. I had to work hard to get where I'm at now and I wouldn't be here without him."

"Brandon has probably worked on his game more than the average high kid in the summer," Hirst commented. "You can get the exposure in the summer with an AAU team, but sometimes it can retard your progress."

Three schools have offered Thompson, Arizona State, Texas Tech and Georgetown. The guard visited the Hoyas on March 27th, and will venture to the Red Raiders on April 17th and to the Sun Devils on the 24th of this month.

Hirst indicated that all three schools offered Thompson right around the same time (middle to late March), and that other programs were pursuing him as well during that time.

"There were some Big Ten schools that were interested," Hirst said, "but after they saw who else was involved they backed off."

First-year ASU assistant Lamont Smith is recruiting Thompson, and Smith has already cultivated a year long relationship with the San Antonio guard since his former employer, Santa Clara University, was previously pursuing the Stevens standout.

"Arizona State really didn't recruit me that hard until the end of my senior year," Thompson said. "They offered me just a few weeks ago. But I've known coach Smith for a while and he's be on me for a long time, even when he coached at another school.

"He told me all about Arizona State, and I'm ready to take a visit and see what it's like there."

Thompson has followed the maroon and gold during the regular and post-season and likes their style of play calling it "my type of basketball, with a lot of backdoor cuts...they have a lot of good players on that team and it would be nice to play with them."

The guard enjoyed his visit to Georgetown, describing head coach John Thompson III as a "very laid back coach…I liked the players and Washington D.C. is a very nice place."

Thompson is naturally very content that his efforts on the court haven't hindered his recruitment and his dream of playing for a quality college program.

"I had a good senior year and came to play," he said. "I'm truly blessed right now having an opportunity to play for a great school. Any of those three schools would be great place for me to play at. I'm just going to take one of those opportunities and play hard at the next level.

"I'm not going to make my decision before I take all three of my visits."

Thompson added that he expects to sign a letter of intent with one of those schools shortly after his visit to Tempe so he can sign during the late signing period which ends on May 15th.


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