Thompson Set On Five

An injury may have slowed Sam Thompson on the court, but it certainly hasn't stopped his recruitment from heating up. He's down to five schools.

After battling a severe ankle injury, Sam Thompson is finally back.

"I'm really glad to be back on the court," Thompson told "I'm glad to be back on the court healthy.

Thompson, a 6-foot-7 wing prospect out of Chicago (Ill.) Whitney Young, hit rehab following the injury on January 9th. Wanting to play in the state tournament, Thompson came back, but wasn't fully healthy.

"I came back two months ago today in the state tournament," Thompson said. "I was really 55 or 60-percent. It's just good to be back on the court and healthy."

"I came back for the state tournament on March 5th, but for the first few months I was at rehab and physical therapy and after that and the tournament was over I went to a personal trainer."

Thompson made his return to the AAU circuit at the Nike EYBL Houston event. He said offensively he's still getting back into a groove.

"I've been a little bit rusty on the scoring side," he said. "Defensively I'm not exactly sure where I want to be yet, but I think I'm pretty good. I'm in a pretty good flow of the game and I've been playing mostly point guard."

"Hopefully this weekend in L.A. I can score the ball a little better, as well as still get my teammates involved and play within the team," Thompson added referring to the Nike EYBL event in Los Angeles.

After taking a break from the recruiting process, Thompson, a four-star prospect, is starting to pay a little more attention to it.

"I gave it a little bit of a break during the high school playoffs," Thompson said. "I'm pretty much at five schools right now. I'm looking at Florida, Ohio State, Oregon State, Kansas and Georgetown."

"All of them have offered except for Kansas and Georgetown," he added. "They are pretty new to the recruiting process. They've just gotten in over the past month or so. Those are the only two that have not offered."

Thompson has taken unofficial visits to Florida, Ohio State and Oregon State. He's hoping to take official visits to all five of the schools on his list.

"I want to use my five official visits on those five schools," Thompson said. "I want to try and do it before the season starts back up in November."

Florida was among the first schools Thompson visits. He cited Billy Donovan and their style of play when asked what he liked about the Gators.

"I like their style of play. They play high intensity on defense and they get up and down the court on fast breaks and they win. They have a history of winning and that's always a plus."

Ohio State is the closest to Thompson's home, but what really stands out about the Buckeyes is their recent success, according to Thompson.

"With Ohio State you have coach [Thad] Matta and he does a great job of developing players. I think they are the program in the Big Ten right now with their 2010 recruiting class and with who they are trying to bring in, in 2011."

"They win and they're frequently up at the top of the Big Ten and I see myself being able to thrive in that system. Just like Evan Turner coming out of Chicago. I think I can do some of the things he could do."

Oregon State was one of the first schools to begin recruiting Thompson and close friend and former teammates Ahmad Starks is headed to OSU. Thompson thinks they are a program on the rise.

"They are an upcoming program in the Pac-10," Thompson said. "They also run the Princeton offense and I think I can see myself really thriving in that offense. Coach [Craig] Robinson hasn't had the players in his first few years, but I think as he gets more players they will be a really strong program in the Pac-10."

Kansas is fairly new to his recruitment, but he was quick to point out that Kansas has impressive tradition and the fact that they win championships.

"Kansas obviously has a great program," he said. "They've won a lot of championships and finals fours. Coach Self does a great job of winning and developing players and getting them to the next level."

"As I get in deeper with them I'll learn more about what exactly he does, but from the outside looking in he develops players and wins championships."

According to Thompson, he is still getting to know the Georgetown staff, but is hoping to get to know their program better.

"They are very new," Thompson said. "I think they contacted my father in the past few weeks so I haven't had a chance to look at them as in depth as the other schools. But just from what I know coach Thompson wins. When I think about Georgetown I think about the history of their program and I think I can play well in the Princeton offense."

As far as a decision goes, Thompson isn't in a rush to end his recruitment. He is, however, hoping to knock it our in the early signing period.

"I want to play the rest of this AAU season out and then get my visits in, so I expect to make a decision late October or early November whenever the early signing period is."

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