Sure, that's an easy thing to say, but I don't mean to suggest that they need a couple more Thompkins for his talent alone – but I won't deny that single factor would put the Dawgs as winners instead of losers against Kentucky and Ole Miss. They would almost certainly be 2-0 and a national surprise rather than 0-2 in the SEC… again.
You see, Thompkins is a gym rat… if you are keeping score at home that's not an insult.
For those not familiar with the phase – a gym rat is a basketball player who never leaves the gym. He's a guy (or girl) who is interested in getting to the gym early (Thompkins started his shoot around at 5 PM today – three hours before the game and about 45 minutes before any other player was on the floor) and getting work in ahead of the game. A little jumper here… a dunk there… getting your free throws on… gym rat stuff.
Gym rats are about their game. About making their game better – every day. Gym rats rock it out in the gym… probably on Christmas Day. That's what they do – they are gym rats.
Thompkins is Georgia's most skilled player – but make no mistake: he has worked and continues to work to be their best player. You don't just roll out of bed great… there is some work involved. Thompkins is noticeably better than he was last year. His work last summer has helped him tremendously. Thompkins' play for US Basketball was the direct reason our country won gold. That experience has yielded Georgia impressive performances from their top basketball talent this winter.
With all of that said, Thompkins, alas (and you knew this was coming) cannot do it by himself. He tries, but he can't. No player played more minutes tonight than Thompkins did (35). No player on the court score more points than Thompkins did (21). Only high-flying Travis Leslie had more rebounds than Thompkins – and that was only by one.
Thompkins is a stud – no doubt. But he needs a Robin to his Batman (or is it Ratman in this case?). That is something he does not have – at least night right now.
Leslie flies through the air like Superman. Dustin Ware has made a great leap from his freshman to sophomore year. Georgia is dangerous when Ricky McPhee can shoot it. But none of them are quite on the level of Thompkins.
Really, the problem Georgia has, and what I am talking about with Thompkins compared to the rest of his teammates is a great example, is a serious lack of depth. Why would have depth after all? Dennis Felton's recruiting left little talent to begin with – what would make a rational person think he would leave depth? He didn't.
For the record, Georgia's bench has been outscored 120-45 in games since the New Year started… 120-45 – Seriously? That's sad. So not only does Thompkins have to shoulder the burden when he's on the floor, but he has to recoup almost six points for every two points Georgia scores when he's taking a breather… it is too much.
Trey Thompkins is a legit SEC star. He's proven that this year with his play. Mark Fox is trying his best to get Thompkins as many looks as he can in the game. The head coach said that Georgia is mentally and physically young after the game tonight… and he's right.
"You have to learn how to show up at work every day," he said.
I know one player Fox does not need to worry about.