HYATTSVILLE, Md. -- TT had its first opportunity to see Terps recruit target Aaron Thompson, the talented 6-2 sophomore point guard from Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.), and we came away impressed.
Playing for Team Lawson, alongside junior wing and UMD target Markelle Fultz for two games, it was a treat to watch. Thompson is an explosive athlete with a quick first step similiar to Jamir Moultrie of Bishop Mcnamara. He can go by you using either hand with the same explosion.
Thompson uses his body to shield defenders and doesn't mind the physical aspect of the game despite weighing just 170 pounds. Penetrating and dishing back to open shooters is a major part of his repertoire. And he was very comfortable sharing the floor with Fultz or running the second unit from the point. He perfromed equally well with both tasks.
Thompson was on the court when Fultz got hot and poured in 35 points. However, he did not allow Fultz's one-man show to get him down or provide an excuse to become a spectator. Thompson decided to find his spots on the offensive end and contribute defensively with five rebounds and two blocks. He is an all-out hustle type of player.
Thompson's offensive numbers showed 5-of-6 shooting from the floor while hitting 4-of-7 free throws for a total of 14 points. His all-out style was on display the entire game as shown by him fouling out in the second half. He appeared to have left the court completely exhausted.
In Thompson's second game, he played more sparingly, only 16 minutes. He was joined by younger players like himself, but with less experience in these type of tournaments. So Thompson picked through the opposing defense, finding open men in transition and began looking for his shot more often.
Maybe his most impressive attribute, overall, is his tight handle. In two games, Aaron committed just one turnover in each contest. He can stop and start on a dime, change directions easily, and has a keen sense of where to find his open shooters. Good basketball IQ indeed. He escaped traps easily. Never jittered or shaky when double teamed.
Thompson finished the game with 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting, 1-of-2 beyond the arc, and added two assists and two rebounds.
Will the Terps take a point guard in 2017? With Anthony Cowan on board for '16, it remains to be seen. But after watching Aaron Thompson play Saturday, and recognizing he is only a sophomore, he will likely remain firmly on the Terps' board as he is now.
TT Recruit Eval: PG Aaron Thompson
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