Yesterday afternoon, surprising news broke that scout.com's number one junior in the country, Tristan Thompson, had been removed from his high school team. According the 6-foot-8 forward's coach Danny Hurley, Thompson was removed from the Newark (NJ) St. Benedict team for insubordination.
A day later, Thompson is looking to pick up the pieces and move on. Rather than point fingers or place any type of blame, Thompson is simply looking to get a fresh start according to his summer coach and mentor Ro Russell.
"It was something that came to a boiling point for Tristan," said Russell of the situation. "He works hard, he comes from a very good home and his parents have worked hard for what they've gotten. He's got great family values."
By all accounts, the situation reached it's boiling point earlier this week and at this point a return to the Newark program is looking unlikely. After initially planning to finish the year at St. Benedict, it is looking more likely that Thompson will transfer schools much sooner.
"It's a minor delay in moving along with his goals and what he wants to do," said Russell. "He's fine, he's good. He's not stressed out. He's just like, coach let's move to a better situation and keep it going."
"At this point I don't think he's going to finish there. I think he'll make a move somewhere else and be there for next year as well."
While Thompson is certainly disappointed that he was removed from the team. He's also doing his best to be positive during a potentially negative time.
"One thing he's probably learned is that there's always a time and place to comment on stuff and respond to situations," Russell told BurntOrangeBeat.com "He's just learned that everyone is different and everyone responds to coaching and motivation differently."
Not surprisingly, programs and schools from across the country have already been in touch to indicate their interest in welcoming Thompson to their program. Also important, is that Thompson is on pace academically and committed so there is no need to rush things.
"He's already committed to Texas and he knows where he's going to college," said Russell. "He's ready academically because he's got his SAT and his GPA is high."
In fact, the situation has only reinforced how good Thompson feels about his decision to attend Texas. He knows even more that he's found a good fit in coaching style.
"That's one of the biggest reasons he chose Texas," said Russell of how well Thompson and Barnes will mesh. "Coach Barnes just tells you straight up what you need to do. A lot of it was Coach Barnes' demeanor and how he motivates players."
For now, Thompson, his family and those close to him are trying to figure out which move to make next.
"In the next few days we'll figure out what he's going to do," said Russell. "He's a very hard working kid who loves competition. He's not a soft, lazy cry baby kid who doesn't take hard nosed coaching."