Now there's Thompson, the reigning Pac-10 scoring champion, whose draft stock has gone so far through the proverbial roof that he seems a virtual lock to eclipse Collins atop the all-time Cougar draft list.
DON COLLINS: The Pride of Toledo, Ohio, was second-team AP All-American in 1980.
In January, Thompson was widely considered a mid- to late SECOND-round choice. In April, he was thought to be a late first rounder. In May he was widely viewed as a mid first-rounder. And now,after a series of impressive private workouts with close to a dozen teams, he's viewed a lottery lock and will be in the "green room" when the draft commences at 4 p.m. PT today.
USA Today, Sports Illustrated, ESPN's Chad Ford, NBAdraft.net, HoopsWorld.com and DraftExpress.com all forecast Thompson going with the No. 10 pick to the Bucks -- a team desperate for a shooter as they brought up the league's rear in shooting and field-goal percentage this past season.
The Kansas City Star likens Thompson to Dell Curry and sees him going with the 11th pick to the Warriors, while the latest edition of the Sporting News pegs him at No. 12 to Utah.
And the rumor mill swirls with notions he could go higher. DraftExpress.com is tweeting that the Kings, with the No. 7 pick, are considering Thompson. ESPN's Ford says the Spurs, with the No. 29 pick, are mulling a trade of Tony Parker that would put them in the top 10 and in position to consider Thompson.
Not all draft observers see Thompson in that elite territory. Rotoworld.com and HoopsHype.com have him going, respectively, at No. 16 to the Sixers and No. 15 to the Pacers.
The financial difference between going 10th and 15th in the draft is notable. Under the NBA's rookie salary scale, the No. 10 pick will make $2.3 million this season and the No. 15 pick $1.7 million. Either way, though, Thompson ought to expect a call from Bill Moos one day soon.
And speaking of WSU, in a story late yesterday by John McDonnell of FoxSportsWest.com, Thompson said, "Another year at Washington State would have been great, but I knew at the end of the season that I was ready for the pros, to go after my dream. It would be great for me either way, but I knew it was the time to make the jump. If I end up in Milwaukee — or wherever I go — I'll be thrilled. I've wanted this since I was a kid, and I'll be thrilled to play for any team that wants me."