Bryce Thompson talks about Mizzou and Kansas
Kansas recruiting target Bryce Thompson attended the invitation-only SC30 Select camp, sponsored by NBA great Stephen Curry and Under Armour, on Monday through Wednesday in the Bay Area, California.
Thompson, a 6-4 senior-to-be from Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who is ranked No. 18 in the recruiting Class of 2020 by Rivals.com, was injured, thus could not compete in drills conducted by Golden State Warriors guard Curry.
Thompson hyperextended his left elbow at the recent USA Basketball Junior National Team minicamp in Colorado Springs. The injury is expected to sideline Thompson all of August.
“He’s still learning a lot though (by being at Curry’s camp),” Rod Thompson, Bryce’s dad, said Tuesday in a direct Twitter message to The Star.
Thompson, the most highly sought after recruit in Oklahoma since Trae Young, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, averaged 25.3 points a game on 54 percent shooting (47 percent from three) for Oklahoma Run PWP on the Under Armour Circuit this past AAU season.
Thompson is considering KU, North Carolina, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Tulsa, Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Colorado and others. Rod Thompson told The Star his son is hoping to announce his finalists in the near future.
Rod tells CBSsports.com that his son will choose a school sometime after Jan. 1, 2020.
“The recruitment of Bryce is fascinating,” writes Matt Norlander of CBSsports.com. “Rod’s son is being courted by two men who were his head coach at Tulsa: North Carolina assistant Steve Robinson (two seasons) and Kansas coach Bill Self (one). UNC’s attention was captured when Bryce dropped 25 points on R.J. Hampton’s team at a tournament in Dallas in 2018. Kansas was in, too, though Rod Thompson kind of half-believed the KU offer when it was made in the spring of 2018, so much so that the family didn’t publicly announce the offer after Self made it.”
Self stressed to Rod that the scholarship offer was indeed rock solid and the family has since been convinced KU definitely has made Bryce a recruiting priority. KU and North Carolina are believed to be Thompson’s favorite out-of-state schools with in-state OU, OSU and Tulsa also in the running.
Sissoko also out of action
Another KU recruiting target, Mady Sissoko, a 6-8 senior-to-be forward from Wasatch Academy in Utah, also is currently out of action because of injury.
Sissoko, who is ranked No. 48 in the recruiting Class of 2020 by Rivals.com, fractured his right hand in an accident involving an all-terrain vehicle known as a “Razor” on a recent recruiting trip to BYU, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Sissoko, a native of Mali, has KU, Michigan State, Memphis, Duke, Kentucky, BYU and others on his list of schools. He’s a former high school teammate of KU freshman wing Tristan Enaruna.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Sissoko was a passenger in the ATV driven by a current member of the BYU basketball team. The ATV flipped while attempting a turn. Sissoko extended his hand to brace himself and his hand hit a rock.
Wasatch Academy coach Dave Evans called the accident “incredibly unfortunate,” in an interview with the Tribune. Sissoko’s guardian, Mike Clayton, said doctors expect a full recovery following hand surgery.
“It was just unfortunate that we went on this activity,” Clayton, an opthamologist from Provo, Utah, told the Tribune. “In hindsight, you are thinking, ‘Why did we do that?’ Now, we will just move forward. He is still going to have a successful collegiate career. Luckily, it is in the summer and he still has a year of high school left and we believe he will recover completely,” Clayton added.
Clayton told the paper: “There is no tendon or nerve damage or anything. It is all bone. Bones heal, and they heal quickly and strongly. It is going to be a little bit of rehab during these next few months so he can get back and play like he was before.”
Sissoko averaged 12.5 points and 8.9 rebounds per game as a junior at Wasatch Academy.
Players on Sissoko’s AAU team, the Utah Mountain Stars/Jimmer Elite, were scheduled to travel to Mali last weekend along with a team of Utah-based medical professionals to help open an academy where youths can learn English.
“Mady is the face of that effort,” Clayton said. “He hasn’t seen his family for a year and a half. It will be a great trip.”
Enaruna leads Netherlands
Sissoko’s good friend, KU wing Enaruna, had a busy summer, attending summer school at KU in June before playing six games for Netherlands in the FIBA Under-18 European Championships in July in Greece.
“I think I kind of found my spot already (at KU),” the 6-foot-8, 200-pound Enaruna told Evan Daniels of 247sports.com while in Greece. “Obviously the season hasn’t started yet, but I think the basics are there, and obviously we had a lot of good workouts (at KU) and I think it just helped me a lot with being aggressive from the first second to the last second of the game.”
Enaruna sees his role as somebody who will “be able to come in during the game, maybe 10, 15 minutes and just use my legs, grab boards, and maybe (score) a couple points, but also I think my first year is going to be a good year for me to learn a lot from the guys that are playing in front of me.”
He emerged as leading scorer (19.1 ppg) and rebounder (8.7 ppg) for a Netherlands team that went 2-4 in Greece. He hit 40.3 percent of his shots. He was 5 of 36 from three for 13.9 percent and 21 of 42 from the line for 50 percent.
“My shot right now isn’t really falling, but I know my role on the team, and I know it’s important for me to be really aggressive on offense,” he told 247sports.com in Greece. “I think I’m playing pretty well, also trying to be very aggressive on the boards on both ends, offensively and defensively, and I think I’m doing a pretty good job on that too.
“It’s been good. It’s been tough too, playing all of these games back to back, on little rest, and like I said I have a big role on this team, which also means that I have to play a lot of minutes. It’s tough sometimes, it’s tough to keep focused sometimes, but it’s fun. I love to play big-time games. We have good opponents every game right now, so I’m really enjoying it.”
Thor ranked No. 53
KU recruiting target J.T. Thor, a 6-9 senior-to-be forward from Norcross High School in Georgia who switched from the Class of 2021 to 2020 recently, has been accorded a No. 53 ranking in his new class, according to Eric Bossi of Rivals.com. Thor was previously ranked No. 11 in the Class of 2021.
“Over the weekend, the news came out that power forward J.T. Thor would transfer from Huntington (West Virginia) Prep to Norcross High and that he would now graduate with his original class, 2020. So, we have to move him out of the 2021 rankings and find a home for him in 2020 and it wasn’t exactly easy to do,” Bossi writes.
“Thor had been ranked No. 11 overall in 2021 and had been considered a five-star prospect. Much of that ranking was on potential and having two more years of high school to overcome some inconsistency and get stronger. However, Thor hadn’t always played like a five-star when we saw him during the summer and was going to be moved out of five-star status in our next 2021 update. So, it’s hard to move him over as a five-star in 2020.
“After looking at the current lists and gauging where Thor might compare in the 2020 class, we’ve locked him in at No. 53. Yes, it’s a pretty conservative number on the switch. But, Thor was already going to slide some in 2021 and much of his ranking was based on having two more years of high school. So his time to develop has been cut in half and it’s hard to move him into the class of 2020 over guys like the two directly in front of him – Lance Ware and Mark Williams – who we believe are more complete players at this point.
“Will that rankings switch prove to be a bit too low, too high or just right? We’ll see how that all shakes out, but regardless of his rankings number the athletic 4-man is in good shape with programs like Auburn, Arizona, Clemson, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Miami, Mississippi State, N.C. State, Oklahoma State, UCLA and many others in the mix,” Bossi adds.