(Better late than never.) Mock drafts sites seem as contradictory as when Google closes 3% lower despite reporting record earnings. I guess I must be clueless, but I think based on his Portsmouth Invitational Tournament performance and the history of the tournament producing 2nd-round draft picks, Ryan Thompson should be a lock to get drafted. I even have him ranked higher than the ballyhooed Mikhail Torrance and Jerome Randle, a topic I will discuss in a future blogpost. As well, Thompson should be. After all, he was named MVP of the PIT.
While you can read a grossly summarized, yet glowing, recap of Thompson here…
…you’re better off capturing his moments in crunchtime with a list of all my live-tweets (@nbalivetweet on Twitter, if you’re curious) studying his game…
Ryan Thompson of Rider, brother of Jason Thompson of Sacramento Kings, has emerged as best player on court: 16 pts, 3 ast.
Timeout 3:27. Jeremy Lin checks back in, his team down 17 largely because of Ryan Thompson.
Portsmouth at the half: Ryan Thompson 20 pts on 7/11 fg, 2 reb, 3 ast, 2 stl. Aubrey Coleman 15 pts, 7/12 fg, 5 reb, but an ugly 4 to.
Jeremy Lin at half Portsmouth: 4 pts, 2/5 fg, 1 reb, 3 ast, 1 stl. Despite limited mins, he and Ryan Thompson have most assists.
If this game was about Ryan Thompson vs Aubrey Coleman, Thompson’s take on Coleman epitomizes it.
I got Ryan Thompson unofficially with 37 pts, 14/21 fg, 4/5 treys, 5/5 ft, 4 reb, 3 ast, 3 stl, 1 blk, 0 to. Perfect start for any prospect.
Coming up: Ryan Thompson, AJ Slaughter, Tweety Carter vs Deon Thompson, Marqus Blakely, Trevon Hughes.
Ryan Thompson’s first fg would be an and-one in NBA, ref calls a charge but count the bucket (?). So I guess that’s not a turnover.
Halftime. Ryan Thompson hasn’t done much. Rodney Green 11 pts, 4 reb. Deon Thompson 5 pts, 5 reb, 1 blk. Donald Sloan 8 pts, 5 reb, 2 ast.
At 6′6″, there’s a lot to like about Ryan Thompson. Can glide to rim, hit treys. That’s what you want out of an NBA 2-guard.
Another great mano-y-mano: Ryan Thompson vs Rodney Green. I’m telling you, Green’s a pg if he’s in the NBA (or NBDL).
Ryan Thompson showing off that sweet outside stroke. I think he’s pretty much a lock for the NBA. Just caused turnover on Trevon Hughes too.
Final. My faves: Ryan Thompson 13 pts (11 2nd half), 5/11 fg, 3/4 treys, 6 reb. Rodney Green 17 pts, 8/16 fg, 1/1 trey, 7 reb, 3 ast.
Portsmouth’s a great place to get autographs. Kids, get yours from Ryan Thompson now. He’s gonna be in the NBA by summertime.
3rd Place game coming up, yet it’s the marquee matchup: Mikhail Torrance vs Ryan Thompson, although they might not be guarding each other.
On the other side, AJ Slaughter 7 pts but 4 to. Ryan Thompson a quiet but effective 7 pts, 2/4 fg, 1/3 trey, 2/2 ft, 2 reb, 3 ast, 1 to.
Back to Ryan Thompson, he settled for early treys, which he missed. However had he made those, he’d have 10 pts already at half.
Intriguing thing 2of2: Ryan Thompson’s wingspan. Can penetrate R w/ big step at will. One play he soared, almost finger-rolled it downward.
Ryan Thompson shoots a set shot from college trey line. Just seems he should develop a jumpshot at that range, save the setter for NBA line.
Ryan Thompson’s outside stroke is still decent, but a tiny bit flawed. Rotates at an angle.
Ryan Thompson just did a LH dribble stop n pop at FT line swish. The jumper’s a sweet stroke. Move it back a few feet.
Ryan Thompson 6 pts, 3 reb in first 5 mins 2nd half.
Mikhail Torrance good vocals on D, yelling out screens from weakside. By contrast, Ryan Thompson not as great visually on D.
Ryan Thompson stats with 11:08 left. 15 pts, 6/11 fg, 5 reb, 4 ast, 1 to. Only blemish is 1/4 treys.
Ryan Thompson needs to develop a spin move. Getting predictable that RH drive, although his length always saves him.
Ok nvm, Ryan Thompson just did a spin, dished to big for a layup. So he needs to do that more. 5th assist. NBA 2-guard in the making.
3:39 left 2nd half. Ryan Thompson: 20 pts, 7/12 fg, 2/5 trey, 4/6 ft, 7 reb, 5 ast, 2 stl, 0 blk, 2 to.
Final. Ryan Thompson 22 pts, 8/15 fg, 2/6 trey, 4/6 ft, 8 reb, 5 ast, 2 stl, 0 blk, 2 to.
Official statsheet just came out. Amazingly these college scorekeepers gave Ryan Thompson an extra reb+ast: 22 pts, 9 reb, 6 ast.
So, no surprise a draft board expert would praise him, but despite the article, Thompson fails to make their mock draft — anywhere between pick no. 1 all the way down to 60 – most likely because of these specific criticisms beginning with this one…
“He also showed some of his mid-range game, taking his man off the dribble, creating some space, and pulling up for a jump shot. Despite his average first step, Thompson was able to use his size and strength advantage to get his shot off. Though he was not as successful or efficient around the rim because of his lack of ideal quickness and lift, he was able to score due to his solid body control and excellent touch.”
Granted, perhaps I need to study more tape of Rider games, but based on my courtside view at Portsmouth, I cannot disagree more that he has an “average” first step. Contrary to this, I would say that his gigantic first step is what separates him from the rest of the PIT field.
His measurements are far from spectacular…
…standing at 6′5″ without shoes with a 6′8.5″ wingspan, but I believe it’s his innate ability to use his long limbs effectively and extend as necessary, when necessary, that is a skill the other PIT players seem to lack. The thumbnail of this article was specifically chosen to epitomize his game the most.
Also, my live-tweets above should show that he has adequate “lift” and can be “efficient around the rim”.
I didn’t get a chance to closely scrutinize his head-to-head matchup against Marqus Blakely as did the article’s author, but I feel that the average NBA 2-guard is being way too overhyped here. Blakely measures at 6′4.75″ with a freakish 7′1″ wingspan, but how many NBA 2’s check in like that? Heck, how many NBA 2-guards are considered good defenders to begin with?
According to DraftExpress’s own database…
…the average first-round draft pick’s height, since the inception of the database seven years ago, is just under 6′4″ (Thompson is, of course, taller) with a wingspan just under 6′9″ (which is close to Thompson’s). That suggests that half the NBA’s shooting guards would have a frame very similar to Thompson’s!
Here’s the critique…
“Thompson was unable to score on athletic wing defenders such as Marquis Blakely, however, suggesting that he will have a hard time adjusting to NBA caliber defenders.”
I know that with the lockout looming, as well as random chance, this year’s Draft is deep, but I just don’t see a sudden drop of 6 or 7 Portsmouth players drafted to just 1 or 2 (Torrance and Randle). Looking at the list of available 2-guards this year, I’m completely unimpressed and so I think that helps Thompson even more.
Moreover, I don’t understand how a player can come into Portsmouth and drop as big a number as 37 points and not be considered NBA-caliber. The thing is, he was very efficient with the shot-selection. For the 37-point affair, he shot 7-for-11 in the first half and 7-for-10 in the 2nd half, 4-for-5 from downtown total.
In the second of three games, he started off slow (1-for-5, 2 pts), then went 4-for-6 on 3-for-4 treys to finish with 11 points in the 2nd half, 13 total. That was the game against Blakely.
In the third and last game, he started off quietly again (2-for-4, 7 pts, 3 ast), but then exploded to tally 6-for-11, 15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 more assists, and 2 steals in the 2nd half of a closely contested game against Mikhail Torrance’s team.
Overall, he had zero turnovers in the first game, two in the second, and two in the third, so he doesn’t try to do too much. He does exactly what an NBA 2-guard is supposed to do: score when needed.
“Ultimately, Ryan Thompson had an outstanding performance coming off of a sub par senior season and proved himself to be one of the best players in attendance. He likely convinced scouts that, while he may not be an NBA player at this point, he has a long and prosperous career ahead of him at a high level professionally.”
I don’t want this post to stray too far away from Thompson, but you can see where I might be going with this. I’m just developing some issues with these draft boards in that they are putting other players ahead of guys like Thompson despite them performing in an inferior petri dish. Yes, I said inferior.
I’ll throw one name out there: Avery Bradley. The jist of my problem with Bradley is that he has no clue how to get himself involved in the offense except to shoot, albeit a sweet stroke and best stroke of this year’s crop, and he’s afraid to attack the interior. Ryan Thompson can come in and contribute to a team right away than Bradley can. Yet Bradley is ranked way ahead of Thompson on these mock boards.
The NBA petri dish is based more on athleticism and raw talent than the machinations of NCAA “program” basketball. In short, Portsmouth — a combobulation of upper-middle-talented college (experienced) seniors — is a better petri dish than most NCAA matchups.
I would value a Thompson Portsmouth performance more than a Bradley scoring binge as a Texas Longhorn against Kansas State, for example.
Yes, I know that the NBA Draft is supposed to be about potential and only about potential, but I do not necessarily agree with that paradigm when you go beyond pick number 30 and into the second round.
You can’t always compare draft picks 30 through 60 on the same basis as the lottery picks, because inherently those are not lottery picks! If anything, picks 30 through 60 are more sane, basketball picks. The only exception I would make is if we are talking totally raw teenager talent like a Monta Ellis, and I don’t see a lot of teenagers on these draft boards in the 2nd round. But more on that in a separate blogpost.
I’m still getting my hands around this thing, and maybe I’m all wrong, but for now…
Ryan Thompson is worth at least the 31st pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.
You might also like:
- Portsmouth prospecting: is Mikhail Torrance a poor man’s Russell Westbrook?
- Portsmouth player list released
- Looks like Avery Bradley’s a point guard
- Portsmouth prospecting: Hey Aubrey Coleman, no ballhogs allowed (NBA)
- Portsmouth prospecting: Jeremy Lin’s hidden numbers
- Portsmouth prospecting: the assist machine Jeremy Lin
- Portsmouth prospecting: Jerome Randle will win over NBA crowds
- Point guard prospect Ben Uzoh