Sam Thompson has been a part of Ohio State’s rotation for the last two seasons, but for the upcoming 2013-2014 season, Thompson may be the most important player on the court for Ohio State. It is easy to overlook Thompson as he shares the court with the lovable Aaron Craft and the emerging star that is LaQuinton Ross, but Thompson’s impact with the team could be the key factor of the team’s success. Obviously, Craft provides veteran leadership as a floor general and Ross provides the Buckeyes with a legit primary scorer, but a championship level team will need more than that. Enter Sam Thompson.
Thompson played in every game as a freshman and started every game last season for the Buckeyes. The biggest showcase of Thompson’s talents to this point of his career has been his athleticism. Thompson’s combination of length and quickness makes him a suitable defender for multiple positions. In his career, Thompson has total 48 blocks; 31 last season (2nd on team) and 17 his freshman year (3rd on team). He also has tallied 32 steals to this point of his Ohio State Career. In terms of his offensive game, Thompson’s athleticism provides most of his damage as well. Thompson only averaged 7.8 ppg, but he is an underrated 3-point shooter, shooting 40% from long range last season. However, most of Thompson’s recognition comes from his highlight dunks.
With the Buckeyes losing DeShaun Thomas, LaQuinton Ross will likely be leaned on to pick up most of the scoring. The Buckeyes will be searching for a second option throughout the season, much like last year. If last year’s Big Ten and NCAA tournaments were any indication, Thompson is prepared for a bigger role in the Buckeye offense. In the Big Ten tournament, Thompson averaged 11.7 ppg, including a 19 point performance against Nebraska in which he knocked down three 3-pointers. Thompson topped his career game with his performance against Iona in the first round of the NCAA tournament, scoring 20 points and recording 10 rebounds. He finished the tournament with 10.5 ppg and led the team with 5.8 rpg. Look for Thompson to breakout for the Buckeyes when the season is underway in a few weeks.