Season In Review: Race Thompson
{{ timeAgo('2022-06-23 09:00:58 -0500') }} basketball Edit

Season In Review: Race Thompson

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When you think, "ultimate glue guy," you think of Race Thompson.

That was no exception in year four for the Minnesota native. Thompson has always had elite rebounding skills but has continually worked to be more than a dirty work player.

Although he may not have many statistical outbursts, Thompson is arguably Indiana's most consistent player. He can always be counted upon give score around 10 points, guard the opposing team's best wing or big, and rebound.

However, Thompson is seeking to take his game to new heights, and we saw the beginning of something new in 2021-22. Mike Woodson sought to develop the perimeter skills of his power forward by encouraging him to shoot threes and handle the ball.

Could Thompson have even more skills to add to his game? A recap of the Indiana forward's season and what potentially lies ahead next year:

Race Thompson was the epitome of consistency for Indiana (IU Athletics)
Race Thompson was the epitome of consistency for Indiana (IU Athletics)

Season Review

Thompson has improved every season, and he turned in his best season yet as a senior. He finished the season with stats of 11.1 points and 7.5 rebounds per game as well as 53.6% efficiency from the field -- all career highs.

Two other areas of improvement came on defense and beyond the arc. Thompson was consistently the Hoosiers' best defender with his ability to guard both bigs and guards at 6-foot-8-inches. While he did not get nominated for an All-Big Ten defense team, he was one of the most versatile defenders in the league.

He may have just shot 27.3% from three, but Thompson made strides as a long-range shooter as a senior. Woodson's offensive system emphasizes NBA-like spacing, and Thompson was required to develop his jumper to fit in.

While his efficiency was undoubtedly poor, Thompson attempted 55 threes -- double the amount of threes he toom in his first three seasons combined. Just ask Ben Simmons' coaches -- the first step to developing a three-pointer is to get over the fear of attempting them.

In the last month of the season, those attempts started turning into makes. Thompson shot 53% from deep from February 15th onward, albeit on low volume.

While he never had massive statistical performances, Thompson was the epitome of consistency throughout the year. He finished over double-figures in points in 23 games, yet never surpassed the 20-point mark in a game. He finished with double-figure rebounds on 10 occasions and recorded five double-doubles on the year.

Looking Ahead

Thompson recently spoke to the media and stressed that he returned to school to develop his game under Woodson and turn pro. He specified that shooting and ball-handling were the areas he most wanted to improve but also mentioned he didn't want to get away from his post game.

If Thompson can make good on his goals and develop into a 30%+ percent shooter from the outside, it would do wonders for Indiana's offense and Thompson's game. His game is already extremely diverse with the ability to defend nearly every position and score on the block. He's even been surprisingly successful as a ball-handler.

Even if the jumper didn't improve at all, the fifth-year forward has a chance to be an All-Big Ten defensive player. He will never abandon his high motor and relentless effort in rebounding the basketball.

Thompson will be one of Indiana's best players in what has the chance to be a memorable season for Indiana. A greatly improved jump shot could elevate his game to new heights, but at the very least he will maintain his status as an elite glue guy.

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