A new name has come up on the list of possible transfers from other schools: Tennessee's Darius Thompson. He paid a visit to Purdue today and though he did not put up big numbers for Cuonzo Martin in 2013-14, he is a talented player that was one of the top players in the 2013 recruiting class.
Thompson started 10 times and played in all 37 games for the Volunteers as a solid role player this year. He averaged just 2.6 points per game, but was an active defender with a steal per game and had two rebounds per game as a 6.5" guard. He also served as a backup point guard and had an impressive 87 assists in 37 games. His best game was 16 points against Wake Forest in an early season tournament.
In the 2013 recruiting cycle he was one of the Rivals' top 150, coming in at No. 149. He would then be the fourth Rivals top 150 player at Purdue from the 2013 class should he join Bryson Scott, Basil Smotherman, and Kendall Stephens. Purdue has a chance as we originally offered him during his initial recruitment.
Here is what Rocky Top Talk had to say about Thompson:
Thompson is lauded for his basketball IQ and court vision and is considered a good ball-handler and shooter. At 6'4", he'll also provide length on defense, although at 175, he'll probably need to bulk up.
Thompson was previously committed to Vanderbilt but de-committed in order to more thoroughly investigate Tennessee--Cuonzo Martin does not recruit players committed elsewhere. He was also pursued by Virginia, Purdue, North Carolina State, and most of the upper mid-level SEC teams.
They also had a post on him in January:
But there's a very strong argument, at least through the non-conference, that the Vols are significantly better on offense with Barton and Thompson than they were with Trae Golden because their decision making and ball security have outweighed what we lost in Golden's scoring potential because there are enough points to be found elsewhere on this team. That's not to knock Golden, he's leading Georgia Tech in scoring as we speak. That's just who he is, and I think Cuonzo much prefers the true point guard model we're seeing now.
So Thompson sounds like a smart player that likes to play defense and take care of the basketball. What is not to like? The only down side is that as a transfer, he would have to sit out a year before he could play. He would then have three years of eligibility and would be on the same graduation track as P.J. Thompson. It would also take away one of the three open scholarships for a 2015 class in which one of the top players is right in our back yard in Caleb Swanigan.
We'll see where this goes. Thompson was in line to play a lot more minutes in 2014-15, and now he won't play a single second as he sits out to transfer. Will he sit on Purdue's bench?