The high school basketball season started this week in Indiana and that means my annual coverage of 20-25 games started. Tonight I was at Hamilton Heights where I saw Sterling Weatherford, the younger brother of Grant Weatherford, hit a game-winner with 10 seconds left to give Hamilton Heights a 59-58 win over Lebanon. He is a 2017 prospect that might play football, especially as a 6'5" receiver. He is bigger than Grant, but not as good. He could potentially be a 2017 target, but Purdue has bigger targets in mind.
The one that surprised me more was Tuesday night when Zionsville hosted Class 4A No. 3 rated Carmel. The Eagles performed a rare feat for a Class 4A team: They started a freshman in his first varsity game. That freshman? Isaiah Thompson, the young brother of Purdue's P.J. Thompson.
It seems bizarre to talk about recruits that won't arrive until 2019, but that is where we are with Thompson, who is already rated as one of the top guards in the state for his class. Purdue has the advantage of having a current player as his big brother talking with him as the top recruiter too.
Thompson was pretty impressive despite his size. He was listed at 5'11" and 140 pounds, but he was fearless in attacking a much larger Carmel team. Carmel (Ryan Cline's old team) boasts some pretty good size inside, but Thompson attacked the basket and got there pretty much any time he wanted to. He finished the night 7 of 17 from the floor and 2 of 2 from the line for 19 points and four assists, but Carmel still won 57-53. Thompson also was 3 of 6 from three, showing some range on his shot as his last three (as time expired) was from at least 23 feet.
He is very quick and is confident with the basketball. The thing to remember about this performance is that he had 19 points against one of the state's best teams over the last five years (Carmel is 93-11 over the last four seasons plus this win, but he made some freshman mistakes. He was forcing things a little too much at times, but those are things he can grow out of. Also, he is still physically smaller than so many others out there when he is 14 and going up against 17-18 year olds.
Thompson definitely has some promise. I am not sure if he is on the national radar yet, but a 19 point debut is pretty solid. Coach Shaun Busick called him as talented of a freshman as he has ever coached, which is high praise. Thompson will also get to play against some quality competition over the next four years too, making him even better. Here are his summer highlights:
Let's keep an eye on him.