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11 Days to Purdue Basketball: Isaiah Thompson

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The freshman is ready to make a name for himself.

Back in the 80s and 90s Purdue had brothers Chad and Woody Austin from Richmond. While P.J. Thompson won’t get to play with his brother at Purdue, he was instrumental in his recruiting and will be a grad assistant coach for him this year.

Isaiah Thompson - Fr.

Zionsville, IN (Zionsville HS)

6’1”, 165 pounds

Guard

2019-20 Projection: Reserve at Guard

I feel like I have been watching Isaiah forever, mostly because I covered the first game of his high school career with my job writing for the Zionsville newspaper. I have seen him play dozens of times over his career now and he is a different type of player from his brother. P.J. was more of a distributor and picked his spots to score. Isaiah has been more of a gunner and he finished his career 27th all-time in scoring in Indiana with 2,139 career points. That was tied with Rich Mount, the son of legendary Boiler Rick Mount.

What has impressed me the most about Isaiah is his range. I say he has a touch of Carsen Edwards in him in this regard. He is not going to be Carsen because few can match Carsen’s drive, build, and sense of the moment, but Isaiah absolutely has that ability to pull up and bury the 25-footer. He has reported bulked up further since getting on campus, which will help a lot. I saw him put up some incredible shooting numbers including seven first quarter three-pointers against Harrison in the 2018 sectional. That stretch was eerily similar to Carsen’s second half stretch against Virginia back in March. Of course, that was a barely .500 high school team and Carsen did it against The Champs, but having been there for both they had similarities, including the final three being a “f*** it, I am feeling it. I will just pull up from 30 and drain this” three. The 7 threes in a quarter is an unofficial state record.

Coach Painter has also raved about his defense, which is a surprise because he played almost exclusively in a 2-3 zone at Zionsville. That was good enough to win four straight Hoosier Crossroads Conference titles and two straight sectionals (the first for Zionsville since 1996) in his time there.

This coming season I look for him to battle for playing time with Eric Hunter. Thompson will also play the point quite a bit as well. I definitely think he will be a strong contributor and there will be at least one game where he comes in and hits 4-5 threes as a spark.