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11 Days to Purdue Basketball: Isaiah Thompson

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The junior guard from Zionsville has been a steady hand for two years.

Syndication: Journal-Courier Nikos Frazier / Journal & Courier via Imagn Content Services, LLC

I have long been a fan and defender of Isaiah Thompson. I saw him for four years at Zionsville and he is a dedicated Purdue guy. He is never going to be THE GUY at Purdue like a Jaden Ivey or a Trevion Williams, but he can still be a valuable contributor this year. He is the type of Purdue “glue guy” guard that is always an asset to have.

Isaiah Thompson – Jr.

Zionsville, IN (Zionsville HS)

6’1”, 160 pounds

Guard

2021-22 Projection: Contributor

Isaiah came in with Mason Gillis and Brandon Newman, but was the only one that played immediately as a true freshman. It was expected that he would be a player like his big brother PJ, but he is a different type of player. Instead of being a distributor and definite point guard he is more of a combo guard. I saw him play several HS games where he went off Carsen Edwards-style, but that is much harder for him to do at this level.

He has since become a guy who can be a spot starter and a solid reserve for 10-15 minutes per game. He can handle the ball if needed, and he has actually been a sneaky good shooter from long range. He went from 36% from three to 39.7% last year, but his overall scoring dropped from 5.6 per game to 4.2. He did have a 2:1 assist to turnover ratio too.

Isaiah has had some big games, and that shows where he has value. He had 14 in the 2019-20 win over Wisconsin in Mackey and a career high 17 (with five threes) in the blowout of Chicago State. He matched that career high at Rutgers last year and went 7 of 8 from the field.

This year I envision Isaiah in much of the same role. He is an experienced guy that has been through the battles. He’ll have a lot of games where he plays 13-15 minutes and takes one shot, but he can also have the occasional game where he gets hot and hits 3-4 threes. Given the attention Purdue’s centers will get, the open looks will be there. Finally, he can be a “closer” like his brother, where he comes in while Purdue has a lead in the last minute and needs to hit free throws. If he can knock them down, he’ll play a lot. He just needs to play smart and take advantage of the chances given him.