Freshman big man Trevor Thompson decided to transfer from Virginia Tech after the coaching change that saw Buzz Williams take over for outgoing coach James Johnson, and he's finally made his new destination public.
Thompson chose Ohio State over Indiana and Purdue after attending the Buckeyes spring football game Saturday. He'll almost assuredly have to sit out a season before suiting up for the Buckeyes as a sophomore in 2015-16. There's a chance the NCAA could approve a hardship waiver that would allow Thompson to play next season due to his father's medical condition.
Well it's official I'm a Ohio State Buckeye Show Me Love #BuckEyeNation !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!— Trevor Thompson (@TrevBallinTrey2) April 13, 2014
Continuing his success recruiting the Indianapolis area, Thad Matta hopes that he 6'11" forward from Indianapolis, IN who averaged 5.0 PPG and 4.7 RPG this season for the Hokies, can follow in the footsteps of Greg Oden and Mike Conley and help the Buckeyes back to the Final Four. For the year, Thompson played just over 16 minutes per game but that average jumped to 25.6 in Tech's final ten games. Mike Conley
Inconsistent playing time was listed as one of a handful of factors regarding the transfer which is a bit puzzling given the impressive trajectory in Thompson's minutes as the season progressed. In fact, Thompson's progress overall was one of the bright spots on a team that struggled considerably. And of course, we have all read about his background of negative experiences with incoming coach Williams.
He came in fairly raw and undersized (bulk-wise) for an ACC post player. This is largely because Thompson had a significant growth spurt his final year in high school, and it's one of the primary reasons a player measuring nearly seven feet tall flew under the radar and ended up at Virginia Tech.
A redshirt year would actually be good for him to bulk up and refine his post moves. As a much smaller player in high school, he is still gaining experience in the paint. He's proved to be a reliable rebounder and with some better moves he can become a guy that puts up regular double-doubles.
Ohio State returns all but one of its post players from last season with junior forward LaQuinton Ross deciding to leave early for the NBA. The Buckeyes have already added Temple transfer Anthony Lee, a junior who has already graduated and will be eligible to play immediately.
Thompson will have every opportunity to play a big role for the Buckeyes, but a lot will depend on his development and Thad Matta's recruiting of other big men who will compete for the available minutes.
Thompson's loss hurts the Hokies' depth in the frontcourt which was already pretty thin. Joey van Zegeren and C.J. Barksdale both return as likely starters and 6'9" Maurice Kirby will be eligible after a redshirt year. Marshall Wood will also be back as well as walk-on forward Christian Beyer. The Hokies will lose senior Cadarian Raines.
These developments don't leave much room for injuries or foul trouble, not to mention the fact that Wood has yet to prove himself as a consistent player in the post. That's why you're seeing Buzz Williams offer a handful of JUCO players with big bodies ready to contribute right away.
Time will tell if it was the right move for Thompson. His upside is enormous and he showed plenty of potential during his season at Virginia Tech. It will be interesting to see how he handles the rough and tumble play of the Big Ten, but it's a fairly safe bet that Thompson will be the next Hokie transfer we see on the floor for someone else in the NCAA Tournament.