In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated, Dudley E. Dawson writes about how the…
Bevy Of Talented Hoopsters
Thompson – the 6-9, 250-pound center from Forrest City who dipped in the rankings before last season - was elevated back into the top 100 of the latest ESPN rankings on Tuesday.
He was slotted as the 95th-best player nationally, five spots behind fellow 2014 Razorback pledge and North Little Rock point guard Anton Beard (6-1, 180).
"I guess that's nice, but I don't really worry about the rankings," Thompson said. "I just go out and try to work hard every day and try to get better. I think I have been doing that lately and I am going to keep at it."
KeVaughn Allen (6-3, 180) of North Little Rock and sophomore Malik Monk (6-3, 170) of East Poinsett County were also ranked high nationally by ESPN.
Allen is ranked 18th in the 2015 class rankings while Malik Monk is regarded as tge 11th-best player in the 2016 class.
Thompson, who averaged 19 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks last season, shot back up in the rankings after his play this spring for the Arkansas Hawks and a recent stint at the Pango All American Camp.
"I thought I did really good at the Pangos Camp," noted Thompson, who was selected for the Top 30 All-Star game, but says he had to leave early to head home.
He is currently trying to redefine his body.
"I think that 250 is fine, but it has got to be more muscle than it is right now," Thompson said. "That's why I am going to live in the weight room this summer and get my body looking different."
Beard pledged to Arkansas back on April 22nd and Thompson came on boar with his Razorback commitment on May 23rd.
"I just felt like it was a perfect fit for me," Thompson said. "Coach Anderson had been recruiting me since I was in the ninth grade and he told me that he wanted to keep all the best players in the state and build from within the state and that is what he is doing.
"Coach Anderson is also really big on academics and that is real big to me because I pride myself on being a great student," added Thompson, who sports a 3.8 grade point average heading into his senior season. "I think he really is all about the student-athlete and not just the athlete."
Arkansas landed two top 50 players in its 2013 class in big men Bobby Portis (6-11, 230) and Moses Kingsley (6-10, 232),
Beard, who will begin participating in the prestigious NBPA Top 100 camp on Thursday, is a four-star prospect according to Scout.com and ranked 66th nationally by Scout.
Thompson is ranked as a three-star and the nation's 16th-best center per Scout.com, who has him just outside its Top 100 players nationally.
Thompson and Beard are former teammates – playing for the Hawks during the summers of 2010 and 2011.
"He's a really good player," Thompson said. "We used to be really tight back when we were on the same team and we are still friends. I think it is going to be great having all these Arkansas players to lead the Razorbacks back to the top."
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