A little after 8 p.m. ET Monday, barring a surprise, Ethan Thompson, a four-star shooting guard and the No. 49 player in the nation according to the 247Sports Class of 2017 Composite Player Rankings, will publicly commit to Oregon State on Monday night and end a recruiting battle that probably should’ve never even been a recruiting battle.
That’s because his father is on the coaching staff at Oregon State.
And the list of basketball prospects who have ever rejected a scholarship offer out of high school from the college that employs their father is short. In fact, it might be nonexistent. Because I can’t think of a single example. And neither could national recruiting analysts Jeff Borzello and Evan Daniels when I asked them for one Monday morning. Which makes you wonder why coaches spend even one minute recruiting against a man for his son — especially when the man’s older son is already on campus.
That’s the other interesting thing about this story.
Ethan Thompson isn’t just sitting here with an offer from the school where his father, Stephen Thompson, is one of Wayne Tinkle’s assistants. It’s also an offer from the school where his brother, Stephen Thompson Jr., averaged 10.6 points as a freshman last season and is the team’s second-leading returning scorer.
In other words, Ethan Thompson picking any school other than Oregon State would require him to reject an offer from the school that employs his father while also passing on the opportunity to play alongside his brother. Put simply, that was never going to happen. Which is why the 247 Sports Crystal Ball prediction has the top-50 national recruit “100 percent” projected to pick the Beavers. And it’s why it’s reasonable to ask if the other staffs that pursued the 6-foot-4 guard were unwise to even try.
FIVE OTHER RECRUITING DEVELOPMENTS
1. Marquette secured a third commitment this weekend when Jamal McCain pledged to the Golden Eagles. The 6-7 forward is ranked 132nd in the Class of 2017. Steve Wojciechowski’s three-player class is currently ranked 22nd nationally, according to 247Sports.
2. Ira Lee, a top-60 prospect from the Class of 2017, cut his list of possible colleges to three this weekend. The 6-8 forward from California is down to Arizona, California and Oregon. Arizona is considered the leader.
3. Gary Trent Jr., a consensus top-15 prospect from the Class of 2017, has announced the dates for his upcoming visits. He’ll visit UCLA this weekend and then visit Arizona Oct. 14-16, Duke Oct. 21-23 and Michigan State Oct. 25-27. Duke is considered the leader.
4. Texas Tech accepted a commitment from JUCO guard Hyron Edwards this weekend. Edwards reportedly had offers from Indiana, Illinois and Purdue out of high school but did not qualify academically. That’s how the Indiana native ended up at Trinity Valley Community College in Texas.
5. Harvard remains involved with five-star prospects Mohamed Bamba and Wendell Carter. Bamba is ranked third in the Class of 2017. Carter is ranked fourth. The latter visited the Ivy League campus this weekend.
FINAL THOUGHT: Nobody I know expects Mohamed Bamba or Wendell Carter to actually enroll at Harvard. So this is a neat story that’ll likely lead to nothing. But I’ve long believed it would make a lot of sense for top-100 prospects to more seriously consider attending the Ivy League school.
I don’t necessarily mean likely one-and-done prospects like Bamba and Carter.
Those guys will probably never graduate college.
So attending Harvard wouldn’t mean much.
But if you were, say, a borderline top-50 recruit, why wouldn’t you seriously consider Harvard? You would likely flourish as a player because you’d be in a league where you’d be more talented than basically everybody you play against, and if you develop into a legitimate NBA prospect you could enter the NBA Draft whenever you like, same as you would at Duke or Kansas. If, on the other hand, you don’t develop into a legitimate NBA prospect, which is the more likely scenario for a borderline top-50 recruit, you’d still probably flourish as a college player for the reasons already stated and then graduate with a degree from one of this nation’s best universities. Either way, you win. And it’s why most serious students with real basketball talent would be smart to at least consider doing an unconventional thing and enrolling at Harvard or any other Ivy League school.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Recruiting Roundup: Family at Pac-12 school could help land four-star recruit