Posts Tagged “Hollis Thompson”
Simsanity is heading to the Big Apple, as former Hoya center Henry Sims signed a deal with the New York Knicks today. The Knicks, who were already at 15 roster spots, are presumably bringing Sims onto their training camp roster, where he will have the opportunity to compete for a roster spot.
Sims, who had a well-chronicled rise from a pedestrian three-year bench player to a key cog in the Hoyas’ upstart 2011-2012 season, found himself on second round draft boards all the way through draft day this year. Teams ultimately veered toward the ‘draft-and-stash’ route in the latter half of the draft, opting to select the rights to high-potential European prospects in the hope that they’ll develop over time. Ultimately, this left the Baltimore native in a similar predicament to his two teammates, Jason Clark and Hollis Thompson, who also went undrafted.
Thompson was the first of the trio to find a home, as the reigning Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder signed him to a partially-guaranteed three year deal. Clark, meanwhile signed with Belgian club Okapi Aalstar.
Thompson and Clark had their situations settled a couple of months ago, but Sims remained in limbo until today. The center played with the Utah Jazz and Chicago Bulls during the Summer League, hoping to parlay the exposure into an NBA contract – it just took a little longer than he anticipated.
Despite the surprise signing, the Knicks have been looking at Sims for quite some time now, with rumored interest leading up to the NBA Draft and assistant general manager Allan Houston’s presence at this season’s Georgetown vs. UConn matchup.
Houston is also coincidentally in charge of the Knicks’ developmental league affiliate, the Erie BayHawks. If Sims does not make the Knicks roster, he could find himself in Erie, setting up what amounts to an extended audition for an NBA roster spot. With the Knicks’ essentially set up front – they have starters Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire with veterans Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas as backups – Sims needs to hope the Knicks see merit in carrying a fifth big man. With Camby and Thomas’s age as a factor, along with Stoudemire’s injury history, it’s certainly not out of question.
Photo: Jackson Perry
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Just as the Hoyas received word of Stephen Domingo’s early arrival, Hollis Thompson inked a three-year contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder. According to SLAM, Thompson’s deal is partially guaranteed with team options for the second and third years. The news was confirmed by Thompson’s agent, Seth Cohen. After going undrafted in last month’s NBA Draft, his professional prospects were initially in question. The signing is a huge success for Thompson, who can now fully rehabilitate a lingering groin injury that he suffered last season.
With Thompson’s shooting ability in the fold, the Thunder can space the floor even better around superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Durant presents the ideal player for Thompson to hone his offensive craft behind, given his preternatural ability to put the ball in the basket from anywhere on the floor. The young Thunder certainly needs the depth, having played deep into the playoffs the last couple of seasons, culminating in a Finals appearance this season.
More information on Thompson – along with Henry Sims and Jason Clark’s NBA prospects after the jump.
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After countless workouts and tireless training since the end of the Hoyas’ 2012 campaign, Georgetown graduate Henry Sims and junior Hollis Thompson are poised for selection in tonight’s NBA Draft. Both have shown up on the majority of mock draft boards leading up to the draft, which Vox has compiled below:
|Chad Ford (Espn.com)
||54 – Philadelphia
|Jeff Goodman (Cbssports.com)
||53 – LA Clippers
||49 – Orlando
|Joe Kotoch (Sheridanhoops.com)
||57 – Brooklyn
||60 – LA Lakers
||57 – Brooklyn
||58 – Minnesota
||44 – Detroit
||49 – Orlando
||39 – Detroit
Once the second round rolls around, the mock drafts become far less reliable - players are generally placed based on projected need. Thus, it makes sense for multiple mock drafts to bring the Simsanity movement to Brooklyn, where the Nets will need a big man behind Brook Lopez (or perhaps Dwight Howard). In a similar manner, Thompson heading to Detroit makes sense on many levels – the Pistons are in desperate need of a shooter after shipping Ben Gordon away, plus the last Georgetown guy they selected worked out pretty well.
More on Sims, Thompson, and Jason Clark after the jump:
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Georgetown’s Class of 2012 certainly has a few unemployed grads – count Henry Sims and Jason Clark among them. Unlike their classmates, however, that situation could change in a big way during next Thursday’s NBA Draft.
Since the Hoyas’ season concluded, Clark, Sims, and the early-departing junior Hollis Thompson (he doesn’t get to play on a boat now) have been working out and showcasing their talents for NBA teams, hoping to get picked up in the draft.
Sims – following Clark and Thompson before him – worked out with the Washington Wizards on familiar turf at the Verizon Center today. According to the center, it was approximately his thirteenth workout for a team, with three or four remaining.
“It’d be like coming back home,” Sims said of the possibility of playing for the Wizards. “The rims haven’t changed, I don’t think. It would definitely be nice.”
After his workout, Clark was similarly excited, but admitted to feeling out of place at the Phonebooth: “It’s kind of weird coming into this arena and not having on that Georgetown jersey.”
Both Thompson and Sims are projected to go in the second round by most experts, with both receiving periodic praise from the draft experts. ESPN’s Chad Ford said Thompson could sneak into the first round after watching one of his workouts last month, while his colleague John Hollinger called Sims a potential “second-round steal.” All three players value this time to fully showcase their abilities (like Sims’ monstrous dunk versus UConn, pictured above), especially according to the big man.
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The writing has been on the wall ever since he tested the waters last spring, but for those Hoya fans who couldn’t or wouldn’t believe it, it’s official now—Hollis Thompson will forgo his senior season and enter the NBA Draft. Thompson will hire an agent, although even if he didn’t, his decision would be irreversible—a player is only allowed to enter and withdraw from the draft once during their college career.
Thompson’s decision certainly didn’t come as a shock to head coach John Thompson III, who’s been prepared for the junior forward’s departure since last spring.
“Hollis returned for his junior year after submitting his name for the 2011 NBA Draft,” Coach Thompson said in a statement. “We fully anticipated he would enter the 2012 draft after this season. He is an extremely hard worker and we wish him the best as he takes his next step.”
Thompson was the Hoyas’ second leading scorer at 12.7 points per game this season while shooting 43 percent on three-point attempts. His departure, coupled with the loss of seniors Henry Sims and Jason Clark, strips the Hoyas of all upperclassmen. Next season, the Hoyas will play without any seniors, having previously lost Thompson’s classmates Vee Sanford and Jerrelle Benimon to transfers.
This season, Thompson started on a tear, averaging 14.6 points per game through the first 18 games. He provided one of the highlights of the season, draining a game-winning three to defeat Alabama in Tuscaloosa in November. However, in the final 15 games of the season, he became less of a centerpiece of the offense, averaging 10.7 points per game and seemingly disappearing for stretches. He was memorably not on the court for the Hoyas’ final offensive possession in overtime at Syracuse in February. As in previous years, he performed superbly in the Hoyas’ final game of the season, notching 23 points in Georgetown’s loss to North Carolina State last week during the NCAA Tournament.
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It’s February now, which means it’s time for the Big East basketball season to start really getting serious. It’s also a good time for Vox to get serious with its coverage, so we’ll have previews of every game from here on out. First up, the biggest home game of the season.
When we last left our Hoyas
After breaking off a three game winning streak, Georgetown suffered a setback on Saturday when the lost to Pittsburgh, 72-60. While the Hoyas were nearly upset by Rutgers a game earlier because of lackluster offense, it was their defense that let them down in Pittsburgh. The Panthers shot 52.1 percent from the field and would have been even better had they knocked down some of the open threes the Hoyas gave them. Communication seemed to be part of the issue for Georgetown–multiple times they missed switches and failed to play help defense.
Georgetown last saw UConn in the Big East Tournament, where the Hoyas became some of the first shreds of carnage on the Huskies’ path to the national championship. That young championship team remains mostly intact, save for star guard Kemba Walker, now dropping triple-doubles for the Charlotte Bobcats in the NBA.
For most teams, losing a player of Walker’s caliber would mean a rebuilding year. But Jim Calhoun had plenty of talent coming in to make up for the loss, starting with 6-foot-10 center Andre Drummond. The big man was one of the top recruits in the nation, and he’s lived up to the billing, averaging 10 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
“You’re not going to play against too many people that literally are as big as he is,” head coach John Thompson III said. ”You look at the package of a big guy, I don’t know if there’s anything he can’t do.”
UConn is somewhat similar to Pitt in that both teams have underachieved this season and come to play Georgetown desperate for a win. The only difference is that the Huskies are a much better team. They have a presumptive top-5 NBA draft pick in Drummond and a preseason All-American in sophomore Jeremy Lamb, along with plenty of talent to back them up. The Huskies may have lost three in a row, but all three games were decided by one possession–UConn’s still dangerous.
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According to Washington Post beat writer Tarik El-Bashir, Hollis Thompson will withdraw his name from the NBA draft and return to Georgetown for his junior season.
The sophomore forward had until midnight to withdraw and retain his collegiate eligibility. He had participated in the New Jersey Nets’ draft combine on Saturday, where he reportedly impressed.
Thompson’s decision should be welcome news to Hoya fans. The forward will be Georgetown’s second leading returning scorer, and one of only three players to have regularly started for the Hoyas. Thompson’s veteran presence will be particularly important on a team that’s replacing three senior starters and dealing with the transfers of Vee Sanford and Jerrelle Benimon.
With Thompson back in the fold, head coach John Thompson III will be able to give his highly touted five-player recruiting class more time to develop. Assuming Georgetown’s roster shuffling has finally finished, Hollis Thompson will likely join returning starters Jason Clark and Nate Lubick, plus Markel Starks and Henry Sims, in the Hoyas’ presumptive starting lineup. Thompson will be the only junior on the roster, along with two seniors, five sophomores, and five freshmen.
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As first reported by Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post, sophomore Hollis Thompson has declared for the NBA draft. He will not hire an agent, retaining his NCAA eligibility if he decides to return to school.
The 6-foot-7 forward from Los Angeles would be one of the Hoyas’ top returning players. Thompson appeared in every game this season, starting 22, and averaged 8.6 points per game while shooting 45.7 percent from beyond the arc. The sophomore was also the team’s second leading rebounder with 4.4 boards per game.
Thompson’s decision comes as something of a surprise. He did have the best game of his career in Georgetown’s season ending NCAA Tournament loss to VCU, scoring a career-high 26 points to go along with seven rebounds. But for most of the season Thompson was no better than the Hoyas’ fourth option, and he was removed from the starting lineup in favor of freshman Nate Lubick in January.
Chad Ford, ESPN’s resident draft expert, called Thompson a second-rounder at best, while former Hoya Patrick Ewing Jr. shook his head at the decision.
Thompson has until May 8 to remove his name from the draft and preserve his college eligibility. Entering the draft in order to get feedback from NBA teams and scouts is not uncommon for underclassmen, but players are only allowed to test the waters once. If Thompson does return to school, don’t be surprised if the forward’s junior season is his last. Considering his size and potential, Thompson could work his way into the first round of the 2012 draft with a solid season as the focal point of Georgetown’s offense.
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That’s all folks. The Hoyas season came to an end in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, on a cold Friday night in Chicago. Like last year’s disappointing loss against Ohio, this one wasn’t even close, as sloppy ball handling and poor three-point shooting doomed the Hoyas in a 74-56 loss to VCU. Even more sad is the fact that this marks the end of Chris Wright, Austin Freeman, Julian Vaughn, and Ryan Dougherty’s careers at Georgetown.
The difference between the two teams in this one was like night and day. The Hoyas shot an atrocious 19.2%, while VCU poured in 48% of their shots from downtown. Take away Hollis Thompson and the only Hoya to connect from behind the arc was Markel Starks. With Julian Vaughn’s struggles continuing, Georgetown needed to shoot well from downtown tonight and that just didn’t happen. VCU allowed very few open shots by playing tight defense on the perimeter, made possible because of the poor play of the big men. On the other side, Georgetown had a lot of trouble communicating defensively and let a lot of Rams shooters to get free. Brandon Rozzell went 6-10 from three-point land on his way to a team high 26 points.
All season long turnovers have been a problem for this team. During the first half of the season, the Hoyas averaged about 14 per game. They eventually began to correct their mistakes and during an eight-game winning streak saw those numbers go down. But, after Wright’s injury, they went back to biting themselves in the foot. Many thought that with Wright back, it wouldn’t be a problem, but because of VCU’s furious press, Georgetown turned the ball over 17 times, which led to 17 points. Meanwhile, the Rams only turned the ball over six times, relying on point guard Joey Rodriguez who dished out seven assists.
Georgetown has a long off-season ahead of them. The team will have to deal with an NCAA upset for the second straight year, but more importantly the team’s makeup will greatly change. With Freeman, Vaughn and Wright gone, JTIII will have to determine who will fill the three open starting spots. Will the Hoyas have a point guard who can make up for Wright’s lost contribution as the floor general? The team may have found a replacement for Freeman’s steady scoring in Hollis Thompson, who showed tonight what he is capable of. The big question is though, with only one NCAA Tournament win since 2007’s Final Four run, and three straight disappointing endings to the season, does the program need to be reassessed? Only time will tell.
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Georgetown lost a heartbreaker to St. John’s last night at Madison Square Garden, 61-58. It was the second loss in three Big East games for Hoyas, who continued their disappointing start to conference play. The 1-2 record comes as a surprise after the team began the season 11-1 playing one of the toughest out-of-conference schedules in the country. Some notes on the loss:
“The Big Three” comes up short
The combination of Chris Wright, Austin Freeman, and Jason Clark entered tonight’s game shooting a combined 41.2 percent from behind the arc, but against St. John’s, the trio went 2-for-13 from downtown and scored a combined 20 points. The old adage “live by the three, die by the three” couldn’t have been more painfully true tonight.
The Hoyas commited 14 turnovers, which is nothing new–they average 14.2 per game–but they only forced St. John’s into committing four. The turnover margin of ten was Georgetown’s worst of the season. The team can’t expect to win many games in the Big East with that large of a differential.
Cooling the hot hand
Hollis Thompson was the Hoyas’ best player, scoring a team-high 16 points and grabbing 7 rebounds, but he was nowhere to be seen in the final minutes of the game. Experience wasn’t the issue, as Nate Lubick, a less experienced, less potent offensive player took Hollis’ spot on the floor with the rest of the starting five.
Up next for Georgetown is a home game against West Virginia (8-4, 2-0 Big East) on Saturday. It’s the first time the Hoyas face the Mountaineers since they lost to them in last season’s Big East Finals. Revenge will have to take a back seat though, as Georgetown should only be thinking about how to rebound from their slow conference start.
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