One day after losing a pivotal big man to the transfer portal, the Green Bay Phoenix appear to have found a potential replacement.
Terrance Thompson, one of Green Bay’s top targets for the 2020 recruiting class, announced his commitment to the Phoenix on Tuesday night via Twitter. He reportedly chose Green Bay over Atlantic 10 Conference school Duquesne after whittling down his list from several schools earlier in the recruiting process.
The 6’8″ forward from La Crosse, Wisconsin averaged 14.3 points per game this past season as a senior at La Crosse Central High School helping his team to a 20-5 overall record and a run to the sectional finals before the season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Green Bay targeted Thompson very early on, extending a scholarship offer way back in June of 2017 as he was one of the Phoenix first 2020 targets. Green Bay was the first school to offer Thompson a scholarship and their patience appears to have paid off.
“I think they did a great job in recruiting him,” Central coach Todd Fergot told the La Crosse Tribune. “Back in the beginning of last summer, there were nine or 10 schools who really wanted him to come play for them. I had talked to Nebraska early on, and I know Minnesota was watching him, and Georgetown came to see him play during the season.”
“You could see the sincerity from Green Bay because they never pressured him.”
Thompson was the top uncommitted prospect in Wisconsin and ranked #8 on Prep Hoops Wisconsin’s top 2020 state player rankings. According to VerbalCommits.com he held scholarship offers from DePaul, Duquesne, Missouri State, Bradley, UIC, Milwaukee, and Toledo among others.
His addition helps to fill a big roster void after 6’8″ forward Manny Patterson announced his decision to enter the transfer portal earlier this week leaving 6’6″ Tank Hemphill and 6’9″ big man Will Chevalier as the team’s only post players, though 6’8″ wing Japannah Kellogg could also play an interior role next season.
According to the Tribune, Thompson “provides the Phoenix with a solid body in the paint and a player who can defend and rebound.” In addition to being able to play in the paint, he also showed that he can spread the floor offensively and knock down the outside shot shooting 47.2% (17 for 36) on three pointers this past season.
He will likely have an opportunity to compete for minutes right away as a freshman because of his defensive and rebounding capabilities and also Green Bay’s relative lack of size. His offensive game and athleticism – he starred as a tight end on the football field last fall – also are an immediate fit for the Phoenix style of play.
Could the program be making inroads to landing more Wisconsin prospects? For whatever reason, Green Bay has not been very successful in landing high school prospects from the Badger state over the past few years. In fact, Thompson joins Southern Door wing Ryan Claflin as the first in-state high school recruits Green Bay has been able to land since Chevalier committed from nearby Kimberly High School in 2017. The only other in-state high school commitment since 2015 came from Trevor Anderson, who has since transferred to UW-Madison.
Thompson is the seventh newcomer to join Green Bay for next season as the Phoenix will look to replace four outgoing seniors and three departures via transfer. He joins Claflin, Zion-Benton (IL) wing Damontae Taylor, and Jeffersonville (IN) high school point guard Jacob Jones as well as JUCO transfers Paris Taylor, Blayton Williams, and Leon Ayers.
Green Bay also added Toledo transfer Donavan Moore, who announced his commitment to the Phoenix on Wednesday morning.
Top Photo: Peter Thompson – La Crosse Tribune