Thompson Commits to Buckeyes, eligible in 2015-16

By Mike Young on April 13, 2014 at 1:18p

Two weeks after adding Temple transfer Anthony Lee, Thad Matta continues to add to Ohio State's frontcourt depth. 

Virginia Tech transfer Trevor Thompson will be a Buckeye after committing on this weekend's visit to Columbus. Assistant coach Jeff Boals further confirmed the news with a hint-filled tweet. 

"I love the academics, the fans, my new teammates and the coaching staff," Thompson told ESPN. "It was the perfect fit."

Unlike Lee, Thompson will not be eligible until the 2015-16 season, when he'll be a sophomore. ESPN's Jeff Goodman reports Thompson might seek a waiver from the NCAA to play immediately.

In his only season with the Hokies, Thompson played 16.2 minutes per game, averaging 5.0 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-11-inch, 210 pounds center showed flashes in his only season of college basketball. For example, he had 15 points, six rebounds and three steals against Duke.

"He's probably a year or two away from being a real force," said Mike Barber, the Virginia Tech beat writer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "He could certainly give some rebounding and defense off the bench as a transfer."

Terrence Dials, Greg Oden, Kosta Koufos, Byron Mullens and Jared Sullinger are centers who have thrived in Matta's system at Ohio State. But the post position has been a graveyard for the Buckeyes ever since Sullinger left two years ago.

Lee, who left Temple for Ohio State, gives Matta a one-year window. But after the 2014-15  season, Lee, Amir Williams and Trey McDonald all depart, leaving the Buckeyes in a bind.

Thompson, an Indianapolis native, will return closer to home after stints in Blacksburg, Va. and St. John's Northwestern Military Academy (Delafield, Wis.). He picked OSU over two the two Big Ten programs in Indiana – the Hoosiers and Boilermakers.

Thompson was not heavily recruited out of high school, but Mark Berman, who covers the Hokies for the Roanoke Times, believes Thompson's talent is more evident after one year at Virginia Tech. 

"Coaches probably see potential, see that he still has three years of eligibility left," Berman told Eleven Warriors. "They know that he will be spending a redshirt year in the weight room and believe his freshman season gives them a better sense of what he can do for them than high school big men still unsigned out there."

Thompson's father is former MLB and Columbus Clippers outfielder Ryan Thompson. The athleticism might run in the family.

"He's a great rebounder, with tremendous ups and a nasty shot blocker," Barber said. "I don't know that he'd become a star in the Big Ten, but I do think, with his size and rim protecting ability, he can contribute."

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