Ultimate grades: Breakdown Down Race Thompson’s 2020-21 season in Indiana
This is the third story in a 10-part series reviewing Indiana players’ performances during the 2020-21 season.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Even a hard slap in the face couldn’t keep Race Thompson out of Indiana’s lineup this season. He started all 27 games for the Hoosiers and showed up every night. That alone is a big plus, even if a protective mask is on.
The 6-foot-8 Redshirt junior from Plymouth, Minnesota worked his way up the grid this season and made a huge contribution. With Indiana playing the hand up front all season, much was expected of Thompson and he delivered most nights.
Here’s a breakdown of his season, what I liked and didn’t like, his best game and future prospects, and of course his final grade.
There is also a great video chat with Hilltop30 Scholarship Fund Winner Haley Jordan, Check this out too:
Race Thompson by Numbers
- Games played: 27 of 27
- Games started: 27 of 27
- Average minutes: 28.2 (fourth in the team)
- Points per game: 9.1 (fourth in the team)
- Rebounds per game: 6.2 (second in the team)
- Assists per game: 1.37
- Steals per game: 1.04
- Blocks per game: 1.26
- Field target percentage: 51.5 (87 for 169)
- 3-point percentage: 20.0 (3 for 15)
- Free Throw Percentage: 61.4 (70 for 114)
What i liked
A lot of the good things we’ve seen from Race Thompson this season actually showed up a year earlier, when his great rebound and central defense got him more playing time. And it was there for most of this season as a starting force for that 12-15 team in 2020-21.
Along with Trayce Jackson-Davis, he scored a solid 2-1 strike throughout the season and much was expected of them as their backups, particularly Jerome Hunter and Jordan Geronimo, were clearly out of position when the starters needed a break or were in dire trouble. So the pressure on Thompson was great.
What I liked best was that he kept delivering the track even after slapping an elbow in the face prior to the February 24 game in Rutgers. There were some questions about whether he could play, but there he was, Mask and everyone, battling his way through in a physical game. Despite losing, the Hoosiers played 21 minutes and grabbed nine rebounds.
He shot another shot in the face in Michigan state, but played through that too. Even after another medical procedure, he never missed a game. This is a warrior.
What I did not like
Since Thompson was not the focus of the offense, there were games where he got lost in the shuffle and somehow disappeared. There have been times when you wish he was more energetic in doing more on the offensive.
There have been seven games this season in which he scored four points or less, and that with an average playing time of 24 minutes in those games. Is that important? Sure, considering Indiana went 1-6 in those games with the only win in Iowa. A little more would have helped.
I would also have liked a better performance from the free throw line, where he only shot 61.4 percent. That’s a common complaint with this team, but Thompson actually got worse from 2020 when he shot 66 percent. Anything below 70 percent should be considered unacceptable to him.
Thompson has had three doubles doubles that season but what stood out as his best game came up Against Providence at the beginning of the year. It was the first game of the Maui Invitational on November 30th in Asheville, NC, and Trayce Jackson-Davis was constantly doubled up. The brothers dared Thompson to beat them inside, and that’s exactly what he did in the 79-58 win.
Thompson finished the game with 22 points and 13 rebounds, both of which were season highs. It set the tone that it could not be ignored by the defense. During the season he scored double-digit goals twelve times.
Thompson has been playing with his back to the hoop for most of this season, and new Indiana manager Mike Woodson has already been known to want Thompson to stretch his game to the brim. He was only 3:15 out of three-point range, but Woodson sees ability there, and on his offense, that power-forward point could see more time away from the basket.
Can Thompson handle it? Well that will be interesting to see. He’s not a knock-down shooter, at least not yet. But he’s very athletic and nobody works harder. He was a decent three-point shooter in high school, so it can happen. He could still see smaller teams in the middle for a while.
Final grade: B.
B: Giving Race a B grade came between my ears after much internal debate. I was oscillating between a B and a B minus, and the B eventually won because I really appreciated the fact that he showed up every night, even when he was injured. Atfer, who broke his nose at the end of a losing season, could easily have missed it, but he’s just not wired like that.
So B is it. He’s done a lot on and off the pitch this year and is a great spokesperson for this program. He entered the transfer portal but decided to stay and I’m glad he did.
Previous Final Grades stories
- TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: Second striker Trayce Jackson-Davis was Indiana’s leading scorer and rebounder that year, and there was no question that he was the Hoosiers’ best player. Here is his note. CLICK HERE
- ARMAAN FRANKLIN: Sophmore security guard Armaan Franklin made great strides year-over-year and proved Indiana’s best perimeter threat on both sides of the ground. CLICK HERE
- NEXT UP: Indiana Senior Guard Al Durham.
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