Riders Ryan Thompson had one of the more revealing performances at Portsmouth, leading the tournament in scoring while demonstrating versatility and an incredibly high basketball IQ.
At 66, Thompson has good size for the wing along with solid length and a strong frame. He is a less than impressive athlete, however, and, while he could maximize his physical potential by slimming down some, he will likely remain below average by NBA standards.
On the offensive end, Thompson played an incredibly intelligent brand of basketball and displayed a very diverse skill set. He was most effective as a shooter, hitting 57.5% from the field and 64.3% from beyond the arc. Though he could still get more elevation on his jump shot, he has corrected much of the flat-footed, arc-less shot he displayed as a senior in college, where he shot just 32.4% from beyond the arc.
He also showed some of his mid-range game, taking his man off the dribble, creating some space, and pulling up for a jump shot. Despite his average first step, Thompson was able to use his size and strength advantage to get his shot off. Though he was not as successful or efficient around the rim because of his lack of ideal quickness and lift, he was able to score due to his solid body control and excellent touch.
Thompson was unable to score on athletic wing defenders such as Marquis Blakely, however, suggesting that he will have a hard time adjusting to NBA caliber defenders.
Thompson did, however, thrive as a team player. He displayed good court vision and, aside from the occasional lapse, excellent decision making. He was unafraid to make the extra pass in order to facilitate ball movement or defer to a teammate if his shot wasnt falling. He also made quite a few nice passes off of the dribble. In addition, he moved extremely well without the ball, talking to teammates, and spreading the court.
He did a solid job defensively in the setting, even though his lateral quickness is below average. While he likely cannot defend the most athletic wing players we find in the NBA, he is a smart defender and was able to use his strength, size, and quick hands to his advantage.
Ultimately, Ryan Thompson had an outstanding performance coming off of a sub par senior season and proved himself to be one of the best players in attendance. He likely convinced scouts that, while he may not an NBA player at this point, he has a long and prosperous career ahead of him at a high level professionally.