While the media circus follows probable top-four first-round draft pick D'Angelo Russell, two other Buckeyes, Sam Thompson and Shannon Scott, are trying their hand at making an NBA roster. Both players have worked out with several teams in preparation for their possible professional careers. And while all eyes are seemingly on Russell ahead of tomorrow's first round of the NBA Draft, even he knows that Scott and Thompson have skills he envies:
"I guess God didn't bless me with the Shannon Scott speed or the Sam (Thompson) vertical," Russell said.
Ohio State small forward Sam Thompson has been making the rounds ahead of tomorrow's NBA Draft, and has worked out for eight clubs. Despite a minor muscle pull that forced Thompson to cancel four other workouts, he was able to show off his skills to Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, the Los Angeles Clippers, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Antonio and Utah. While its considered likely he ends up playing on a Summer League team, or at the least over in Europe, Thompson could definitely find NBA success in the right system.
Known as "Slam Thompson" among Buckeyes, he always put on a good show for fans. What he lacks in size, standing at 6'7, 180 pounds, he makes up for in effort. During his senior season at Ohio State, he averaged 32.5 mpg, 10.2 pg, a 46.6% field goal percentage and 26.2% three-point percentage. He's currently ranked 81st among DraftExpress' Top 100 draft prospects, in large part to his explosive play and crazy vertical.
On top of his busy workout schedule, Thompson was also focused on finishing out spring semester classes at Ohio State and earning his degree. It may not always have been easy, but it's an important accomplishment for the recent graduate and his family:
"I liked finance and I really enjoyed my time at Ohio State. Just to say that I finished school and to walk out of there with a degree is all I need. I know how hard of a grind it is balancing being a student and being an athlete. I know how hard it is to get a degree in finance from Ohio State University without being an athlete. To be able to do both is definitely something I wanted to do for myself and it's something that's going to stick with me for the rest of my life," Thompson said.
Coming in just a few ranks behind Sam Thompson, Scott currently sits at 86 of the top 100 NBA prospects. He has completed workouts for Boston, Brooklyn, Charlotte, Indiana, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Utah. His name is not one people are projecting to hear during the NBA Draft due to a somewhat inconsistent season, but his career is far from over. He could find himself on a Summer League roster or at the least playing somewhere overseas.
Known for his defensive prowess, Scott has the size to be considered a point guard in the league, standing at 6'2 175 pounds. During his senior season, he averaged 30.5 mpg, 8.5 ppg, a 41.2% field goal percentage and 28.4% from three. Scott saw some of his best games toward the end of the season, scoring a career-high 21 points, with six assists and five rebounds against Minnesota during the Big Ten tournament.
He didn't step into a leadership role perhaps as definitively in the box score as Buckeye fans would have liked, but that doesn't mean he didn't find ways to make an impact:
"Scott posted an outstanding 4.99 PPR, and 2.48 assist to turnover ratio, showing that he is one of the best distributors in this draft class, something NBA teams will surely be intrigued with, especially once he's playing with better talent around him.
With that said, Scott is still at his best on the defensive end of the floor. His outstanding lateral quickness allows him to stay in front of guards at either position, he works hard to close out on shooters, and he has strength and quickness to guard the pick-and-roll."