Minnesota forward Race Thompson is Archie Miller’s 1st commit; will reclassify to 2017

Race Thompson is Indiana’s first commitment of the Archie Miller era.

And he won’t be waiting long to join the Hoosiers.

The four-star Minnesota forward gave a verbal pledge to IU on Sunday evening with the intention of reclassifying from the 2018 class to the 2017 class. Thompson will accept Indiana’s last remaining scholarship for next season and, according to AAU coach Deon Richardson, arrive in Bloomington for the start of the fall semester next month.

Rather than play next season, however, Thompson will use a redshirt year to rest his body and train against the Hoosiers in practice.

“He would not play basketball next year,” Richardson said. “He’d basically go work out there and go through the process and learn how to be a college athlete. That’s one of the big things they wanted to take advantage of. They had an open scholarship and wanted to take full advantage of it.”

Thompson has been one of IU’s top recruiting targets since Miller took the job in late March. He was considered a top-100 prospect in the 2018 class, coming in at No. 86 overall in the 247 Sports Composite rankings.

Now, the 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward will spend the next year honing his game as a Hoosier.

“He’s a skilled forward,” Richardson said. “He’s a legit 6-8 forward who can handle the basketball like a guard. He’s not really a close-up, back-to-the-basket type of player. He’s more of an open floor type of kid. Normally, a Big Ten guy who’s 6-8, they want you to just bang the ball down low. He’s a different type of kid from that aspect of it.”

Thompson chose Indiana over Iowa State and in-state Minnesota, where his father, Darrell, starred as a running back for the Gophers in the late 1980s. Darrell Thompson was a first-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in 1990.

“It was a tough decision for him to leave his home state,” Richardson said. “His dad was a Gopher, so that was tough for him to do.”

A few things seemed to make that decision easier.

For one, Thompson was attracted to the allure of playing at a basketball school like IU. It also helped that Indiana associate head coach Tom Ostrom is a Minnesota native with deep ties to the state’s recruiting ranks.

Thompson played travel ball for Richardson on the same D1 Minnesota team as five-star forward Matthew Hurt, an IU recruiting target in the 2019 class.

“That helped a lot,” Richardson said of the Ostrom connection. “The No. 1 target right away when they got the Indiana job was Race Thompson out of Minnesota. They did a great job of recruiting him. I feel like they bonded and formed a great relationship. It happened so fast.”

Thompson took an official visit to IU’s campus last month.

“He fell in love with it,” Richardson said. “During the first live period (for recruiting in April), they watched him and offered him. Then he went to visit in June and he fell in love with it. … It’s a basketball state. It was always (a scholarship offer) that he was looking for. When the previous staff that was there, they had a little interest in him but they didn’t offer. Then Archie did.”

Now Thompson will take the Hoosiers’ 13th and final scholarship, which was previously used by reserve guard Grant Gelon. Gelon parted ways with IU’s program in May.

Thompson will be the fourth freshman on Indiana’s roster this season, joining center Clifton Moore, wing Justin Smith and guard Al Durham.

Video highlights from our friends at Inside The Hall:

4 comments

  1. “He fell in love with it,” Richardson said. “During the first live period (for recruiting in April), they watched him and offered him. Then he went to visit in June and he fell in love with it. … It’s a basketball state.

    Tend to hear that “basketball state” nonsense from some of these recruits…Strange how so many fans want to make it into equal opportunity sports state. Strange how so many want to railroad against what’s in our brand/DNA/lore.

    Welcome aboard, RT!

Leave a Reply