Hoosiers hopeful Thompson is nearing return

Indiana has had an extra body on the court for pregame warmups before each of the past six contests.

It’s Race Thompson, the redshirt freshman forward who’s missed 13 weeks since suffering a concussion in mid-November.

Thompson, who was cleared to practice in full-contact scenarios last month, is eager to return to the floor before the season is over. When might that return happen?

Archie Miller isn’t sure.

Indiana’s coach says the plan is to eventually work Thompson back into action in short bursts, likely early in the first half of one of IU’s upcoming games.

“I know he wants to help so much and we’re looking for that opportunity,” Miller said. “Without a doubt, we’re gonna have to end up playing Race at some point in time due to the fact that he really wants to contribute, and I think he can.”

Thompson suffered a severe concussion on Nov. 11 — two days after making his collegiate debut with a four-minute appearance off the bench against Montana State. Thompson also missed IU’s exhibition game and season opener with a groin injury.

In the days and weeks following his concussion diagnosis, Thompson couldn’t be inside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall for games due to the lights and noise. He also didn’t start traveling with the team until the Hoosiers went to Michigan for their Jan. 6 game in Ann Arbor.

But Thompson has been dressing and warming up with the team across the past three weeks, returning to IU’s pregame routine on Jan. 22 at Northwestern.

“Race is back,” Miller said. “Race is back in practice and we’re trying to gear him up in terms of trying to keep his spirits up right now. … He’s back to form in practice of looking like he’s a confident player.”

28 comments

  1. I agree BP! I mean, why not play him now? This season is a lost cause whether or not it turns out to be a losing season. Archie needs to start thinking strategically and about next year. If the doctors have cleared him, why not give the young man some game experience on which he can build in the future? Let him get a taste of Big Ten competition and contribute at least 10 minutes a game.

    The only reason I can think of for not playing Thompson through the rest of the season is if Archie has decided he wants him to transfer. And that does not seem likely.

    1. Since the Big Dance is looking less likely we should just give up on the season.

      I think that is a valuable lesson Archie can share with the team.

  2. This isn’t an 18 game BigTen season…It’s a 20 game season. We still have seven games left. It’s not plan and prepare for next season yet. Two more conference losses in the next three…means put it into coast mode for next year, but not yet.

    We can still put a three game winning streak together…Hopes and momentum could turn very quickly. Anything can happen. Limit this kids minutes. Let him build some confidence but certainly don’t rely on him in crunch moments of close games.

    We’re not quite in ‘pack-it-in’ mode….Couple buckets drop here and there and we win those tight games we’ve been dropping. Never give up.

      1. What just happened? It must be because it’s Valentine’s Day.

        Here’s wishing everyone gets to find their own very special one in a million……

  3. It would be nice to get him some playing time to give him a taste of Big Ten action, if for no other reason than preparation for next year.

  4. Need to play Race you can’t keep a scholarship open for six years, if you don’t play him and ask for a medical redshirt, he has only played 4 minutes this season and until he was injury problems, he was projected to play in AM rotation.

  5. Anything is possible from 11-9 to 4-16. Archie needs to use his entire roster to win every game. But certainly Race needs to play some minutes with the best players that we have! Go IU!

  6. I really enjoy this site because it’s sort of like a self-help group getting through the Winter.

    I’m getting excited about the Possibility of a couple of bounces going our way and this team coalescing for a stretch run into the NCAAs.

    Perhaps I’m alone on this, but I’m still a big Devonte Green fan and think he’s going to really impact the remaining games in a positive manner. And I’m still a huge Romeo Langford fan and look to him to put this team on his shoulders and carry us the rest of the season.

    I really want to see is this team coming together and playing together, as a Team…most importantly at home against Purdue, where I sincerely hope to see Archie earn at least one technical foul.

    I think we can beat Minnesota….it’s a nice arena but those fans are chilly and not exactly ‘basketball savvy’.

    1. Just so we’re all clear….

      I think we “can” beat (fill in the blank team)….is far different than I think we “will” beat (fill in the blank team).

      “Can” is a hope/possibility. “Will” is a prediction.

      During timeouts in late game situations, it’s my understanding that Coach K will tell his team “We will win this game.” He never says “We can win this game.” I wonder how infusing such definitive language into a huddle actually means to outcomes? “Can” and “will” often balance on such precarious subliminal and matter-of-fact confidence eager to tip the balances.

      We will win at Minnesota.

  7. Wow, I love you die hard fans. You are inspiring. But you’re also unrealistic. BeatPurdue’s idea is a good one and based on reality.

    Guys, this season is all but over. Technically, we still have a chance, but it’s slim and none, and slim was just seen heading south on the 37. Look at the remaining schedule. There is no way this team is going to run the table, and I don’t think we’re going to win the Big Ten Tournament, either. It’s more likely that we’ll end up with a losing season than making it to the NCAA Tourney. And if Thompson has the potential to be a significant contributor next season, he can contribute now and build for next season. Why would anyone not want to do that?

    1. There will be plenty of opportunity for Race.
      But there is also a very cluttered middle-of-the-pack conference ‘race’ still active and without certainty of final standings.
      There is a chance to race to the finish line and not get caught with the four or five bottom teams.

      If Archie has put Race above a race to the finish with his best options on the floor, then he’s not the coach I thought he could be. There will be plenty of opportunities for Mr. Thompson.

    2. …apparently even a soft breeze blows your hair back but for me I wouldn’t holler uncle if my back was broke…

  8. As much as the likelihood of you looking like a fat lady ready to sing, the BigTen has been given much praise this season for being its most deep and talented top to bottom in decades. The committee is eager to pick seven or eight teams.
    It’s far from decided at this point. We merely have to get near .500 in the conference record. A road win against MSU and non-conference wins against Louisville and Marquette will play heavily in our favor.

    Up year for the conference …and such details will be considered.

  9. I hope you’re right, Harv!

    First stop, the serene Williams Areeen. These guys are like a pro team…..once they get it together and decide that they want to be NCAA, they’ll play (accordingly).

  10. Illinois wins @ OSU. Now 6-8 in the conference. Four straight wins ….

    Harvard for Hillbillies says:
    December 6, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    Illinois is moving upward. Extremely fast team. They are going to improve immensely with Underwood.

  11. How many of you thought we’d be chasing Illinois in the conference standings a few weeks ago? How awful is their team again?

  12. Illinois just did many teams a huge favor by tightening up the middle of the pack. It’s gonna be a dog fight for the 7th and 8th position in the standings….Bubble …bubble….bubble.

  13. Since when does playing Thompson ten minutes a game equate to tanking the season? That’s ridiculous. The young man is 6’9″ and very athletic. As long as he knows his role and can play hard while he’s in the game, how could that be a detriment to IU’s chances of winning? Our star senior is prone to getting into could trouble in the first half, and our Big is still not back to full conditioning. I suggest that having a healthy and fresh Thompson could improve some rebounding and improve defense in the paint. And if you don’t like that idea, will you concede that if IU is either way up (unlikely) or way behind in the last few minutes of the game, it would be valuable for him and IU to have Thompson get those minutes.

    1. Since when does playing Thompson ten minutes a game equate to tanking the season? That’s ridiculous.

      Your post beginning this thread(below) was an argument to play Thompson predicated on the season being “over” and a need to be “thinking about next year.”
      You tanked this season with your own words. We’re not arguing for a complete benching of Thompson…We are arguing against playing him under a defeatist argument and infusing a mindset into Race and the team that this season is over.

      Use him judiciously based on evaluation and circumstance of game. Utilize the best of our roster to try and win games. For those not tanking the season, it’s not that difficult. It won’t be difficult for Archie because he does not share a defeatist argument.

      Podunker says:
      February 13, 2019 at 1:52 pm

      I agree BP! I mean, why not play him now? This season is a lost cause whether or not it turns out to be a losing season. Archie needs to start thinking strategically and about next year.

  14. Po, I think we’ll see whether Archie is reading this site by whether Race plays – in the cavernous silence of Williams Arena tomorrow!

  15. What games are you die-hards watching? Some folks let their hearts overrule their eyes and their brains. Based on today’s performance, it has never been more obvious that this season is a lost cause. That’s not defeatist, it’s just reality. Giving Thompson some playing time is not “tanking” the season, it’s trying something that might improve this team’s performance and prepare what could be a key player for next season. The group of players Archie is giving the playing time to are not playing well together, they continue to be feckless on offense and make the same mistakes over and over again. Today’s performance looks a lot like “tanking.” So, given the circumstances that have been obvious for quite some time, why would you not give one of your young Bigs, a position where this team is week at right now, some playing time? In fact, it is stupid not to give Thompson playing time in the remaining games this season.

    And for the record, BeatPurdue was first to advocate Thompson get some playing time (see the first comment on this string, genius). I just agreed with his opinion because it makes sense.

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