STILLWATER — Bryce Thompson refuses to contact final time a bad knowledge.
He experienced two injuries. He dropped self-confidence in his shot. He struggled to uncover his position in Kansas mentor Bill Self’s procedure.
That’s more than enough to make any player depressing.
“I just feel a ton of points did not go my way,” Thompson instructed The Oklahoman. “It was just kinda up and down.”
But it unquestionably was a finding out experience.
A lot more than a yr immediately after spurning Oklahoma State for the Jayhawks, Thompson is now a member of the Cowboys’ basketball crew, the result of a rough time and the capability to remedy that by means of the transfer portal.
He’s a various player and particular person, potentially far more humble.
But soon after one particular week of exercises on campus, Thompson feels at peace. He understands he has a chance for a do-above.
“No tale is likely to be ideal,” Thompson claimed. “It’s heading to make the tale a great deal improved staying equipped to occur again home and with any luck , do properly and set on for (the state of) Oklahoma.”
Thompson, a 6-foot-5, 195-pound guard, certainly has the skill to make last year a footnote in his vocation.
At Tulsa Booker T. Washington Large School, he was a 5-star recruit, McDonald’s All-American and The Oklahoman‘s Tremendous 5 Participant of the 12 months. He was the state’s Gatorade Participant of the Calendar year 2 times. He gained a state championship and wowed fans with his outstanding athleticism.
Deciding on Kansas in excess of OSU, OU and other individuals was no surprise. Thompson’s father, Rod, was Self’s initially place guard at Tulsa. Bryce’s grandfather Marshall Rogers performed at Kansas in 1973.
The match felt suitable until eventually it did not.
Bryce scored a career-best 12 points in the time opener in opposition to Gonzaga. He started the next activity of the time towards Saint Joseph’s, scored 7 factors and grabbed four rebounds.
But he still never felt solely snug in the procedure.
Then coming off the holiday getaway split, he cracked a vertebrae in his reduced again. He returned on Jan. 12 at OSU, but broke his proper index finger. He missed 10 full video games.
Even starting off in 3 of the closing 4 video games wasn’t plenty of to settle Thompson.
“I never assume it was the suitable in good shape that assisted me and my abilities,” Thompson reported. “I’m not expressing it’s not a suit for any one else. I just believe for me individually it was not the best spot for me.
“There had been periods all through the year exactly where I was not capturing as fantastic and I was not equipped to get into a rhythm and things. It just was not excellent for me.”
Bryce shot just 35.3% over-all and averaged 4.6 factors.
Late in the period, Rod started to sense a transform was desired. Bryce just had to come to that summary himself.
“I performed for Mentor Self and regard him and regard that application,” Rod said. “Sometimes you just have to make hard decisions. It surely was a difficult 1. We’re just psyched about the new prospect that Bryce is afforded to get.”
In April, Bryce entered the transfer portal. Nearly 20 courses achieved out, with OSU, OU and Tulsa turning into the frontrunners.
In the end, it was OSU mentor Mike Boynton’s romantic relationship with Bryce and Rod that gained out.
Bryce and Boynton bonded throughout the original recruitment. That carried above this time and Bryce felt like he was obtaining far more than a coach with Boynton.
“Just realizing him, being aware of what he stood for and the conversations we experienced,” Bryce said. “The conversations absent from basketball, I imagine these ended up the explanations I arrived below.
“I was getting a mentor and any individual I can generally chat to if I want something.”
Bryce also saw a releasing type of perform under Boynton.
Bryce feels he can make a blunder and not truly feel like he’d quickly get pulled from the sport. He watched how Boynton coached Cade Cunningham when also protecting a near-knit method.
Now, Bryce believes he can be the upcoming major riser. He’s expected to help fill some of the void still left by Cunningham.
A person week in, Bryce’s confidence is back.
“A trillion times,” Bryce reported.
And he has a prospect to increase rather a chapter to his tale.
“I’m loving it,” Bryce reported. “I come to feel absolutely embraced, I sense like this is the correct location for me.”
Jacob Unruh handles higher education sporting activities for The Oklahoman. You can send out your tale concepts to him at [email protected] or on Twitter at @jacobunruh. Aid his do the job and that of other Oklahoman journalists by purchasing a digital membership today.