Thursday, March 26, 2020

Future Jayhawk Bryce Thompson named Oklahoma’s Gatorade Player of the Year

Booker T. Washington basketball player Bryce Thompson, right, celebrates with former coach Joe Redmond after announcing his signing with the University of Kansas in Tulsa, Okla., on Tuesday, November 12, 2019.

Booker T. Washington basketball player Bryce Thompson, right, celebrates with former coach Joe Redmond after announcing his signing with the University of Kansas in Tulsa, Okla., on Tuesday, November 12, 2019.


The national Gatorade Player of the Year awards were released Thursday and a future Jayhawk was included among them.

Bryce Thompson, a combo guard out of Booker T. Washington High in Tulsa, Okla., was named the 2019-20 Gatorade Oklahoma Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

The 5-star guard who signed with Kansas last November also won the honor as a junior last year, but he turned in an even stronger senior season to win it again.

Thompson led the Hornets to a 20-5 record and a berth in the Class 6A state semifinals before the season was cut short because of coronavirus concerns.

The 6-foot-5, 185-pound do-everything guard averaged 24.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists.

Those numbers also earned him a spot on the 2020 McDonald’s All-American roster.

“Bryce Thompson, in my opinion, is hands down the Oklahoma Gatorade Player of the Year,” said Rickey Bruner, head coach at Sapulpa High in a news release announcing the award. “He embodies what coaches want in a kid, on and off the court. On the court, he is dynamic in every way, and the most special thing about him is every time we have played them, he has gotten better and added something to his game. He is unstoppable. He is a competitor. He is a leader. And he is respectful and humble. He makes everyone around him better.”

The award, which recognizes athletic excellence, academic achievement and all-around character, was established in 1985.

Several former Jayhawks have earned the honor in their home states in the past, and Thompson is now eligible to win the National Boys Basketball Player of the Year award, which will be voted on later this year.

Thompson, who led Booker T. Washington to a state title as a junior, was ranked as the No. 19 player in the 2020 recruiting class by He owns a 3.28 GPA and also recently took part in the 2019 Team USA Junior National Team minicamp.

He also possesses musical talents and has served as a volunteer at a food bank and various youth basketball programs.

Future series?

CBS Sports college insider Jon Rothstein on Thursday reported that Kansas and USC have agreed to a home-and-home basketball series during the upcoming seasons.

According to Rothstein’s sources, KU will host USC on Dec. 19 of the 2020-21 season and then will travel to Southern California for the return game during the 2021-22 season at USC’s Galen Center.

The Jayhawks have won seven in a row in the series and own an 11-5 all-time edge over the Trojans. The two programs have not faced each other since 2011.

Big 12 comings and goings

Multiple reports out of West Virginia have both Oscar Tshiebwe and Derek Culver returning to Morgantown for the 2020-21 college basketball season.

The two forwards teamed together to make the Mountaineers one of the best rebounding teams in the country this season. Tshiebwe, a freshman, ranked second in the Big 12 at 9.3 rebounds per game, and Culver, a sophomore, ranked fifth at 8.6 per game.

In other Big 12 news Tuesday,’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Iowa State standout Tyrese Haliburton planned to enter the 2020 NBA Draft.

The 6-foot-5, 175-pound point guard from Oshkosh, Wis., is currently the No. 7 prospect in ESPN’s Top 100.

Devon Dotson (31st) and Udoka Azubuike (32nd) also appear in the Top 100, with fellow Jayhawks Marcus Garrett (68th) and Ochai Agbaji (82nd) appearing a little farther down the list.


Mallory Briggans 2 years, 8 months ago

start the countdown clock for 2020-2021 season .........

Stephen Johnson 2 years, 8 months ago

Sounds like a fantastic young man. He will be a great addition. Congrats to Coach Self and staff on being able to get a commit from this young man. We should be really good next year as well. Wish I could have seen how far we could have went this year.

Scott MacWilliams 2 years, 8 months ago

A star in the making with a killer smile from Tulsa?? Reminds me of a young Wayman Tisdale, who I saw when I lived in Oklahoma. I saw Wayman play at quite a few games at Lloyd Noble, and that dude had the biggest grin I have EVER seen. He lit up the whole arena, nonstop the whole time he was playing. So much joy, gone way too early.

Bryce T., Welcome to Jayhawk Nation!! We can hardly wait to see you in Jayhawk colors!!

Dirk Medema 2 years, 8 months ago

The amazing thing that isn’t mentioned is that OK is also where the top ranked recruit plays HS BB. Cade Cunningham.

Bryce will nicely fill that outside shooter role, though hopefully Ochai and others can continue to grow in that regard. Lots of potential and opportunities next year.

Dirk Medema 2 years, 8 months ago

Matt - Is it too early to start thinking about 2020-21?


0 Marcus Garrett

2019 Dajuan Harris (P)

2020 Latrell Jossell (P)

This is clearly Marcus' team, as well as his year to groom the next PG. Aren't Harris and Jossell both in the classic lightning Self PG mold, which is a total departure from Marcus, but no one not in a suit knows the game better than him. Both also seem like they fit into more of the project (P) mold than ready made starter mold. Will be interesting to see how developed Harris is after a redshirt year in the program.


2 Christian Braun

30 Ochai Agbaji

2020 Bryce Thompson

2020 Tyon Grant-Foster

10 Jalen Wilson

13 Tristan Enaruna (S4)

I listed Braun ahead of Ochai because he was the third PG. From one recruiting article, it sounds like Grant-Foster might have a bit of that as well, though it remains to be seen how any of his game translates to elite D1, and learning from Coach in particular.

Bryce is listed as the best shooter in this class - nationally not just KU's, so it's hard to see him not making the line-up, though the same thing is true for him as it is for TGF. It remains to be seen how his game translates to elite D1, and learning from Coach (D) in particular. It also helps that Coach sees him, like TGF, as a combo guard.

It will be an interesting off-season for Wilson and Enaruna. Both have good length, but will need to show they have a consistent outside shot, as well as the ability to defend, to have much of a shot at PT. Are they competing more with Prison Mitch for stretch 4 minutes? So much competition in the wings (SG/SF) of the roster, and playing time likely comes down to all the little things that Coach sees, though we're oblivious to them.


33 David McCormack

44 Mitch Lightfoot (S4)

22 Silvio De Sousa

2020 Gethro Muscadin (P)

The Post probably has even more question marks than the point. David probably has the start, and Mitch seems to be more of a stretch 4. Has he developed a reliable 3 to be an O threat from outside? Can he defend the perimeter? In today's college game, defending the 3 from all 5 positions is more crucial than anything else, and really was the difference in Dok's development and the projection of the 2019-20 team. Silvio remains a bit of an enigma, and Muscadin sounds like more of a project on this team, though nice to have a 5 that can shoot with range, run, jump, and be a shot blocker.

So much to be excited about!

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