Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph are, two Canadians from Findlay Prep (Las Vegas, Nevada). These former high school teammates decided to attend Texas, where they both start, and could be the future of the program. But schools like Texas, Kentucky, and Memphis usually have a lot of one-and-done players. I hope that Joseph and Thompson are not one-and-done because I think they could win a few national championships if they stayed around.
That is why they are the future of Texas Basketball. IF, (emphasis on the IF), they stay around for more than a year.
So far Joseph has averaged 6.3, 3 assists, four rebounds, and 1.8 steals. Not anywhere near the 19 points, five assists, six rebounds, and two steals he averaged his senior year at Findlay Prep. But Cory is still learning the offense and adjusting to his new teammates. Another thing to think about is that Cory filled a big spot after losing Avery Bradley, who was drafted by the Celtics.
Thompson has been having a good season so far averaging, 15 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.8 blocks, and 1.8 steals. Tristan has had 20 points, seven rebound, five block game against Illinois, which really impressed a lot of people.
Right now, it looks like Thompson would be the one and done guy. Let’s hope he’s not. Tristan will be a great NBA player. But I think it would do him good to play at least two years of college basketball before the NBA.
An example from last season would be Derrick Favors. He is having a pretty good rookie season, 7.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. But staying one more year at Georgia Tech would have helped him develop into a better player.
Texas is ranked No. 22 right now but will keep rising as they win games and could have a shot at the Elite Eight and Final Four and who knows? Maybe even win a national championship.
What else do Joseph and Thompson tell us?
Canadian basketball is on the rise. Hockey is still and probably will always be the number 1 sport in Canada. But Canadians are starting to get better and better at basketball and we are seeing it.
I watched Findlay Prep in a tournament on ESPN2 and noticed these two guys right away and was excited that Canada was picking up on basketball. There have been some NBA players from Canada, Steve Nash being one. But it seems like it will be becoming more common in the years ahead. I am not saying that Canada will be better than USA at basketball because I don’t think that will ever happen.