On June 26, when David Stern announced that the Sacramento Kings selected Jason Thompson with the 12th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, most NBA fans felt their jaws hit the floor.
Most people had never heard of Thompson, and many who did know of him didn't expect him to be such a high draft pick.
Coming from Rider University, Thompson did not get the national recognition that he deserved. His Broncs failed to make the NCAA Tournament in each of his four seasons with Rider.
The most recognition he got was when he outplayed Michael Beasley in a game against Kansas State.
The 6'11" Thompson scored 24 points, grabbed seven boards, and blocked four shots. Beasley only pulled down three more rebounds than JT, and didn't come close to Thompson in the other two categories.
Little known fact: Thompson was one of three players to average 20 points and 10 rebounds per game in 2006-07, and he did it again in 2007-08.
The question regarding Thompson was whether or not a big man from Rider would be able to compete on a nightly basis with superstar big men in the NBA.
It didn't take long to realize that the answer is yes.
In his NBA debut, Thompson came off the bench, and recorded a double-double with 18 points and 10 boards against Al Jefferson and Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Two nights later, Thompson got a rematch with Beasley. Beasley put up better stats because Thompson was in foul trouble two minutes after he entered the game. However, JT managed to score in double digits again. He finished with a respectable 10 points and 7 rebounds.
Thompson once again found himself in foul trouble the next night. This time it was against Dwight Howard's Orlando Magic. In 24 minutes of action, Thompson was able to gather 12 points and five rebounds against the NBA's best center.
Tonight, the former Bronc put up better numbers than Elton Brand and Samuel Dalembert; however, his Kings were 34-point losers to the 76er's.
Thompson has scored in double digits in his first four NBA games, while averaging 14.3 points, seven rebounds, and two assists per game. He is also shooting a whopping 62.5 percent from the field.
I have only seen a glimpse of Thompson on TV, so I am making my argument solely on statistics. I don't know how he has looked, and whether or not his stats demonstrate the way he has been playing.
What I do know is that Thompson is very talented. I am not surprised that he has been playing this well as a rookie.
If you want to read more about Jason Thompson, click on the links below.