For many top-rated prospects around the country, the late signing period this month will be a time to make their college decisions. For star 6-foot-3 senior combo-guard Sammy Barnes-Thompkins, the decision has already been made. Now he is thinking over his recent commitment and looking to decide whether or not to re-open his college recruitment, or stick with his recent pledge to a Big East program.
Not too long ago, Thompkins gave a huge commitment to St. John's University and then head coach Steve Lavin and his basketball staff. But just weeks later, Lavin and his staff were fired by the school. Since then, St. John's has hired former NBA legend and St. John's hall of famer Chris Mullin to take over the basketball program. Mullin is still trying to get his arms around the current team for the Redmen, while also trying to get a handle on the current recruits for the program. As a result, Thompkins is thinking over his plans to attend St. Johns or to re-open his college recruitment this spring.
With the NCAA spring evaluation period beginning this weekend and college coaches across the country looking to finalize their rosters for next season, college coaches will be scouring the country for top-rated unsigned basketball talent. If Thompkins decides to re-open his college recruitment, then he would become the hottest unsigned prospect in the West this spring - especially after a previous commitment to an historic Big East program.
Thompkins and his family are still looking to hear from Mullin and his new staff, and are hopeful that the school will remain a good fit for him. If not, things could move very quickly for the talented guard prospect. Thompkins is currently considering playing this weekend with his club program, the Arizona Magic, in Pangos event in Las Vegas, in an attempt to attract more college attention, but he has not decided yet if he will. Thompkins only plans to participate if he decides to de-commit from St. Johns.
Thompkins had began his career in New Mexico, then played at Marana Mountain View HS in Tucson, before his mother took a job in Phoenix. Thompkins would star at Sunnyslope HS as a junior and for part of his senior season. Thompkins was released from the Vikings' team during his senior season, and then he picked up his high school career at Plant Athlete Academy in Phoenix, where he now competes. Thompkins will still graduate from Sunnyslope this spring.
Thompkins chose St. Johns over serious interest from Utah, Washington State, USC, Cal, Colorado, Purdue, Oregon State, Gonzaga, Iowa State, Nebraska, Tulsa, Nevada, Grand Canyon, Saint Mary’s, Cal-State Northridge, Mississippi State, Pepperdine, Weber State and Northern Arizona. He also held scholarship offers from Rice, San Jose State, Sam Houston, Cal Poly and UC-Davis.
Thompkins is a full NCAA academic qualifier.
Arizona Preps will continue to follow the college recruitment of Thompkins closely, and bring you any recruiting updates as they continue to develop.