Thompson returning to Laramie for ‘one more year’
LARAMIE -- Hunter Thompson is returning for a fifth year.
The senior forward from Pine Bluffs announced via Twitter Wednesday morning that he will be back in Laramie for a third season under Jeff Linder.
His social media graphic simply states: "One more year."
Thompson averaged just 2.7 points per game last season while helping lead the Cowboys to a 25-9 record and an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, the program's first appearance since 2015 and 16th in history. While averaging better than 11 minutes per night, Thompson shot 37.3% from beyond the arc, sinking 25-of-67 from deep.
His best outing came during a 15-point outing against Hastings College (Neb.) where Thompson drilled 5-of-7 from deep.
During his career, Thompson has netted 6.4 points per night on 41.3% shooting from the field. The former Creighton commit was in the starting lineup for the Cowboys First Four game against Indiana in Dayton, Ohio. He went 2-of-2 from deep and pulled down three rebounds in the 66-58 loss to the Hoosiers.
Thompson, known for his outside shooting, has taken on a reserve role since Graham Ike entered the lineup late in the 2021 campaign. Before the 6-foot-9 big man arrived on the scene, Thompson was averaging 23.4 minutes per night. Since, just 11-plus.
That's the word Linder often uses when describing Thompson. Never was that more apparent than in Wyoming's regular-season finale, when he went toe-to-toe with Fresno State's Orlando Robinson during the entire five-minute overtime period with Ike fouled out on the bench.
Robinson netted just five of his game-high 34 points during that extra frame and Thompson drew a critical charge in the paint to help the Cowboys hold on for the 68-64 win.
That effort earned Thompson the postgame "hard hat," an honor that goes to the hardest-working player on the court that night.
"He's a million, infinity type percent in. That's how you have a good team," Linder said, referring to Thompson's sacrifices and dedication to his teammates. "For him to be able to impact winning, you know, when he gets the brunt of a lot of crap, especially being from Wyoming (is special). You know, everyone expects him to be something that he hasn't been or wasn't.
"For him to have that moment and for me to be able to see his face afterwards, knowing that he helped us win that game, I mean, I'll take that image with me for the rest of my life."
Thompson is the first senior to fully commit to returning to the program for the 2022-23 season. Drake Jeffries declared for the NBA Draft and Hunter Maldonado is "testing" the NBA waters before deciding whether he will return to Laramie for a sixth year.
John Grigsby, Eoin Nelson, Deng Dut and Ben Bowen have all entered the NCAA Transfer Portal since the season ended on March 15.
10 Reasons Why You're Lucky to Be Living in Wyoming
- 10 Reasons Why You're Lucky to Be Living in Wyoming,