Tristan Thompson from St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.), has been selected as the first ESPN RISE National Boys Basketball Player of the Week.
Thompson, a 6-foot-9 junior who actually is a Canadian citizen, pumped in 25 points and had seven rebounds with five blocks and five assists for St. Benedict's in a victory over Trinity (Camp Hill, Pa.), at a one-day festival in Harrisburg, Pa. The 25 points is a career high for Thompson, ranked as one of the top juniors in the nation by ESPNU.
Later in the week, Thompson matched that 25-point total as St. Benedict's rolled over Life Center (Burlington, N.J.), 84-43. The two wins kept Thompson and his team at No. 3 in this week's ESPN RISE FAB 50 national rankings.
Thompson has indicated he will sign a letter of intent with Texas and should be among the most watched players at this week's Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass.
Here are the rest of this week's ESPN RISE regional basketball players of the week:
East Region Region Boys' Basketball Player of the Week
Tristan Thompson (St. Benedict's, Newark, N.J.)
Also named as the ESPN RISE National Boys Basketball Player of the Week.
Southeast Region Boys' Basketball Player of the Week
Jay Rome (Valdosta, Ga.)
He's just a sophomore, but the 6-foot-6 Rome already is one of the top players in the Peach State. He had 29 points and 14 rebounds last week in a 86-67 win over Northside (Warner Robins, Ga.) and against Warner Robins High he had 24 points as the Wildcats won, 85-65. Rome is averaging 21.9 points with 8.1 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game. At Valdosta, you'd expect Rome would also play football and he does. Rome started at tight end last fall and at 6-foot-6, 215 pounds projects to be a standout for the next two years. Rome is the son of legendary Valdosta quarterback Stan Rome.
Midwest Region Boys' Basketball Player of the Week
Dominique Ferguson (Lawrence North, Indianapolis)
The 6-foot-9 University of Kentucky recruit scored 14 of his game-high 22 points after halftime and also led the Wildcats with 13 rebounds as North (10-1) defeated East Chicago Central, 76-63. The win avenged a 79-73 overtime loss last season to Central. "I thought Ferguson played really good defense and got some key rebounds," veteran coach Jack Keefer told the Indianapolis Star. "He adjusted an awful lot of shots." The Wildcats opened the Marion County Tournament on Tuesday against city rival Ben Davis.
Southwest Region Boys' Basketball Player of the Week
Jerome Jones (Miller Career Academy, St. Louis, Mo.)
Jones was the star last week in a high school game that went to five overtimes. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the 6-foot-4 senior guard poured in 65 points with the help of those overtimes and led Miller Career Academy to a wild 115-111 win over Gateway Tech. Jones' point total just missed the St. Louis Public High League record of 66, but does rank among the top 10 all-time in Missouri. Jones, who has signed with Missouri State, averaged 17.9 points and 5.3 rebounds as a junior.
West Region Boys' Basketball Player of the Week
Josh Smith (Kentwood, Covington, Wash.)
A massive 6-foot-10, 270-pound big man who some believe is the best junior prospect in the nation threw down a career-high 36 points as Kentwood beat arch-rival Kentlake in a game played last Friday. Earlier in the week, Smith drew constant double-teams but still scored 16 points and had 14 rebounds and four blocks while also freeing up teammates for open three-pointers in a 64-43 victory vs. Auburn. The Kentwood-Auburn game also was a matchup between two of the top 10 Class 4A ranked teams in the state.