To say that Trey Thompkins has made an impact with the Georgia basketball program would be a major understatement.
When Thompkins signed with Georgia in 2008 he was the highest-ranked player to sign with the program since the 2005 blockbuster class, one that included Louis Williams and former Bulldog Mike Mercer. Williams never made it to Athens, deciding instead to enter the NBA draft, while Mercer enjoyed a couple of solid year in Athens before some off-the-court issues led to his removal from the team.
But that was then.
Last summer, Thompkins became the first Bulldog to compete with USA Basketball in over 10 years and last year earned All-SEC honors before deciding to remain with Georgia instead of entering the upcoming NBA Draft.
UGAsports.com caught up with Tomphkins recently to talk about his decision to return to the basketball team, and what his plans are for the upcoming season.
He likes what he sees.
"I feel like our team is going to be great next year," Tomphkins said "We have a chance to do some things that Georgia basketball has not done in a long time. Also, my teammates and my coaching staff played a huge role in my decision."
Thompkins said that he had received word from the NBA about what round and what pick he would have been.
"Not going into specifics, but yes, the NBA Players Association relayed that message to me clearly." Thompkins said.
Thompkins also recognized that there are aspects of his game that translate well to the NBA, and he also understands that he needs to improve these skills before he decides to enter the 2011 draft.
"I have an inside, outside type game," Thompkins said "I enjoy playing both roles, and hopefully I can translate my game into the NBA and be successful. But I know that I have a lot of work to do."
With his big decision out of the way Thompkins is focusing on inproving his game for the upcoming season.
He's not worried about individual fame.
"This season I will mainly be worried about my team," Thompkins said "I have done a lot of things for myself but I enjoy making my teammates better, and when my team is better and winning, I am better and we're winning."
Last season there was a change of coaching staffs, and most teams would take time to develop. Thompkins said he learned a great deal from first-year head coach Mark Fox.
"Coach Fox forced me to work on the things that I was not very good at," said Thompkins "He forced me to become a leader for our team and I responded when he asked me to."
Thompkins said he's never forgotten why he chose to make Georgia his collegiate home.
"I came to Georgia because it is close to home," he said. "I came because I saw a program that could do big things and just needed some more players."
No doubt Bulldog fans are glad that he did.
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