Thompson helps Purdue reach for first Big Ten title since 2010

Purdue guard P.J. Thompson (11) pursue the ball in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A 5’10” guard out of Brebeuf, you may not hear PJ Thompson’s name mentioned as often as his teammates, but you can’t overlook the impact number 11 has had on the gold and black this season.

“I really like where we are as a team right now. We’re confident, we’re rolling right now,” said P.J. Thompson.

Rolling at the top of the Big Ten.

The Boilers lead the league in scoring offense, scoring margin, field goal percentage — you get the picture. And much of that thanks to Thompson, who ranks third in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio. An impressive accomplishment for a player who didn’t receive a ton of attention out of high school.

“Last year he was really good with turnovers and things like that and just taking care of the ball. But this year his role has just been bigger and he’s handled it well,” said Caleb Swanigan.

One relationship key to the success of the Boilers – PJ and Caleb Swanigan. Biggie averages a double-double and will more than likely pick up Big Ten player of the year honors. And Swanigan attributes a lot of his success to his point guard.

“He’s always been steady. But what he’s been doing more this year is being more aggressive, going to the basket, shooting shots when he has opportunities, and that’s important,” said Swanigan.

“The attention that he draws on a nightly basis, he’s getting me open shots night in and night out,” said Thompson.

By knocking down open shots and feeding the post, Thompson has become a player that has coaches circling his name on the scouting report.

“A lot of people don’t know, my real name is LaSalle. You know, I’m LaSalle Thompson IV. My dad is obviously LaSalle. My dad was younger, they nicknamed him ‘pee wee.’ So that’s how you get ‘P.J’ from ‘pee wee junior.’ He’s like 5’10”, small guy. So they nicknamed him ‘pee wee,’ that’s how you get ‘P.J.'”

“P.J.,” “pee wee,” “LaSalle,” whatever you want to call him, Thompson has definitely made a name for himself inside of this arena. And the junior would love nothing more than to get another trophy inside of this case.

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