In his second year as head coach, Ron Verlin will have quite the rebuilding process to deal with. After an underwhelming season in Pacific’s first year as a member of the WCC, the Tigers lose seven seniors to graduation and another to transfer.
This relatively young Pacific team will need to rely on its junior college transfers to provide depth and experience to the roster. One of such players will be Eric Thompson, a forward from Saddleback Community College.
Thompson, who is a high-energy player that gets after it on the glass, will have two seasons of eligibility remaining for Pacific.
At Lake Michigan Junior College
Thompson started his career at Lake Michigan Junior College, where Thompson was very close to averaging a double-double. Not that his 9.7 points and 9.6 rebounds were impressive enough, Thompson also averaged 1.9 blocks and 1.2 steals.
After the 2011-2012 season, Thompson decided to pack his bags and take his talents out west and transfer to Saddleback College, leaving his home state of Michigan – Thompson was raised in Pontiac, Mich.
At Saddleback Community College
Upon taking a redshirt year in 2012-2013, Thompson played his sophomore season for Saddleback College. His scoring numbers improved from 9.7 to 12.7 per game, while his rebounding dipped from 9.6 to 8.6 his sophomore season. He shot an impressive 66.3 percent from the field his sophomore season, which was unusualy higher than his free throw percentage of 64.9 percent.
His time on the West Coast allowed Thompson to gain interest from some schools near the Pacific Ocean, and he ended up pledging to the Tigers in October during the early signing period.
Impact at Pacific
Pacific could have landed an absolute gem with Thompson, based on his ability to control the glass. The Tigers are losing Tony Gill, Ross Rivera and Khalil Kelley to graduation, leaving their frontcourt very empty; only Gabriel Aguirre remains.
The Tigers need players to step in an play immediately. Based on Thompson’s experience and pedigree at the Junior College level, Thompson could very well be the player the Tigers need for the 2014-2015 season and beyond.