Last summer it was Trevor Rees who forced a major shuffle
among the Football's front 5, but this time its another center, Basketball's Mike Thompson, and this time it results in an even more difficult situation.
Thompson was the first big name player to play for the Wildcats in a long time.
He was a star in high school, a McDonald's All American, earning a
scholarship to Duke where he was expected to be another of Coach K's big time centers.
Whatever the reason he left Duke after a year and transferred to NU, where his inside presence was expected to bring back the days of Evan Eschmeyer.
The Cats were counting on Thompson for rebounds and inside shots, there are player quotes that he was expected to give NU 8-10 rebounds and
double figures inside this year.
Insiders were also talking about how he had picked up NU's complex offense, adding another dimension to his play, and to the Wildcat offense. Last year I was told that Thompson gave NU a totally different look and changed opponent's defenses when he was in.
But after a decent start at the BCA Invitational, he struggled with his free throw shooting against UNCW, left the game, and didn't play for the Wildcats again.
Bill Carmody dismissed his lack of play to a case of the flu, but, then Wednesday announced that Thompson was no longer on the team, declining to discuss the issue, citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). News reports from Evanston indicate that Thompson had suffered an arrhythmia, a heart problem that can cause dizziness, or worse.
On December 7th, 1941, [President Franklin Roosevelt called it a "day of infamy"] the United States Navy lost most of its big guns at Pearl Harbor.
December 7, 2005 will have to go down in NU history as a day when the Wildcats suffered a similar fate.
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