Bryce Thompson walked courtside to his seat right next to the Oklahoma State student section in Gallagher Iba Arena.
Thompson, a senior in high school at the time, was on his official visit to OSU. OSU fans went all out knowing the Tulsa native would be at the game with signs and fatheads of Thompson, something new to Thompson on his visits.
However, eventually Thompson had to make a decision, and he chose Kansas over OSU. Thompson said he was close to choosing OSU in his original decision.
“It was very close (to being OSU). It was a really, really tough decision,” Thompson said. “I was really close.”
After an injury-riddled freshman season at Kansas, breaking his finger in a game in Stillwater against the Cowboys that left him with a gnarly scar, Thompson entered the transfer portal on April 23.
That same day coach Mike Boynton talked to him. But it was tough for Boynton to recruit Thompson the second time because of how familiar Thompson already was with OSU.
“We could do a virtual visit, like what are we doing here?” Boynton said. “‘Bryce, where do you want me to start? You tell me where to go. Left?’ I mean, he knows the place, he’s been around our guys and I think he felt comfortable enough.
"Our roster from a talent standpoint, and I told him this, is probably in better shape now than it was when we were recruiting him the first time.”
That previous relationship turned out to be enough to pull in Thompson who transferred, and is now on campus for summer workouts. Thompson’s decision came down to three in-state schools, OSU, Oklahoma and Tulsa, but through the help of a pros and cons list Thompson found a new home with Boynton and the Cowboys.
“It is everything I’ve asked for, everything I wanted when I chose here,” Thompson said. “Everything, on the court, off the court, just chilling with the team, it has been great.”
Thompson has only been with the team for a short time, but his work ethic and skillset is already noticed by his teammates, even though they haven’t had chances to guard him in practice, yet.
“I can see that in him now — dedication. He gets up early in the morning, goes to the gym, puts some shots up like me. People were also saying, ‘Is he a good defender?’ I say he’s a good defender. I can see that in practice. He moves laterally very well,” Avery Anderson said. “I can’t wait to get started.”