"I'm coming back another year," Thompson said repeatedly in the Texas locker room at the BOK Center, where the team was going to practice in preparation for its Sunday round of 32 game against Arizona. "I've already signed up for summer classes."
Second-team all-american Jordan Hamilton has been singing the same tune. While at least part of Thompson's motivation is the opportunity to play with high school teammate Myck Kobango, who is ranked as one of the top ten players in the country by some services, Hamilton made a promise to his mother.
Hamilton said he had promised his mom, Karen, that he would get his degree at Texas. And he's intrigued by the possibilities of contending for a national championship next season if everybody returns to the Longhorns.
The looming specter of a lockout in the NBA also could impact their decisions. Both players are considered first round talents and are ranked in the lottery range in various rankings. ESPN's Chad Ford ranks Thompson 11th and Hamilton 17th in his current rankings.
Many players - including several longhorns lottery picks, Kevin Durant included - have made similar declarations and changed their minds. Along with Kobango and freshman guard Cory Joseph, the duo would give the Longhorns one of the most talented foursomes in the country if they do stay in school for the 2011-12 season.