Another Bulldog junior, guard Travis Leslie, also is putting his name in the draft, but could return after 'testing the waters.'
Coach Mark Fox said this afternoon that he wished Thompkins well "and appreciate all that he has done in my two years here. I think he's improved every year, matured every year and I think he's excited about his future."
Leslie does not plan to sign with an agent, leaving the door open to return.
"Travis is doing just what I think that he should do, find out what the NBA thinks about him and then he will make the decision with the right facts," Fox said. "He's just gathering information right now."
Underclassmen have an April 24 deadline to submit their names for the June 23 NBA draft, but can withdraw by May 8th and retain college eligibility if they have not signed with an agent.
"I have spoken with my family and coaches about my situation, and I feel that it's best for me to forgo my senior season and enter the NBA draft," Thompkins said in a statement. "I would just like to thank everyone who has supported me in this decision."
Both Thompkins and Leslie weighed a jump to the NBA after last season, but both returned.
Their decisions this time around went as many expected.
"I think they're in the mix for the first round, but I think there are a lot of other players that are in the mix for the first round," said Jonathan Givony, director of scouting for DraftExpress.com, who consults for NBA and international teams. "Where exactly they're going to go, there's a long process that still needs to play out."
Reach Marc Weiszer at firstname.lastname@example.org.