By all outward appearances, Trevor Thompson looks to be in the same position as he was one year ago. After playing his first full season for Ohio State as a redshirt sophomore, the Indianapolis native opted to explore his draft status at the conclusion of the season while retaining his college eligibility.

He’s doing the same this year, but the situation is different according to his father, Ryan Thompson.

“Even though his minutes weren’t that much different, his production was vastly different (this year),” he told The Dispatch in a phone interview from a gym in Indianapolis as his son worked out. “That right there, with the level of competition he played against, proved he can play at the next level, no question.”

After averaging 6.5 points and 5.1 rebounds in 17.9 minutes per game during the 2015-16 season, Thompson returned to the Buckeyes and was beaten out by freshman Micah Potter for the starting center job during fall camp. He eventually seized the position when Potter went down with an injury and Thompson was named honorable mention all-Big Ten after averaging 10.6 points and 9.2 rebounds in 23.0 minutes per game.

His fouls per game increased along with his playing time, from 2.8 per game to 3.5, but Thompson’s father said his chance to show NBA scouts his all-around game was again too much to pass up. The two didn’t discuss the possibility until the season was complete, he said, and Ryan Thompson said he hasn’t talked with the Ohio State coaches about the decision.

“It’s how hard (Trevor) wants it, how bad he wants it and what he’s willing to sacrifice to get it,” he said. “The talent is there. There’s no question. His game is so much broader than what the Ohio State fans have a chance to see. You get put into a box or a soup bowl of, ‘He can only do this or that.’ That wasn’t his role at Ohio State, and we understood that. He understood that, and he stayed a complete team player. You can’t ask much more than that.”

Underclassmen who do not hire an agent but go through the pre-draft process have until 10 days after the draft combine, which takes place May 9-14, to withdraw and return to school with their eligibility intact.

Thompson’s father said the plan is to either play in the NBA or return for a final season at Ohio State. The Buckeyes currently have only two big men on the roster: Potter, and incoming freshman Kaleb Wesson.

Thompson, who is one class and some community service from his degree, does not in appear mock drafts posted by or after the conclusion of the season.

“The objective for 2017-18 is to become a dominant player, not just a player that can be a second option,” Thompson’s father said. “If he’s in college basketball, he wants to be a first option. He’s got to be a flat-out dominant player across the board, no question. If he’s at the pro level, that’s a different story. He’ll have to accept his role.

“His focus was getting into the NCAA Tournament and that’s really bugged him quite a bit. He feels as though he didn’t do enough, and I respect that about my son. He feels like he didn’t do enough to help his team win.”