Five recruiting Thornton, Jr. hardest
One of the top few point guards nationally in 2016 is 6-foot-1, 170-pound Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep's Derryck Thornton, Jr. A kid with the ball skills and vision to create for the others but an improving jumper, floater and ability to finish with both hands, Thornton has most of the qualities you're looking for at the position. This spring, Thornton has suited up for Simply Fundamental and his father, Derryck Thornton, Sr., is pleased with the way he's performed. "I feel like he's had a great spring," Thornton, Sr. said. "He took his team to the tournament championship at Pangos (Spring Spectacular) and they won that. I think he averaged about 18 points and 9 assists, so he played really well. "He played in the Pump event last weekend and in one game he had 15 assists in the first half and finished with 18 (assists) and 17 points, even though he barely played in the second half." Thornton, Sr. has seen his son continue to progress as a player over the last couple years and this spring has been no different. "He's continuing to figure out how to play, and I love that," he said. "He's showing a lot more patience with the ball now. He's learning when to stop his dribble and how to not penetrate too deep. "He's getting into a cushion and living at about 10-feet with his jump shot and when the defense steps up, he's making the right pass. He's also getting the ball out of his hands; it doesn't take 10 dribbles before he sees somebody; he's getting the ball out of his hands pretty quickly." It's a long offer list for Thornton, Jr. but his father feels that Kentucky, Michigan, California, UNLV, UConn, New Mexico, Memphis, Arizona and USC are the schools that really want him. Out of that group, there are five schools recruiting him the hardest. "The schools coming the hardest right now are Kentucky, Michigan, California, USC and UConn," said Thornton, Sr. "Those are the ones coming the hardest." Derryck Thornton, Sr. broke down what his son likes about the five aforementioned programs. Kentucky: "Just the tradition. They've always had great a program, even before (John) Calipari got there. They understand what it takes to make a pro as far as the pressure you're under every night." Michigan: "Their offense is so spread out. They're about development but the offense is really spread out, the bigs are mobile and there's a lot of pick and roll stuff. They key on development and I love that." UConn: "Kevin Ollie was an NBA point guard and he won a championship. It's a guard dominated offense and he also puts you in a lot of space so I love that." California: "Yanni Hufnagel is there and Cuonzo Martin seems to be one of the most genuine coaches in college basketball from the times I've talked to him. We're building a really good relationship and he seems like a great person. I'm learning more about his coaching style and I'm looking forward to watching him more over the next few years." USC: "Andy (Enfield) is great. I love their offense. He told me, ‘Hey, if you come here, it's going to be first to 200.' They speed it up, it's fast and they want to get a ton of possessions. They run, run, run, run and pressure, pressure, pressure, pressure. It just seems like a very fun way to play and I know that my son wants to get up and down, play in space and pressure the ball on defense." There will be a few important factors for Thornton, Jr. when he's looking at making a decision. "Most of the schools are good academically and that will be important, coaching staff and what can you do besides basketball on campus – I want him to have a fun college life, those are years you never get back," said Thornton, Sr. The timetable for Thornton, Jr.'s decision is completely up in the air as of now. "I don't know," Thornton, Sr. said. "We'll start taking visits to different places this summer and if we go somewhere and he falls in love with it, I don't know if I want him to make a decision right this second, but it may not be all that long either. He'll wait as long as he needs to wait."
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