Arguably the nation's top point guard regardless of class, Derryck Thornton, Jr. is seriously considering reclassifying from 2016 to 2015. If he does, the decision will likely be between two schools.
If you asked Derryck Thornton
, Jr. if he would be reclassifying from 2016 to 2015 a few months ago, the answer would have been that it was very unlikely.
Things have changed for the 6-foot-2, 170-pound point guard from Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep.
Scout's 5th ranked 2016 prospect is now seriously considering reclassifying to 2015 and should he make the move, there are two schools in real contention: Louisville
On Thursday, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino made the trip to Nevada and met with Derryck Thornton, Jr. and Sr.
"Everything went great," Thornton, Sr. said. "We went over how he would use Derryck, what the plan of action would be for him coming in next year and what he could do with him as a player in the future.
"He pays so much attention to detail and spends so much time with the kids personally and I know how much that would benefit Derryck. Rick Pitino is an amazing coach. They play very hard, his guys have a lot of longevity in the NBA and the history and heritage of Louisville basketball is second to none."
On April 19, the Thorntons will unofficially visit Louisville to get a better feel for the Cardinals' program. They've already unofficially visited Duke.
The five-star prospect will meet with Coach K next week to hear Duke's pitch - for both 2015 and 2016 - but the Thorntons already know plenty about the Blue Devils' program.
"It's Duke," Thornton, Sr. said. "It's one of the best coaches ever, the education is off the off the charts, it's just the heritage at Duke. The national championships, how awesome he does with his point guards, from Jay Williams to Kyrie Irving to Tyus Jones
, the list goes on and on."
Thornton, Sr. said it's "50-50" on whether or not his son will reclassify but should he go in that direction, there's plenty to balance between both Louisville and Duke.
"Both situations are great," Thornton, Sr. said. "Depending on what Tyus (Jones) does at Duke he may have the opportunity to start right which means it would be "go, go, go" from day one. At Louisville they're bringing in a fifth year senior so they wouldn't need him to come in and command the lion's share of minutes right away.
"Rick Pitino has experience with the Knicks and Celtics and won national championships at Kentucky
and Louisville. His pool of knowledge is so deep and that goes for Coach K as well. From winning 1,000 games to USA Basketball to all the national championships, he's just so bright. The opportunity to learn from those guys a year early is a big plus."
If Thornton, Jr. stays in 2016 then all 10 schools currently on his list - Arizona
, Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami
, N.C. State, UNLV
- will remain in the hunt.
However, the appeal to reclassify is getting stronger.
"The thing about moving to 2015 is that it's the opportunity to be coached by a Hall of Famer sooner than later," Thornton, Sr. said.
"Rick Pitino and Mike Krzyzewski
are two of the top three or four coaches in all of college. When they want you to come and play for them early, you have to take it seriously because they know so much about basketball."
The Thorntons are in no rush to choose between Duke or Louisville in 2015 or keep the recruitment open and stay in 2016.
"It's fluid," Thornton, Sr. said. "We're talking about it every day, seeing who commits where, who is leaving for the draft and everything. It all plays a part in it.
"Whatever is best for Derryck is what we're going to do. There's no rush. It has to make sense."