Duke is getting an elite prospect in Derryck Thornton, Jr. Scout breaks down the future Blue Devil's game.
On Tuesday, Duke
got a huge commitment when 6-foot-2, 170-pound Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep point guard Derryck Thornton
, Jr. reclassified from 2016 to 2015 to join the Blue Devils program next season.
The commitment of the five-star prospect gave Duke a huge boost to its roster. What kind of player is Duke getting in Thornton?
First off, Thornton is arguably the top point guard in high school basketball. He has a terrific frame for a young player at his position. He's a good but not great athlete whose athleticism has improved as he's gained strength; he's still somewhat physically immature and is finally gaining muscle for the first time.
Thornton is a very hard worker and one of his best attributes is his on the ball defense, as he really takes pride in his game on that side of the court. He's really grown competitively over the last year and a half and now shows up every time out, which was more of a concern for him earlier in his career.
Comparing Thornton to other point guards nationally, it's hard to argue there are many in his vicinity when it comes to approach and ability to defend. His work ethic and desire to improve have also proven to be elite.
Offensively, Thornton sees the court very well and has a good balance of creating and scoring. Thornton can finish with both hands and while he's right-handed, sometimes you forget it because he finishes so well with his left. Thornton has an elite handle - especially his crossover - and has floaters with both hands.
His body control is excellent and has improved with strength. He's more comfortable with his midrange jumper than his three-point shot at this point and maybe the biggest improvement in his game over the last year has been his jumper; he's very good from midrange, and improving from three, a shot he's certainly capable of hitting consistently regardless.
Thornton has become elite for his age in pick and roll situations and is a very good passer in general. He is a natural leader and a strong communicator on the court; a kid that his peers gravitate towards.
Thornton is a good kid who has an elite work ethic, which is one of the reasons for his consistent progress.
Duke is getting a kid and player who perfectly fits the Blue Devils mold and there's every reason to think he'll be a very successful player at the next level.