What We Are Hearing: Thornton Highly Sought

Westlake small forward Marcus Thornton was recently visited by Georgia's Mark Fox and staff, with many major programs to follow.

Marcus Thornton's phone has been ringing off the hook the past few days.

Nine schools quickly offered the Westlake standout soon after he was granted a release from Clemson after Oliver Purnell left for Depaul.

Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Memphis, Texas, Michigan, Clemson and Alabama are among them.

Distance is crucial for Thornton and his family. Clemson was about as far as they wanted him to go to begin with, so Texas and Michigan are on the outside looking in. And he's not looking at Clemson that hard right now.

Georgia visited Thornton this weekend, and they demonstrated just how close Athens is to home. In fact, before arriving in the Thornton's home, Stacey Palmore called and said, "I'll see you soon." That impressed Marcus' parents, who want to see him play as much as possible. While Georgia's coaches were in his home, Thornton phone rang numerous times. Despite the calls, he did not answer a single time, giving Fox his undivided attention.

After the visit Thornton told the Georgia coaches his top three was Kentucky, Memphis and UGA. And I'll say it again: distance will be key. The other two are major programs so there's an obvious pull to there. Thornton also asked for current Georgia players' phone numbers, wanting to speak to them about their experience in Athens. Thornton opened up to the Georgia staff, telling them how he felt about each school in pursuit, and discussing his thoughts on the whole process. That's a great sign for the Bulldogs.

Another key for Georgia is the return of Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie. Thornton, similar to Polee, wants to play for a top contending team, and he sees Georgia as a program on the rise thanks to the return of Thompkins and Leslie, and the work Fox is doing.

Jelan Kendrick has been blowing Thornton's phone up, encouraging him to join him at Memphis. The Tigers are making a huge push for Thornton, mainly because of the Marietta wing Kendrick, who Georgia also recruited very hard.

Many around the Georgia program feel the Bulldogs are in a good position to grab Thornton, especially if he comes to campus for a visit. Thornton has already establish he will spend at least two weeks, talking to coaches and taking visits, before he decides.

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