Junior College Guard Sizzles

Kilgore (TX) College guard Marcus Thornton is drawing high major interest from schools all over the country, including a couple of Big 12 neighbors. More from Phog.net's Eric Bossi inside.

After earning some notoriety as a high school senior in Louisiana, Marcus Thornton had planned to head off to Laurinburg (NC) Prep in hopes of bolstering his recruitment. Instead, the 6-3 shooting guard ended up going the junior college route landing at Kilgore (TX) College. Since his arrival at Kilgore, Thornton has taken his game to another level and during his sophomore season he’s emerged as one of the most heavily recruited players in the country.

Wednesday night Thornton was dropping 33 points in a buzzer beating loss to Navarre while coaches from Connecticut, LSU and Louisville looked on. Thursday, his coach Scott Schumacher said that high level coaches coming in to see Thornton has become a regular occurrence.

“There’s been a lot of people in here,” Schumacher told Phog.net. “Kansas, Texas A&M, Maryland, Louisville, Connecticut, Florida State, Florida, Miami, LSU, Mississippi State, Kansas State, there’s a lot of them”

The biggest reason for all of the attention has been Thornton’s ability to score the ball. A capable jump shooter, driver and playmaker, he’s topped the 30 point plateau on several occasions.

“He’s 6-3 about 190, a shooting guard,” said Schumacher. “He can shoot the three, he has a mid-range pull-up and he can get to the rack and has good ball skills.”

However, this isn’t necessarily a case of player who has emerged out of nowhere says Schumacher.

“He was going to Laurinburg (Prep) and out of high school he was getting recruited by Auburn, LSU, Texas Tech, Arizona and some other schools,” said Schumacher. “Everybody knew about him but he switched at the last second from going to Laurinburg and came here to Kilgore and he’s really taken off. Things have really clicked for him here and he’s a high quality young man.

During the fall, Thornton took an official visit to Manhattan, KS to check out Bob Huggins’ K-State Wildcats. During December, Thornton was back in the state of Kansas, this time he was in Lawrence for an official visit to check out the Kansas Jayhawks.

“He liked Kansas, he liked his visit to Kansas State, he liked them both,” said Schumacher. “They (Kansas) think he’s a very highly skilled guard.”

At this point, Thornton hasn’t started to narrow things down. He’s right in the heart of his season and is more focused on academics and helping Kilgore win games. That approach, is one that his coach seems to be very pleased with and it doesn’t look like there will be a rush to make a decision.

“Right now everybody wants to know what he’s thinking,” said Schumacher. “He’s focusing on finishing his degree, helping us win games and listening to what people are telling him. He’s not letting all of this go to his head. He’s staying grounded and focused with continuing his education.

“As a junior college coach, he’s handling this exactly how I’d hoped he would.”

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