2009 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year Marcus Thornton could become the fourth first-round pick for the LSU basketball program in a decade – following Stromile Swift (2000), Tyrus Thomas (2006) and Anthony Randolph (2008).
“I have heard all good things,” said LSU head coach Trent Johnson. “From the people I have talked to – different general managers and such – the feeling is that he could go anywhere from 19 to 28.”
Of course, Johnson does not want to count any eggs before they hatch.
“Everyone told me Brooke Lopez was going to go no lower than four or five, and he went 11 to New Jersey,” he said. “You just never know.
“I will tell you this, Marcus has really improved himself since the end of the season, and a lot of people like him.”
Thornton averaged 21.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game last season.
Center Chris Johnson and guard Garrett Temple will also be keeping tabs on the night’s affairs.
“Garrett has had some really good workouts, and he is in a good position to possibly go in the second round,” Johnson said. “Then again, nobody knows. I look at it from the perspective that Marcus, Garrett and Chris all had a lot of positive feedback, and that is all you can ask for.”
Five Tigers - three scholarship players and two walk ons - underwent offseason surgery. How has their recovery come along?
“Bo Spencer just got his cast removed, and Aaron Dotson (knee) is going through rehab,” Johnson said. “Hopefully Aaron can get his explosiveness back by the first of August. Garrett Greene (back) is also an important element with his redshirt, and he is not doing anything for us right now.”
With the jury still out on their health status, Johnson said priority number one is getting all hands on board over the coming months.
“My goal is for the whole basketball team to be ready come August,” he said. “I am not a doctor, but things look good as long as we don’t have any setbacks.”
Regardless of if they return healthy come August, the missed months of practice will be tough to make up.
“We have five guys not doing weights with us right now,” Johnson said. “And good players and good teams develop in the spring and summer.”