UCLA Recruiting Thornton
At the recent USA Basketball Developmental Camp, 6-foot-2, 165-pound Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep's Derryck Thornton, Jr. showed why he is Scout.com's top ranked point guard prospect in the 2016 class.
Here's Scout.com's evaluation of Thornton at the event:
There have been doubters about whether or not Thornton is an elite player in 2016 and this weekend, Scout.com's 15th rated prospect more than validated his national ranking.
Thornton has ideal size, frame and length for a young point guard with a strong approach to the game, mixing creating for others with his own ability to score.
His shot was up and down this weekend, but his form is good and eventually he'll be a consistent shooter given his impressive work ethic. Thornton is one of the best defenders in his class and one of the top point guard prospects in the country, regardless of class.
Thornton, Jr. recently made the move from Southern California to Findlay Prep, and it's a change that he feels has helped take his game to the next level.
"I feel like it's helped me a lot playing every day and night," Thornton, Jr. said. "I've gotten a lot better. Being coached by a former NBA player in Jerome Williams is giving me experience that I couldn't have gotten anywhere else."
Playing around some of Scout.com's top 2014 prospects is something that the sophomore point guard is definitely looking forward to.
"This season I'll be a better leader and I have a lot of great scorers around me, like Kelly Oubre, Rashad Vaughn, Craig Victor and Jonah Bolden, so I'm going to have a lot of assists," he said.
Thornton, Jr. listed Arizona, USC, Michigan, Kentucky and UNLV as the schools recruiting him the hardest, and his father, Derryck Thornton, Sr., broke down what the family likes about each of those five programs.
Arizona: "We just came from the Red/Blue game and Sean Miller is a future Hall of Fame coach. The facilities are absolutely insane, the kids are great and the fan support is second to none. Joe Pasternack has been the driving force in getting West Coast players to Arizona."
USC: "Tony Bland is a terrific recruiter and Andy Enfield's style of play would be great for a point guard."
Michigan: "I have a longtime relationship with the coach Jeff Meyer and they run a lot of ball screens in the offense, which is great for a point guard."
Kentucky: "John Calipari is super charismatic and his track record of getting guys to the NBA is impeccable."
UNLV: "Todd Simon and Dave Rice have done a great job of recruiting my son and we definitely love Las Vegas so that would be his home school."
Beyond those five schools, there are a handful of others showing Thornton, Jr. a lot of interest.
"Other schools recruiting him pretty hard are Washington, which has a great staff - I love Chill (Raphael Chillious) and Lorenzo Romar, and UCLA, which has coach (David) Grace stepping up," said Thornton, Sr.
"We really like Duke, which is a great academic institution and has one of the most storied coaches in college basketball history. Also, Vanderbilt's Yanni Hufnagel is a class one recruiter and they were his first SEC offer. We love Yanni."
The younger Thornton identified three aspects of a program he will be looking at when he makes a decision.
"I'm looking for a good relationship with the coach, how good the program is and academics," he said.
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