Leading up the season we are doing a countdown of the Top 100 players in college basketball. These rankings are based on a poll made up of 14 CPP writers. These writers span from UCLA to Seton Hall so there is very little bias. Each day we will release the latest player on our ranking with a small write-up. Be sure to check out the rest of the Top 100 articles!
2016-2017 Stats: None (Redshirt)
Why They Are Here
Derryck Thornton has had a roller coaster 3 years as he went from a 2016 recruit to a 2015 recruit due to Coach K and Duke being in desperate need of a point guard. Things changed quickly as Thornton looked lost on the court his freshman year (no kidding he was expecting to be in high school and not Cameron Indoor) and after the season departed the program (grey area) due to a scholarship crunch and Thornton worrying about playing time. After redshirting a year at USC, Thornton is ready to show the true point guard he is. It is tough to look at his stats for his year at Duke as he was only 17 and thrown to the fire before spending most of the season on the bench.
Thornton was considered the best point guard in his class before reclassifying as he has amazing agility and ball handling ability. He has shown a nice jumper but struggled to hit outside shots in his limited time. Thornton is an elite passer that should have chemistry with his teammates after practicing with them last year.
Role on This Year’s Team
After a year on the practice team and in the weight room, Derryck Thornton should be ready for the bright lights of LA and the PAC-12. The Trojans have extremely high expectations this season as Tony Patelis (@collegehoopnews) has put them as one of the top teams in the PAC-12. Thorntons role could be fluctuating due to Andy Enfield returning Jordan McLaughlin and Jonah Matthews in the backcourt. McLaughlin played 85% of the minutes last season leaving little room for Thornton. If Thornton can play on and off the ball his role will likely grow as the season goes on.
College Season/NBA Prospects
Thornton was considered a no doubt one and done player out of high school but things have changed in 2 years. Derryck must prove his worth to scouts and show that he is not only the talented player that he was in high school but also more mature and ready to play grown men. I think it is very unlikely that Thornton comes out after this season but may need 2 years to re-establish his draft stock.
Be sure to check out tomorrow’s Top 100 player. We will tweet out a hint and if you guess it we will give you a free CPP Koozie!!