Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Thornton, Battle Talking Potential Package at Kentucky, Michigan, UConn or Florida (UPDATED)
Derryck Thornton and Tyus Battle are seriously talking about packaging together in college beginning in 2016 — with Kentucky, UConn, Michigan and now Florida the four schools in discussion at this point.
“I still want to see them play together and they sound like still want to play together,” Tank Thornton, Derryck’s father, told SNY.tv Monday by phone after Derryck picked up a Kentucky offer on his weekend visit.
“And after speaking to Gary and Tyus, it sounds like they want to play together as well.”
Kentucky, UConn, Michigan and Florida have offered both players, Tank said.
“Those are the schools that have offered them both,” Tank said. “They’ve offered both kids. Villanova hasn’t offered Derryck and Arizona hasn’t offered Tyus.”
Derryck Thornton said he and Battle have talked about it at “a few different schools” — including Kentucky, Michigan, Louisville, Arizona, UConn, Florida, Miami and USC.
“We talked about it, but if it happens it would be great, if it doesn’t, then it won’t,” Derryck Thornton said.
Packages are often discussed between players, but rarely happen.
Duke freshmen Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor successfully pulled it off last year.
But Tank Thornton said he and Gary Battle speak “three or four times a week” and have done so for “four or five years.”
Tyus Battle and Derryck Thornton have known each other since sixth grade when they played against each other in AAU Nationals at Boo Williams.
“Although the idea of going to the same school has been discussed, it has to work for both kids well,” Gary Battle told SNY.tv.
“I know Tank feels the same way, you have to do what’s best for your kid,” Gary added. “If it works, great.”
The 6-foot-2 2016 Thornton from Findlay Prep picked up a Kentucky offer on Sunday after visiting the campus following his strong performance at the NBA Top 100 Camp.
“Coach Cal just said he wants me a lot and he offered,” Thornton told SNY.tv by phone Monday morning.
“I was surprised. It was a great feeling just knowing that I was the first point guard in 2016 that he offered.”
Thornton said Kentucky’s history of sending guys to the NBA is attractive.
“It’s very appealing because that’s one of my main goals is to get to the league,” he said.
Thornton came from the NBA Top 100 Camp — where he was the championship game MVP — to the Kentucky visit.
“Basically we just took a tour of the school and he showed us around,” Thornton said. “We pretty much went everywhere. I got to play some pickup with the guys when I first got there, so that was fun.”
As previously reported by SNY.tv, Calipari called Thornton on June 15 and indicated he would make an offer when they met.
“[Calipari] said, ‘I love him,'” Tank Thornton, who previously coached former Kentucky forward Enes Kanter briefly at Stoneridge Prep, told SNY.tv. “‘I want to offer him face-to-face. I want him to know how hard it is here.’ Cal will tell you if you want to be a pro, you got to take a look at Kentucky.
“He’s been recruiting him since eighth grade. I love Cal and we’ve always had a good relationship.”
Thornton also holds offers from Michigan, Oklahoma, Miami, Cal, Vanderbilt, Missouri, USC, Arizona, UNLV, UConn, Washington and South Florida, among others.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.