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.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — In a game hyped to be one of the best matchups of the Hoophall Classic, Findlay Prep (NV) routed a Stevenson (IL) team led by Villanova-bound senior point guard Jalen Brunson, 84-58.
Paced all night by the stellar play of junior guard Derryck Thornton, Findlay pulled away in the fourth quarter.
“It was a big matchup, but I really didn’t try to focus on that,” Thornton said after scoring 15 points in the win. “I just focused on getting the win.”
Ranked 10th in the ESPN Super 60, the electrifying point guard has a final list of schools that includes the likes of Duke, Kentucky, Louisville and Miami. among others.
Fresh off a recent unofficial visit to Lexington for the Missouri game, Thornton was very impressed.
“It was great,” he said, “I got to hang out with the guys and the coaches, and it was a lot of fun. Rupp Arena is crazy, the fans are crazy, but it was a lot of fun.”
When asked how he felt about the platoon system instituted by Coach John Calipari, Thornton seemed very open to the idea.
“I think it’s pretty cool,” he said. “Earlier in the year when I heard about it I thought it would be kind of weird, but both the first and second teams are just as good. I think he is doing a great job of subbing, and they’re looking great right now.”
The coming months will be busy for Thornton as he must manage to continue leading his team, and take unofficial visits. He will head to Duke Feb. 18 and will also visit Louisville and Arizona in coming weeks.
He mentioned briefly what he likes about Duke.
“Well, it’s Duke”, said Thornton with a smile. “They have a great history. Coach K is great. They are in contact with me a lot so I like that, and I love their style of play.”
Louisville is another school that is very high on Thornton, and head coach Rick Pitino tried to get Thornton to reclass to 2015.
“Their style of play,” said Thornton when asked what appeals to him about the Cardinals. “I love how they trap, and get up and down. Coach Pitino is great, and my family has knowncoach Wyking [Jones] for a long time so we have a great relationship.”
As for a potential move to the class of 2015, that seems unlikely.
When asked whether he was still considering a switch Thornton said he is “70 percent” sure that he will remain a member of the junior class.
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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.