Just 16 years old, Derryck Thornton Jr. is too young to be caught up in the recruiting process. But as the point guard of Findlay Prep, one of the top high school teams in the nation, the class of 2016 point guard can’t help but receive attention from elite programs.
In order to bolster his level of play, Thornton transferred to Findlay where he is now part of a team loaded with talent, whether it be Kansas signee Kelly Oubre or Arizona-bound Craig Victor.
“It’s different but it’s good so far,” Thornton said of the move. While the way of life in Henderson, Nevada is a change from Southern California in which Thornton grew up, the perk of playing with such an abundance of talent pays out.
“I’m playing with some of the best kids in the country so it makes my job easier,” Thornton said.
The 6’2 point guard is already considered to be one of the elite prospects in his class thanks to his athleticism, basketball IQ, and defensive potential. Being so young, some aspects of Thornton’s game need to be polished more than others but with his father living nearby, the two are able to constantly work at improving his play.
“I do different drills with my dad everyday,” said Thornton. “We just try to be as creative as possible.”
Thornton’s father wants to see more aggression out of his son every time out, despite the fact that he plays on a team with a number of other guys who are all looking for their share.
“I understand that you’re trying to run the show and you got two big time wings so you’re deferring but you’re overly deferring,” said the elder Thornton, speaking of his son’s play in a recent game. “I look at it like a fight. If I take all the punches, I’m going to lose. If I throw all the punches, I’m going to win.”
Besides offering advice on basketball, Thornton’s father is also the one who takes care of recruiting. This allows his son to focus solely on education and enhancing his game.
As for who is coming at his son the hardest, Arizona is “of course” up there as well as USC, Michigan, Kentucky and hometown UNLV.
For now, recruiting will be put aside. Just a few months into his sophomore year, Thornton still has plenty of time to take visits and talk to coaches. Basketball is currently the priority, as it should be.