UK recruiting: Playmaker Thornton gets 2016 offer

broberts@herald-leader.comJune 23, 2014 

Highly touted point guard Derryck Thornton said last week that if everything went "according to plan" he would leave UK's campus with a scholarship offer Monday.

His wish came true Sunday night, when UK Coach John Calipari extended an offer to the promising playmaker from the class of 2016.

Thornton led the talent-rich NBPA Top 100 Camp in assists last week despite being a year younger than many of the players in attendance. He led his team to the camp championship and was in the discussion for MVP honors, which ultimately went to senior Ben Simmons, arguably the best player in high school basketball.

After the camp, Thornton and his father drove from Charlottesville, Va., to Lexington for an unofficial visit to UK. ranks the 6-foot-1 prospect as the No. 11 overall recruit in the class. A native of the Los Angeles area, Thornton played his first year at high school powerhouse Findlay Prep in Nevada last season.

He also has a pre-existing tie to UK. Thornton's father was Enes Kanter's head coach in high school and has had nothing but good things to say about Calipari since Kanter signed with the Wildcats in 2010.

Thornton told the Herald-Leader that he and his dad have been watching Calipari's teams — particularly the point guards — since the UK coach had Derrick Rose at Memphis.

Other programs that have already offered Thornton include Arizona, Michigan, Florida, UConn, UNLV and Southern Cal.

Thornton is the second guard from the class of 2016 to earn a UK offer. The other is New Jersey shooting guard Tyus Battle, who picked up his offer last week. The two players have been friends for years and have talked about attending the same school.

Ben Roberts: (859) 231-3216. Twitter: @NextCats. Blog:

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