Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Transfer target: Ex-Duke guard Thornton to visit KU

Duke’s Derryck Thornton (12) is guarded by North Carolina’s Nate Britt during the Tar Heels’ 76-72 victory on March 5 in Durham, N.C.

Duke’s Derryck Thornton (12) is guarded by North Carolina’s Nate Britt during the Tar Heels’ 76-72 victory on March 5 in Durham, N.C.


The recruitment of former Duke University basketball point guard Derryck Thornton is about to get serious.

Thornton, a 6-2 freshman who recently announced plans to leave the Durham, N.C., school after one season, announced Monday he will visit USC this weekend, then Kansas University a week from today. He also plans to make trips to Washington and Miami before settling on his transfer destination.

Thornton must sit out one season in accordance with NCAA rules. The timing of that would be ideal at KU, considering the Jayhawks need perimeter help in 2017-18 following the departure of Frank Mason III, who will have graduated, and possibly Devonté Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk, who could turn pro after their junior years. Also, Josh Jackson is expected to be a one-and-done player.

Even if Graham stayed a final season, minutes would not appear to be a problem for Thornton, who would join Graham and Lagerald Vick in the backcourt. KU wants to sign perimeter players Michael Porter (6-8 small forward) and Trae Young (6-1 Norman, Okla., combo guard), who this fall will begin their senior seasons of high school.

Originally from Chatsworth, Calif., Thornton — who played two years of high school ball at Findlay Prep in Nevada — averaged 7.1 points and 2.6 assists while logging 26 minutes a game in Duke’s 36 games. He hit 39 percent of his shots, including 32.5 percent of his threes and 69 percent of his free throws. He had 93 assists versus 59 turnovers with 27 steals.

USC has been listed as a strong possibility for Thornton, who in announcing plans to transfer said he wanted to play closer to home. Thornton was ranked No. 14 nationally by his junior year at Las Vegas Findlay Prep, where he averaged 17.0 points and 6.2 assists. He elected to reclassify last summer and play for Duke, which needed immediate point-guard help. Because he had repeated the third grade, Thornton entered Duke at the age of 18.

Of USC, Thornton told “I love their style of play. Andy Enfield (coach) worked in the NBA, Jason Hart (assistant) played in the NBA at my position and Tony Bland (assistant) has been a friend of my family for a long time.”

Of Miami, he told Scout: “Coach (Jim) Larranaga and his staff are top notch. They’ve done great with transfer point guards, from Shane Larkin to Angel Rodriguez, so I’m comfortable with what they do. Also their style of play is amazing.”

Of Washington, he said: “Lorenzo Romar has been recruiting me since the 9th grade. He’s always given tremendous freedom to his guards and that’s why he has so many guards in the NBA. Also I love coach Romar and (assistant) Raphael Chillious as people.”

And of KU, he told Scout: “Kansas has a terrific tradition and Bill Self runs a great program. I have a great relationship with Kurtis Townsend. They win the Big 12 every year and I know they’re going to be in the national championship hunt.”

Topeka freshman nets KU offer: Zach Harvey, a 6-4 freshman combo guard out of Topeka Hayden, has received a scholarship offer from KU, Harvey reported Monday on Twitter.

“Blessed to receive an offer from Kansas University #RCJH #KUCMB,” Tweeted Harvey. Kansas State and Creighton have also offered, and he has received early interest from Wichita State, North Carolina, Maryland, Oklahoma and others.

Harvey averaged 12.0 points a game his freshman season at Hayden.

“You can’t really put it into words because growing up people used to make jokes and ask, ‘Zach, where are you going to college?’ and I would say, ‘I’m going to KU,’” Harvey told

“For it to become a reality as an option it is just kind of breathtaking. It’s a dream really.”

Harvey has averaged 14.6 ppg this spring for KC Run GMC’s undefeated 15 and under Under Armour Assn. team.

“I was surprised honestly,” Harvey told “I didn’t see it coming for sure. … A motto that I’m just going to keep in my life is, ‘I didn’t come this far just to come this far,’” Harvey added. “I’m going to keep progressing and try to make it to the next level as I keep getting older. I don’t really let the attention get to my head or anything. Every time I play on the court I’m trying to play like I’m trying to get an offer from every single school. I don’t worry about all of the other stuff. I’m just trying to play my game.”

To read about Harvey go to:

Ellis, Mook honored: KU forward Perry Ellis and Jayhawk golfer Yupaporn “Mook” Kawinpakorn were named KU’s Dr. Bob Frederick Senior Scholar athletes of the year at Monday’s Senior Celebration at Kansas Union. Former KU football standout Gale Sayers was presented with the K Club Lifetime Service Award. Rower Tessa Scott and cross country runner James Hampton were presented with Prentice Gautt graduate scholarships.

Track and field athlete Rhavean Anderson presented the senior address.

“The same way that construction on campus has not changed the fact that this is the University of Kansas, the changes we will face as we disperse to pursue careers, have families, and chase our dreams will not change the fact that we will always, and forever be Jayhawks,” Anderson said.


Joseph Bullock 5 years, 9 months ago

Another great award for Perry! Rock Chalk, Ellis Hawk!

Yonatan Negash 5 years, 9 months ago

Thornton certainly would be a good pick for KU.

Steve Macy 5 years, 9 months ago

Glad to see KU interested in a kid out of Topeka. As a state we do not produce an abundance of top talent, let's try and keep them here. RCJH

Greg Ledom 5 years, 9 months ago

Last one might have been Turgeon if memory serves me right. For KU anyway and that's been some time for sure.

Brian Wilson 5 years, 9 months ago

You must mean from Topeka. Because the following recruited notables that I can think of are from Kansas:

Adolph Rupp
Perry Ellis
Tyrel Reed
Connor Frankamp
Russell Robinson
and Calvin Thompson, which was a teammate of Turgeon.

I am sure there are a lot more but I can't think of them.
And, I didn't include Danny Manning, as he played a year of high school ball in Lawrence but I don't think that counts.

Aaron Paisley 5 years, 9 months ago

Russell Robinson was from NYC. There are a couple of other recent KU players from Kansas, Travis Releford (Bishop Miege) and Brady Morningstar. You also have Brandon Rush from KCMO which is obviously closer to Lawrence than some other places thise guys are from.

Tom Longhofer 5 years, 9 months ago

Pierre Russell from Wyandotte started for the '71 Final Four team with Dave Robisch

Danny Knight from Hutchinson - leading scorer for the '74 Final Four team

Kelly Knight from Salina (younger brother of Danny) started for Larry Brown's first season

Stu Libby 5 years, 9 months ago

Thornton would be a good addition. Duke made him leave HS early, because they needed a PG, and he was not ready this season. With a year off and just some practice time, he will be back to the blue chipper he was. FWIW, great article about this year's top impact freshmen on SH today. Really high praise for Josh Jackson. Calling him the diff between a Top 25 team and a title contender. Worth a read:

Eliott Reeder 5 years, 9 months ago

Dude, it's fine if you want to post this link to your article on every single thread, but quit acting like you just discovered it. It's obnoxious.

Keith Gellar 5 years, 9 months ago

that's assuming self doesn't diallo-fy JJ

Jay Scott 5 years, 9 months ago

What does that mean? Try to teach him defense? Expect him to play within the system?

Mike Greer 5 years, 9 months ago

I believe coach Self's philosophy is, if your a benefit to the team's opportunity to win games, you play, the more benefit you have, the more you play. When you run and leap beautifully, but at the wrong time, and your presence on the court doesn't lead directly to the desired result, winning the game, then you ride the pine until get those skills.

If you think Diallo's going to start for an NBA team next year, you're hallucinating.

Mick Allen 5 years, 9 months ago

What you are saying is well understood by most KU fans and I totally agree. There are those few however, that believe you must be an outstanding basketball player if you are an excellent jumper and runner. That is the difference between an athlete and a basketball player. Diallo would probably be a hell of a decathlete.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 9 months ago

True but Diallo is still young and learning and being athletic is always better than not being athletic. I think an argument could be made that basketball if not the most athletic sport must be very high on that list.

Mick Allen 5 years, 9 months ago

Certainly always better to be athletic, which he certainly, certainly is. Can't dispute that Marius.

Jay Scott 5 years, 9 months ago

I'm still betting that Diallo is a good NBA player.

I see a lot of Dennis Rodman in him. Plus a jumper. Minus the lunacy.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 9 months ago

Not everyone lives up to the hype Keith and maybe Self's system wasn't the best fit but it seems you're implying something altogether different. Why not just come out and say what you mean instead of implying it?

At some point Self had to decide which player was the better investment for Kansas and he picked an improving player who was coming back for another year over one who just about everyone thought would be gone at the end of the season... And is.

Tony Bandle 5 years, 9 months ago

Kicked to the Kurb by Koach K.......I like this Kid already.

Keith Gellar 5 years, 9 months ago

funny how we used ot make fun of ISU as Transfer high...i guess some things comeback full circle!

Plus- isn't it an untold rule that you don't take hand me downs from other blue bloods? shows a sign of desperation

Jay Scott 5 years, 9 months ago

Duke isn't handing him down, he's upgrading from Duke.

Greg Ledom 5 years, 9 months ago

And Kansas isn't even close to what ISU does on an annual basis. Kansas on occasion takes on transfers. It's a mindset at ISU. And I wasn't one to make fun of ISU either, they do what they do pretty damn well. Impressive really, considering the amount of transfers and JUCO kids they have to blend in year in and year out.

Mick Allen 5 years, 9 months ago

That "rule" is so untold I've never heard it told.

Steve Macy 5 years, 9 months ago

you have an interesting slant, kind of negative, without saying anything. ISU has multiple transfers, and KU is looking at a former 5star recruit with three years of eligibility left, hardly a comparison. Kind of like your rant about "Diallo-fo" him, whatever that is.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 9 months ago

I might have missed anyone making fun of ISU for going after transfers. I'm not saying it didn't happen just that I didn't see it.

As for us taking transfers, for the most part, it's worked out really well. I'm not going to bother listing all the transfers who have made significant contributions for Kansas basketball but I will list a few such as: Clint Normore, Rex Walters, Jeff Withey,Kevin Young and many many more.

And about that "untold rule" that I've never of, why wouldn't you go after transfers from other blueblood programs? I think the odds of getting someone who can contribute are better than from teams outside the 5 majors.

Robert Robinson 5 years, 9 months ago

Why wouldn't you want to take players from other blue bloods? It raises the hype of those schools and kind of makes KU look better than Duke in the eyes of recruits.

Harlan Hobbs 5 years, 9 months ago

Mick, thanks for the chuckle. This is at least the second time that Keith has brought up the so called "untold rule."

Since Thornton was 18 when he went to Duke, is he draft-eligible now? If so, given that he has to sit out a year as a transfer, I'm wondering if there is an upside in having him at KU.

I realize that there is no reason to think that he would be any more ready for the draft next year than he is this year, but he would likely be OAD at KU two years from now if he ultimately plays at all.

I just don't get any "warm fuzzies" about his recruitment. If he comes to KU, I will look forward to being proven wrong.

Greg, I second your comments about Zach Harvey. I think you are right that Mark Turgeon was the last scholarship player at KU from Topeka, and from Hayden no less. I remember C. B. McGrath as a walk-on for Roy Williams, but he may have been on scholarship for part of his time. At least he was one of Roy's favorite guys and is now an assistant at UNC.

Harlan Hobbs 5 years, 9 months ago

Stu, sorry you had to be the verbal whipping boy today. I appreciate the link you posted, whether I have read the story before or not. Am sure that many people hadn't read it before.

Jay Scott 5 years, 9 months ago

To be fair to Elliot, Stu is also Anthony Perry and who knows who else. His sole purpose is to promote straighthoops,com

Tony Bandle 5 years, 9 months ago

Stu, I'm with Harlan. I hadn't seen it before so I appreciate the heads up. Frankly, if it says good things about KU, post it everyday and, frankly, i don't even care if you claim you wrote it yourself.

Geez, Eliot, it's OK, my man.Just flow with the glow!!

I've just gotta ask...are all your names real? Mick Allen, Robbie Robinson, Harlan Hobbs, Yonatan Negash, Marius, etc.???? If not then I'm pissed at myself for using my boring real name. If I could have a do over, I'd go with Nightwing MacDoogal..

Mick Allen 5 years, 9 months ago

Stu, Eliot "Why Can't We Be Friends", War circa 1975?

Eliott Reeder 5 years, 9 months ago

One of my favorite albums ever! And I don't really care all that much, but he posts it every day with the same "Check out this article I just found on the internets" story. I think it's silly. He has posted and reposted it on every KU message board as well.

Jay Scott 5 years, 9 months ago

Not every Jay Scott is actually Jay Scott...

Jay Hawk 5 years, 9 months ago

I don't see anything wrong with our names.

Harlan Hobbs 5 years, 9 months ago

Tony, I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam (Popeye). No plagiarism here.

Also, believe me, Mick is for real! With the name and bloodline that he has, he couldn't be anything else. Would imagine all of the others are too.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.