Thornton was ranked #11 in ESPN's rankings of all juniors. With his switch over to the senior class, he is now ranked #17 by ESPN, and the third best guard in the country. Although, his ranking may be highly debatable, one thing is for sure. Thornton can play. He is known for his ability to facilitate an offense along with a dependable jumper. As with most guards nowadays, he is also lighting quick.
This season Thornton played with Findlay Prep of Nevada and led his team to a 29-3 record. They ended up losing in the National Championship tournament to the Montverde, the eventual champions. After the tournament he received major pressure from all of the top college basketball programs to reclassify and lead their respective teams this upcoming season. Thornton took a while to discuss his options with his dad, and all the college programs chasing after him. But once Tyus Jones declared for the draft, Thornton knew Duke was where he wanted to be.
Thornton will join 5-star recruits Chase Jeter and Luke Kennard in Duke's recruiting class. Jeter is a 6-10 big who stretches the floor with range and athleticism. Kennard is simply a shooter and scorer. Let this sink in, Kennard broke LeBron James' all time scoring record in the state of Ohio, yes King James himself. Grayson Allen and Matt Jones will also be returning to Duke after winning the National Championship.
Duke is not done recruiting either, they have an in home visit this week with Brandon Ingram, the #3 player in the country. If Duke can land Ingram along with Thornton, then they will have the best recruiting class of 2015.
If Duke can haul in Ingram, and even if they can't they will have a good team next season. But can they be great? It's too early to tell now, but all the hype over these high school stars could quickly wear off once they are introduced to ACC basketball. Then again, all the hype could be real, and Duke's loaded recruiting class could lead them to back to back national championships.