AJC’s Mr. Basketball has Georgia Tech and UGA on list of finalists

Batter up, UGA’s Mark Fox.

He will be the first basketball coach to meet with the AJC’s Mr. Basketball during the NCAA’s contact period, which starts Friday (today) and ends on Wednesday.

Fox is scheduled to make an in-home visit with Westlake’s Marcus Thornton on Friday (today).

Will UGA's Mark Fox being the first to make in-home visit with Westlake's Marcus Thornton make a difference?

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The 6-foot-7 Thornton is one of college basketball’s hottest free agents, and has been showered with scholarship offers over the past week.

On Friday, Thornton trimmed his list to eight schools, including Georgia Tech and UGA. The others are Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan and Texas. He is also considering a ninth school, Memphis, where former high school teammate Jelan Kendrick has signed.

What’s the latest with Clemson? New coach Brad Brownell and Thornton have talked over the phone. “We had a good conversation,” said Thornton’s father, Billy. “He really just wanted to introduce himself, and to tell us that he is very interested in Marcus still coming to Clemson, and that he did not plan on rushing us.”

“Coach Brownell is a very personable, and seems like a great guy. We didn’t talk about any of the tough stuff because we want to do that in person.” Thornton signed with Clemson last November, but was granted a release from his letter-of-intent after former Clemson coach Oliver Purnell took the top job at DePaul on April 7.

The head coaches from eight finalists, including Kentucky’s John Calipari and Florida’s Billy Donovan, will be making in-home visits with Thornton during the upcoming NCAA contact period. The lone exception will be Georgia Tech’s Paul Hewitt, which Thornton will travel to meet due to close proximity.

Thornton is still studying the situation at Memphis. “We have not completely ruled out Memphis at this time, but it is hard to understand how they could utilize Marcus with seven recruits already coming in this year.”

Fox: I got first dibs (AJC)

Fox: I got first dibs (AJC)

Thornton is a late-bloomer on the national recruiting scene after a monster senior year.  He averaged 24 points and 12 rebounds, while leading Westlake to the championship game in Georgia’s largest division.

“Things can change dramatically in just a couple of days (in the recruiting process),” said the elder Thornton, referring to schools waiting to see if NBA-declared players will change their minds, or the impact of other elite high school prospects signing scholarship papers.

91 comments Add your comment

Paul ( You doesn't have to call me Johnson)

April 16th, 2010
2:17 pm

Stay in state. Either Tech or UGA will serve you best. I would have some big reservations about playing for teams out of Georgia especially Florida and Kentucky.

Paul ( You doesn't have to call me Johnson)

April 16th, 2010
2:23 pm

You can call me Ray or you can call me Jay but you doesn’t have to call me First.

npgator

April 16th, 2010
2:37 pm

Why should he have any reservations about playing outside of the state?

Brian F.

April 16th, 2010
2:43 pm

Go to Georgia !! Be a stud on an awesome college campus !! Let Mark Fox help develop you into a lottery pick !! He will get awesome coaching !! Katz & Linardi already have Georgia as one of their sleeper teams next season. Marcus would definitely put UGA over the top. Be a difference maker and go to UGA !!

Brian F.

April 16th, 2010
2:56 pm

Hey Michael, If the DOGS are fortunate enough to sign Marcus, will they still have a scholarship available for Dwayne Polee?

Scott

April 16th, 2010
3:05 pm

If you want to go to the NBA, pick Tech over Georgia. Its as simple as that. Conference-wise, its no argument either. ACC>SEC

A Different Opinion

April 16th, 2010
3:19 pm

Folks, what’s the big decision to make……you know, this leading people on is bush league and should be against NCAA Rules…..what’s he waiting on…..the best offer? Sounds like another pro-athlete in waiting that will have an entourage.

chem

April 16th, 2010
3:32 pm

so what’s the NCAA punishment going to be for a blogger “leading people on.” …go to your room and no internet for a week?!

Barnacle Bill Bavasi

April 16th, 2010
3:32 pm

Unleash your pioneer spirit and help Georgia get to its first Final Four in, well, like almost forever.

GT GRAD

April 16th, 2010
3:34 pm

I hope Marcus decides to attend college and play his NCAA Basketball at GT; however, I wish him well regardless of where he decides to play ball!

GT seems like the perfect fit………………..playing in the ACC, GT players have proven to be very solid NBA players (numerous NBA scouts evaluate GT basketball players on a regular basis) & Marcus will definitely be a star on the team with Lawal and Favors playing in the NBA. Bonus: Paul Hewitt is a solid, high character coach and all of his players (current & past players) support him {many/most claim they are very fortunate to have played for Hewitt}!

JD

April 16th, 2010
3:56 pm

Go to tech so Hewitt can ruin you. LOL. Nice try NERDS.

jod

April 16th, 2010
3:58 pm

Go to where they actually boadcast games on tv. ACC>SEC hands down, with no arguments.

McDawg

April 16th, 2010
4:09 pm

UGA will have something going if this guy signs

UncleBig

April 16th, 2010
4:15 pm

You can choose Georgia. You can choose Georgia Tech. Or you can choose the winningest program in college basketball, Kentucky. The first or third choice would be a good one. The second would be great if you want to play for a (probably) lame duck coach. Between Georgia and Kentucky, would your rather, musically speaking, play for the Beatles or Strawberry Alarm Clock?

South Ga Dawg

April 16th, 2010
4:16 pm

YOU CAN GO TO THE NBA FROM ANYWHERE IF YOUR GOOD ENOUGH. COME TO ATHENS!!!

BN

April 16th, 2010
4:18 pm

Roll with the Tide Marcus. You’d be the go to player in the paint and be guaranteed substantial playing time. Anthony Grant is a great coach who would develop you for the NBA

Jack

April 16th, 2010
4:20 pm

I’m not going to get into a ACC v. SEC thing, but SEC has a huge tv package with ESPN. I watched EVERY Kentucky game on TV while living in Atlanta (not counting the ones I went to, but they were on TV too). I have DirectTV, and I didn’t need the full court package except for 1 early, pre-season cupcake game. The rest were all on ESPN, TBS, CBS, or FoxSports or one of the other local sports cable channels DirectTV gives ith its basic package (I’m not advertising for DirecTV, it is just what I have. I assume that cable and Dish offer these channels too). If he goes to UK, he will get 100% of his games on TV. I don’t know if any of the other schools can match that, but I know they can’t beat it.

Favors Went to the Wrong School

April 16th, 2010
4:23 pm

Tech homers: Seriously? Hewitt has been able to get 1 and dones, but has done nothing with them. Favors played out of position all season and seemed only to improve when he felt like it. I read most of the blogs during the season and every single Tech fan was bemoaning the fact that Hewitt’s contract rolled over, even after squeeking into the tourney and finally winning one whole game.

As for the ACC>SEC – not this past year. We both sucked. Both had some horrid basketball teams and horrid basketball games. Don’t you dare say “But the ACC had Duke who is the champ!” KY won the NCAAs a couple of times when there were no other SEC teams to speak of. One team does not make a good conference, and this year, the ACC was horrid, just like the SEC. If you want to argue which actually had a worse season, that’s just cruel to both, don’t you think? Let 2009-10 go.

Don

April 16th, 2010
4:23 pm

You will be a fool if you go to Tech and im a GT fan, Paul Hewitt will ruion you, go too Kentucky and play a fast pace game and be a star right off the bat!!!

Favors Went to the Wrong School

April 16th, 2010
4:23 pm

Enter your comments here

Charles

April 16th, 2010
4:42 pm

Chuckling at the uninformed fool above who comments that ACC has more games broadcast…guess he missed the SEC signing a ga-zillion dollar contract with ESPN and every SEC hoops games being shown on some medium. The SEC is the big boy on that front, friend. No comparison whatsoever.

bruce mac

April 16th, 2010
4:47 pm

Yea, Tech made an NBAers out of Favors and Lewall, duh???? If anything Hewitt dumbed them down, they were NBA players way before Blewitt screwed them up. Fox is the man and if a player wants to stay in state, UGA is the place to go.

[...] Michigan also made Marcus Thornton’s list of eight schools along with Georgia, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Kentucky, and Texas. Head coaches from [...]

Voice of Reason

April 16th, 2010
4:56 pm

Wonders are available at UGA to take advantage of. Help establish a new tradition with Mark Fox and bring the DAWGS to prominence and by the time you leave, they will be a force to reckon with – and a lot of the credit will go to you and players like you, and the ability of CMF to coach each of you up. You will also play within a system of integrity,with life lessons to be learned.
GO DAWGS!

don medeiros

April 16th, 2010
4:58 pm

Paul – you don’t have to call me Johnson -

Yeah, big reservations about playing for UF which has won 2 national championships is the last 5 years and has a great coach in Billy Donovan. Reservations about playing at Kentucky? Are you kidding me? Why play for Tech or UGA for that matter? What’s wrong with out-of-state? Are UGA and Tech supposed to be the garden of Eden or something?

GT12

April 16th, 2010
5:01 pm

I honestly have to say I think he’d be better off going to uga. The SEC is absolutely horrible compared to the ACC in basketball, but at least he’d be coached up at uga. Being such an awful conference, he would actually stand the chance to have a winning conference record if Fox really does have them on the rise. I’m just tired of seeing Hewitt do nothing with amazing talent…

bank walker

April 16th, 2010
5:07 pm

Stay instate and close to the family, preferably UGA. Fox is building something special!!

Dave In Tampa

April 16th, 2010
5:09 pm

I have to say that from what I heard about this guy I’d rather him choose another school other than UGA because he is one and out. He will leave for the NBA. That’s due to his talent. I wish there was a rule that states the scholarship should be honored for a minimum of 3 years in any sport. I know it’s wishful thinking, but you can only play pro ball for so many years. An education is much more important. Just my opinion.

SNOMAN

April 16th, 2010
5:12 pm

Seriously Tech-nerds!! Don’t go to UGA if you want to go to the NBA – UGA has two projected Lottery Picks for next year’s draft!! Get Real! Coach Fox will get you to the NBA, Marcus – Go to UGA and you will get prepped for the NBA Lottery…….Go DAWGS!!

SOOHSO

April 16th, 2010
5:14 pm

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

DollarDawg43

April 16th, 2010
5:21 pm

Dave, your opinion and analysis are exactly correct. You should change your name to ‘Dead-on Dave’.

Paul ( You doesn't have to call me Johnson)

April 16th, 2010
5:29 pm

don

Who cares about your 2 national championships in basketball. UF is a football school. Donovan gets a gold watch and Meyer gets $$$ plus serious health problems. Donovan also may jump back to the Orlando Magic.

Calipari should have won 4 National Championships at Memphis but he won none. He did leave a big mess there which will probably cost Memphis in the years to come. His starters at Kentucky are all leaving for the NBA making KY jelly the most underachieving team in college Basketball.

If I were a basketball player I would ask myself which coach will make me better and have fans from my home state that really appreciate me
on

Blue Fox

April 16th, 2010
5:32 pm

Marcus, PLEASE sign with somebody other than Tech, the last thing we need is another team built around Hewitt’s “one and done” system.

Pompano

April 16th, 2010
5:33 pm

Snoman – big difference with “projected lottery pick” and “actual lottery pick”. The kid can go to UK, GT or FL and play for coaches who have actually gotten players into the lottery. Not so at UGA.

Dave / NM

April 16th, 2010
5:33 pm

KENTUCKY !!!

Iceman

April 16th, 2010
5:43 pm

Come to the Dawgs, we run this state.

T-Rav and the Eastside Grainger

April 16th, 2010
5:45 pm

Sorry guys but in this age of college basketball it doesnt matter who his coach is. If he’s good he’ll play in the NBA. I’m a Tech fan and believe that Hewitt sucks as well, and he still has projected 2 first round picks this year. You really cant go wrong with Tech or UGA. You’ll get exposure in either place. Big tv contract for the SEC (although I dont remember seeing hardly any UGA games this year), and big time matchups week in and out in the ACC. For my money I’d rather be playing Duke, Carolina, Maryland, Wake…etc.

GooseDawg

April 16th, 2010
5:49 pm

This Dawg fan would LOVE to see MT choose UGA but I truly hope if it’s not the Dawgs he stays in-state & plays for GT. Please Marcus, just don’t go play for that weasel Calipari at UK & don’t fool yourself, NOBODY looks good in the any shade of the color Orange, especially when you combine a little Blue w/that Orange.

Best of luck w/a tough decision young man!
RED & BLACK, WIN OR LOSE

Big Blue News » Blog Archiv

April 16th, 2010
6:05 pm

[...] 2010 recruit Marcus Thornton trims his list to eight schools and UK makes the cut [...]

dap01

April 16th, 2010
6:11 pm

Stay in state and be a home state hero. You will be simply a recruit somewhere else.

UGA is building something special.

Pi$$onaDAWG

April 16th, 2010
6:11 pm

Go to UGA and have a great college experience just like the other 2679 African American Students on Campus. I sure everybody will know you. Can be in a Line-up every month at Athens-Clarke County Jail when somebody says “It was a Black guy commiting a crime on campus”.

Really?

April 16th, 2010
6:51 pm

Pi$$onaDAWG sounds ignorant…

Stephanie

April 16th, 2010
6:51 pm

GO UGA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we all know who runs this state… and people ar ereally questioning this……

Jason

April 16th, 2010
6:57 pm

UGA runs the state? HAHAHAHAHAH Marcus will come to Georgia Tech and play for a real basketball program instead of going to UGA where you can finish last in a horrible SEC conference and be on the way up as a program.

SLK 65

April 16th, 2010
6:59 pm

Hey Pi$$,

As apposed to what the terrorist training camp down in Atlanta, get a life and move out of your moms basement.

Pi$$onaDAWG

April 16th, 2010
7:08 pm

Really? really? That is the stated enrollment of African Americans for UGA 09-10 school year. Didn’t 4 black men get in trouble a few weeks back and it was thought they were all UGA football players. What did I say that is wrong?

boots

April 16th, 2010
7:11 pm

Who has the hottest program in the South? Which program is on the rise? Where is the best college coach when it comes to developing players and winning games? You don’t have to look any farther than Athens!

DEATH2UGA

April 16th, 2010
7:44 pm

Hey Brian F. how many lottery picks has Mark Fox put in the NBA?? Sounds like you are selling a dream. You know why Lelsie and Thompkins didnt go pro? BECAUSE NOBODY SAW THERE GAMES!!! In reality Hewitt pumps out lottery picks and has a track record and history of doing so. Hewitt also has more job security than Fox (or even Coach K). I hope this kid makes the best choice for his future’s sake.

Jonny 5

April 16th, 2010
7:52 pm

UGA has a basketball team? What rank were they, and are they even relavent?

Dave / NM

April 16th, 2010
7:54 pm

Answer for boots: “Who has the hottest program in the South? Which program is on the rise? Where is the best college coach when it comes to developing players and winning games?” Answer: KENTUCKY !!!