AJC’s Mr. Basketball returns from Alabama visit, will likely take recruiting trips soon to UGA and Georgia Tech (Updated)

Anthony Grant has known Marcus Thornton longer than any coach from Thornton's other finalists. Why is that? Grant tried to land Thornton while at VCU (AP Photo)

Anthony Grant has known Marcus Thornton longer than any coach from Thornton's other finalists. Why is that? Grant tried to land Thornton while at VCU (AP Photo)

Alabama coach Anthony Grant was first in line with the opportunity to impress the AJC’s Mr. Basketball on his home court.

Westlake’s Marcus Thornton, one of college basketball’s hottest free agents, took an unofficial visit to Alabama this weekend.

Along with Grant, the prized prospect also had conversations with two other well-known Alabama representatives — school president Dr. Robert Whitt and Nick Saban, football coach of the reigning BCS champions.

“I was very impressed by Coach Grant and his overall approach to the program,” Thornton said in a statement. “He created a family-like environment, and seemed like a coach that anyone would want to play for.”

What’s up next for Thornton? He will visit Texas within the next week, and said he is likely to take recruiting trips to Kentucky, Georgia Tech, and UGA over the next few weeks. All the visits will be one-day trips to minimize missed classes for Thornton. He is an Honor Roll student with a 3.7 GPA, which includes AP classes for college credit.

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What is the latest between Clemson and Thornton? He signed with the Tigers last November, but was released from his letter-of-intent after then-Clemson coach Oliver Purnell was hired away by DePaul. Purnell was a main reason why Thornton picked Clemson.

The 6-foot-7 forward still likes Clemson and is impressed with the new coach (Brad Brownell). Because Thornton has traveled to Clemson numerous times, he is “unsure if another trip is needed.” He has been keeping in contact with (Brownell).

The No. 7 and final school on Thornton’s list in Michigan. Thornton is still discussing Michigan with his family and “will decide something in the near future.”

Thornton said he enjoyed his Alabama trip, but declined to reveal a leader among his schools yet.

47 comments Add your comment

Tech Fan

May 1st, 2010
9:20 pm

Come to Georgia Tech.

BBall Dawg

May 1st, 2010
9:42 pm

You should come play for UGA. You can get a lot of expsoure since three of our games will be on CSS next year. You can take advantage of those AP classes by majoring in Home Ec with the rest of team. You can also play in front of sell it crowds since we play Kentucky and several road games.

Barkin'Dog

May 1st, 2010
9:47 pm

You’ll have more fun and get more recognition for building the program at Georgia… not to mention staying in your home state and giving your truest fans the pleasure of seeing you excel. But, bottom line, you should consider how well you’ll do at finishing your education and excelling in the real world after your basketball career is over. Good luck in any decision you make.

Alabama brick throwers

May 1st, 2010
10:05 pm

Marcus, did you know that only a short while back Alabama lost a football game to Ole Miss. Coach Bill Curry was coach at Alabama then (he is now coaching football at Ga State) and Alabama fans were so upset someone threw a brick through the coaches window. Thought you might like to know that, it is a true and documented story. And you have a Alabama fan on here calling the state of Ga rednecks. What a joke. Sign with GA TECH

BobDawg

May 1st, 2010
10:06 pm

Marcus, you will see construction going on at The Steg and will have a Pro BBall look & feel when done… Great homecourt advantage in a great campus…. See ya next Fall!!!

Voice of Reason

May 1st, 2010
10:28 pm

I am amused by the statement that the first blogger made regarding Tech playing for national titles every year with Paul Hewitt. My first question would be when was the last time Paul Hewitt won a national championship at Tech? As for preparing players for the NBA, well, Hewitt has had more talent come to Tech that absolutely accomplished very little compared to schools like Duke, NC, and the other ACC schools. Last, most know that Hewitt will probably not be at Tech in another year, and is extremely lucky to be there for the coming season.
As for the remark about the “cow building in Athens”, you can draw the comparison with the all steel building at Tech. Stegman Coliseum is now a much nicer facility, and when the renovation is complete by next season, the Tech facility will really look bad by comparison. Also, has Tech got a practice facility any where near as nice as UGA? The answer is “no”.
Consider the goals you have academically and athletically, and make the choice you are most qualified to make with your intellect. I know you will, and while I wish you would play for Mark Fox and help place UGA basketball on the map quicker, being happy with your environment and goal possibility is what is most important. Maybe UGA will be fortunate enough to have you come to Athens. Best of luck to you young man.

cajdawg

May 1st, 2010
10:38 pm

Bama4238: “MARCUS, PLEASE LEAVE THE REDNECK STATE OF GEORGIA ASAP, AND SIGN WITH ALABAMA. LEAVE THOSE HILLBILLIES AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. RUN DONT WALK. COACH GRANT IS A WORLD CHANGER.”

Seriously, you people f..k farm animals in Alabama.

cdog

May 1st, 2010
11:26 pm

marcus thornton please sign with the georgia bulldogs.coach mark fox will guarantee you a great career and education.don’t even fool with con man calapari at kentusky.you have a chance to prosper better at uga.with the class already aboard, along with yourself, uga will beat all of the teams around including kentucky and georgia tech.

Tallcrarl

May 1st, 2010
11:28 pm

Marcus, I hope you read the well wrtten blog by Voice of Reason. He said what many of us feel. Georgia has a nice family feel to it also. GOOOO DOOOOGS, SIC EM

college is forever

May 1st, 2010
11:39 pm

http://www.collegelunchboxes.com Check out the UGA classic tin lunchbox, and give your Mom or your wife a present she will remember for years, especially if you put something nice inside like some jewelry. Go Dawgs!!!

Albany Dawg

May 1st, 2010
11:42 pm

Represent your state university, UGA. We are close to showing how good the basketball talent is in Georgia. We need our best, and you are it. You will love Athens and Coach Fox.

thwg

May 1st, 2010
11:59 pm

Hey Voice of Reason – you’re an idiot. GT just opened a brand new basketball practice facility last year you moron – nicest in the country by most estimates. Athens not a cow town? You probably think TGI Fridays and Chilis is find dining also. Why waste AP intellect at a second rate academic institute like UGA. If you want to be the best, you have to play with the best – ACC baby. Back to back National Championships.

Calling Athens a cow town is an insult to cows everywhere.

thwg

May 2nd, 2010
12:01 am

Hey Tall crarl – family feel? yeah, much like the catholic church. What a bunch of unsophisticated hicks you dawgs are. It’s hysterical. But it’s been a good week for UGA, no more arrests or assaults by UGA athletes – family feel – you are too much!

John Calipari

May 2nd, 2010
12:22 am

Its kentucky anything else need to be said?

theight

May 2nd, 2010
1:51 am

@Bama4238:

Did this fool just say that Georgia is a Redneck, hillbilly state. Alabama is the last state to mention that about someone. There are more KKK’s there is illegal immigrants in Arizona. That piece of shiite state you live in.

Big Blue News » Blog Archiv

May 2nd, 2010
2:05 am

[...] Marcus Thornton is likely to take a recruiting trip to Kentucky in the next few weeks [...]

Pooshoosh

May 2nd, 2010
8:40 am

Go to Tech. If you’re not getting mugged, you can be around a lot of other guys. You can also get in on some good Dungeons and Dragons action. And like the earlier poster said, we take care of our own. I can get 10% of calculators anytime I want with my connections…

Phillip

May 2nd, 2010
8:53 am

Marcus glad you had a great visit to Tuscaloosa. You can’t go wrong with any of the fine schools you are considering. There is no doubt about that. I sincerely hope you give Alabama a shot, but look forward to watching you regardless of where you choose. Good luck and Roll Tide Marcus!

South Ga Dawg

May 2nd, 2010
9:33 am

Who cares about Ga Tech basketball. They dont ever do anything with it. Favors would have turned pro if he had gone jr college out of high school. Besides you might get gunned down walking to the gym. The heck with Tech!!!

jsh

May 2nd, 2010
9:45 am

or you can get gunned down by a crazy professor at UGA.

Jimmy

May 2nd, 2010
10:53 am

To the first commenter, “Our basketball coach, Paul Hewitt, has a documented history of preparing players for the NBA. Look what he did for Derrick Favors in only one year!”

Favors was projected as a one-and-done top 3 lottery pick before even entering college. Most analysts and commentators have said that this year was very disappointing for Favors but that he will remain a lottery pick because of his size and athleticism. Hewitt is great at recruiting excellent players but does nothing to improve their draft status.

bruce mac

May 2nd, 2010
11:00 am

Marcus, stay in State. This is where you will live the rest of your life. Go to Tech or UGA whichever you think fits best for you. Tech is solid and UGA under Mr. Fox is building something special.

Keith

May 2nd, 2010
11:02 am

I did not know they have a basketball program at UGA,

harold

May 2nd, 2010
11:09 am

Enter your comments here

harold

May 2nd, 2010
11:11 am

WHY GO TO SCHOOL LIKE GEORGIA THAT ISN’T EVEN COMMITTED TO BASKETBALL AND IS DEAD LAST IN THE SEC? I WOULD PLAY FOR BRUCE PEARL AT TENNESSEE OR GO TO MEMPHIS!

Delbert D.

May 2nd, 2010
11:50 am

Marcus, take your academic ability and go to a 4-year program. Make something of yourself.

bruce mac

May 2nd, 2010
12:43 pm

First off, TN is not even under consideration and secondly I have it on good authority Marcus is not into armed robbery.

DZ

May 2nd, 2010
1:02 pm

Marcus,
If you want to get mugged walking home from classes, go to Georgia Tech.
If you like homeless people & crackheads, go to Georgia Tech.
If you want to play in front of 9000 max, go to Georgia Tech.
If you want to underachieve and get lost in the shuffle, go to Georgia Tech.

NoCoach Blewitt

May 2nd, 2010
1:22 pm

Kentucky and Calipari pay too well …… Although Hewitt has to have a way with words to not only be able to keep his job but also somehow garner other suitors. As a Tech fan I am torn … would like him to come if he will stay for more than one year. However if he goes somewhere else and with Blewey’s terrible recruiting class (plus all the talent leaving) there stands a great chance that Blewitt will be jobless next year. One can only hope.

Kevin

May 2nd, 2010
1:53 pm

Marcus, come join the best college basketball program of ALL TIME — the University of Kentucky! The Big Blue Nation is anxiously awaiting your decision! GO BIG BLUE!

Hal

May 2nd, 2010
3:50 pm

Marcus,
If you want to get shot at by your professor, go to Georgia.
If you want to step in human poop in the library lobby, go to Georgia.
If you want your stadium to smell like raw sewage, go to Georgia.
If you want to play in a gym that was used for rodeos, go to Georgia.
If you want to play in front of dozens of people, go to Georgia.

Crimson Is King

May 2nd, 2010
3:53 pm

Marcus, I highly recommend the University of Alabama, based on my time there and my long-standing love affair with their sports teams. I was in the same freshman class as Antonio Mcdyess (saw him at freshman orientation). Alabama is not just a football school, they have an excellent basketball tradition, including a long list of players who have played in the NBA. It would be great if you would join Anthony Grant’s program and add new levels to that tradition. Alabama is a fine school as well, and I know you are a good student. I would love to see you scorching the nets for my favorite basketball team. God Bless and Roll Tide Marcus!

[...] jury is still out.  He still plans to visit Kentucky, Georgia and Georgia Tech.  I guess M$U’s [...]

Mack

May 3rd, 2010
9:00 am

Hey Kid don’t even consider Alabama or UGA. They’re basically upstate teams.Well UGA has a chance to be good,but being from Atlanta you might be in culture shock by the redneck behavior in Alabama. Its a football state and as long as baskerball is just another event,you’ll be just another player in the SEC. If u want to shine then go to TENN,UK,or may be Tech.Be careful though kid cuz your a good player but not a pro,so go where you can get better on and off the court.

SecIsFootball

May 3rd, 2010
11:57 am

BobDawg….as a BAMA fan I am in no way under the impression that he will play for the tide. And with offers from the likes of UK, Texas, GT (They do make the tourney regularly), he likely wont be playing for UGA either. If he doesnt go to BAMA, I hope he goes to UGA as my dad is a former UGA basketball player and I still like the team. However, you comments about Stegman are a little off base. There is NOTHING you can do to that gym to give it a pro look and feel. Sorry…just isn’t gonna happen.

[...] Thornton visited Alabama over the weekend and is working to finalize his visit schedule, here’s the latest from Michael Carvell of the AJC: What’s up next for Thornton? He will visit Texas within the next week, and said he is likely to [...]

Coop

May 3rd, 2010
12:22 pm

Jim

May 3rd, 2010
2:04 pm

Not a fan of either but I am really surprised by the Georgia fans claiming that Alabama is a redneck state…I think they need to get their head out of the sand and look around. Obviously Bama is a much straighter line to the NBA and UGA is a straighter line to jail. I would consider 7 or 8 other SEC teams before UGA and all of the ACC teams. The kid doesnt need to waste his talent on UGA…he will be sorry.

Mark Fox

May 3rd, 2010
4:59 pm

UK is offering Marcus? Oh shoot, I am finished! I can’t come close to that tradition and pageantry. Another great basketball talent leaves the state…Can’t understand why no one wants to play in front of 4300 fans at Stegman?

mid town

May 3rd, 2010
11:22 pm

Marcus, do you realize it was just a short time ago that Georgia Tech fans threw liquor bottles at the
Alabama bench and they went to the game planning to ridicule a schools religion( Notre Dame) when
they took fish to the game and threw the fish at the Notre Dame bench. You may go to GT, but if you do
you will be with the biggest two-faced people in college sports. Good luck.

UKoverALL

May 4th, 2010
1:33 pm

This is one funny blog. I thought the UK/UL rivalry was bad until I read here.

In football, UK conceeds the best talent from the state of Kentucky to the top tier of the SEC. In basketball, no promising player with great potential would want to go to a basketball graveyard. If he wants to see sell-out crowds for UK, he might as well see it 40 times a year as UK fans travel with their team. It all depends on his proirities.

At UK, all his options will be available to him. Other than Florida, no SEC team has put more than one player in the NBA. This past season a UK reserve will be drafted in the first round. Why? Playing for a good team has its privileges. If he goes anywhere else, he will be double and triple teamed and won’t be able to showcase his abilities.

He needs UK as much as UK needs him, and that is a compliment.

The Truth

May 4th, 2010
1:53 pm

“Alabama brick throwers”, if by “only a short time ago”, you meant “before Marcus was even born”, then yes, I guess that was “only a short time ago”.

BN

May 4th, 2010
11:15 pm

Roll Tide Marcus

[...] undecided on a future college.  According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Thornton took an unofficial visit to Alabama last weekend.  The same article details that Thornton will likely visit Texas soon, with future trips to [...]

Bill Curry

May 11th, 2010
10:26 pm

Wrong Sport, wise Ga Tech Guy !
Do you think Marcus is looking at Football Programs ? Where do you want Marcus to play? Quarterback, Tight End, Punter ? ? ?

By the way, Bill Curry was a football coach at UA a few decades ago !
and Marcus Thornton is an outstanding Student and Basketball Player…

oh oh, oh no, oh no !
Did you hear about what happened to the golf coach in 1973 ? ? ?
Please tell Marcus, dear Ga Tech Guy for Football.

Chicago Bulls Head Coach, Calipari

May 11th, 2010
10:30 pm

‘UKoverALL” is telling a LIE with the statement :
“Other than Florida, no SEC team has put more than one player in the NBA.”

Alabamian with a calendar

May 14th, 2010
5:18 pm

Marcus, pay no attention to the Georgia redneck with undocumented documentation regarding fantastic accounts of a rumored incident that was to have happened not a short while back, but 22 years ago. Hope you pick the Tide and Coach Grant. He is an awesome coach and is headed for great things. Georgia’s basketball program is OK, but doesn’t have a big upside.