The ‘Marcus Thornton Effect?’ Top prospect has UGA, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest as favorites, says coach

When the AJC’s Mr. Georgia Basketball (Westlake’s Marcus Thornton) picked UGA last week, Thornton said he hoped it would encourage Georgia’s other elite basketball prospects to consider playing for the Bulldogs.

How will the AJC's Mr. Georgia Basketball picking UGA affect future recruiting for the Bulldogs?

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Shall we call it the “Marcus Thornton Effect?”

If anything, Thornton’s selection of UGA over perennial powerhouses such as Kentucky, Florida, Memphis and North Carolina caught the attention of a few of the state’s elite basketball players for 2011. Milton coach David Boyd said one of his three prized juniors, 6-foot-9 power forward Julian Royal, has UGA, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest as his favorites. Milton shooting guard Dai-Jon Parker is considering offers from UGA and Georgia Tech, among others, while point guard Shannon Scott has committed to Ohio State.

“Julian Royal’s recruiting has been very intense,” Boyd told the AJC. “I think his three favorites, and I’m not going to put them in any order, are Georgia, Wake Forest, and Georgia Tech.”

Royal has around 40 major-college offers. Why those three?

“With Georgia, I just think [Mark Fox] has done outstanding work there,” Boyd said. “They got Marcus Thornton, which really turned a lot of heads. That was very impressive. Georgia is an up-and-coming program and a state school.

“Georgia Tech is close to home, in the ACC, and they have sent a lot of guys to the NBA.

“Wake has always been a school highly interested in Julian, even with the coaching change.”

UGA, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech lead 40 schools for Royal (AJC)

UGA, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech lead 40 schools for Royal (AJC)

Boyd said that Royal is also taking looks at Alabama, Virginia Tech, Clemson and Virginia. “He has not really made any decision [narrowing down schools yet]. He hasn’t given me a list. But those three — Georgia, Wake and Tech — are the three schools I keep hearing about the most during our conversations.”

When will Royal make his college decision? Before his senior season begins? “That’s a good question … I don’t know,” Boyd said. “I think it would take a lot of stress off Julian if he decided during the summer or fall. But that’s up to him.”

What about Parker? Parker will at least wait until after the summer to announce his college decision, according to his coach. Parker gave up a promising football career (11 major-college offers in football) to focus on basketball only as a senior. The 6-3 Parker will travel the country over the summer while playing for two AAU basketball teams. His offer sheet includes Georgia Tech, UGA, Ohio State, Auburn and Virginia.

Milton is a top contender for a mythical national championship in high school basketball for next year. The Eagles won the 2010 state championship in Georgia’s largest classification, defeating Thornton’s Westlake High.

Royal was the team’s leading scorer, averaging 18 points and 8 rebounds. He saved Milton’s season by making two free throws with no time on the clock in the controversial 52-51 win over Norcross in the playoff’s quarterfinals.

87 comments Add your comment

e.lo

May 27th, 2010
5:29 am

Enter your comments here First !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

VA DAWG

May 27th, 2010
6:41 am

Royal, Parker and Caldwell should be UGA’s priority and would be a great recruiting class…along with Marshall signing a football scholly. Hope Fox can reel in some of these “Big Fish.” GO DAWGS!

JB

May 27th, 2010
7:50 am

Here we come Tech……but take heart, it might get rid of your coach quicker. We pound you guys by 20 points, some folks on the flats won’t be happy……GATA

GooseDawg

May 27th, 2010
9:02 am

Get these young men to Athens Coach Fox!
UGA Basketball, a program on the rise!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

May 27th, 2010
9:54 am

Good recruits equal great press. People are starting to take notice of what Coach Fox is trying to accomplish up in Athens. Agreed GooseDawg- program is on the rise.

Boydist

May 27th, 2010
10:23 am

Coach Boyd is the man. You have no idea how much he electrifies a team and it’s student body.

-Berkmar Class of 2001.
Back To Back Baby!!
“We Too Deep”

Boydist

May 27th, 2010
10:26 am

Oh….

And Tech is just screwed.

Go Dawgs!!!!!!

Favors Went to the Wrong School

May 27th, 2010
10:28 am

Unfortunately, the Tech basketball fans actually hate Hewitt already…a big part of that is that we have beaten him 6 out of 10 times in his tenure, and no way have we had better teams. Perception of a program changes very quickly in basketball (it takes about 3-5 years in football for a program to be perceived as changed), and the perception after this last season really is showing that UGA is a school on the rise and the Tech is what it is, good players, no coaching, and no telling if that coach will be there because Tech has to fire him before the NCAAs, and unless Tech isn’t going to the NCAAs, how do you fire a coach who can get you there, only to lose quickly, but still pay him $6+MM to go away? That’s what frustrates Tech fans.

But for my Dawgs, I’m happy we are getting something going in Basketball. Our history is sad, but with the talent in the state, it shouldn’t be as bad as it has been.

Dawg 3/20

May 27th, 2010
10:38 am

Just like UGA football will never again consistenly compete with The Florida Gators the UGA basketball team will never consistently compete with the Kentucky Wildcats.

Hoopster

May 27th, 2010
10:55 am

What a joke. The Marcus Thornton effect. Anybody that followed the saga knows the kid wanted to go to Tech and not UGa. However the antiquated policies of the ACC would force the kid to sit a year and pretty much pushed him over to UGa.

Badpuppy

May 27th, 2010
10:58 am

Dawg 3/20, Not only can we compete with Florida, all signs point to our domination of Florida. We’ve got the best freshman quarterback in the country a great O line, 5 star backs and a new built defense which will easily be one of the top 10 in the country next year. You need to brush up on your facts.
And KY is clearly one and done!

Justahfan

May 27th, 2010
11:01 am

Georgia fans are soooooo loyal.The bb team had a terrible season and all they blog about is the fact that they beat Tech and how Tech sucks etc.etc.It’s like THAT one game defined your whole season.That speaks volumes about your program that you would brag about beating a team that that you say is garbage,that played in it’s conference championship against the eventual NCAA National Champs,(Duke)went to the second round of the NCAA tournament,and still has two players projected as high picks in this years NBA draft.
You are indeed a proud and loyal family….WOW

HugoStiglitz

May 27th, 2010
11:12 am

Yes, im sure all of the 4 and 5 star recruits who are committed to Kentucky, UNC, Kansas, and Duke are all going to start rushing to get to UGA now that a 3 star recruit committed there.

shane

May 27th, 2010
11:14 am

The bb team had a terrible season

No they didnt. By all accounts they overachieved. Most didnt expect them to win 10 games. Well they won more than that and beat Tenn and Tech and Florida.

By all accounts keep on trolling but if you think UGA’s program isnt on the rise you are a fool and just fooling yourself. Even Tech fans ( the rational ones ) will admit that fact.

shane

May 27th, 2010
11:15 am

UGA now that a 3 star recruit committed there.

That was also Mr Basketball in the state of Georgia. UK offered him a scholarship. If he sucks so bad why did UK want him?

shane

May 27th, 2010
11:16 am

Oh and Florida and Memphis and North Carolina offered Mr Thornton a scholarship.

Yeah. He must really suck.

UK THOROUGHBRED

May 27th, 2010
11:18 am

Badpuppy even if UK is one and done we still OWN the SEC in basketball! Plus I agree with others UGA is on the rise but eventually Fox will leave to go coach at a basketball school. UGA fans only primarily care about football but wait oh thats right UK even beat you boys in football last season.

Luke M

May 27th, 2010
11:23 am

The real Marcus Thornton Effect already won an SEC title in 08-09 and made a very strong showing as a rookie with the Hornets in 09-10.

HugoStiglitz

May 27th, 2010
11:25 am

I never said he sucked, I said that he isnt good enough to convince other recruits to look at UGA just because he committed there. UK, and UNC recruited this guy to add depth to their bench. He probably would have never started a game at either school. There is a reason he was at Clemson first, and then UGA. He actually wants to play.

buzz

May 27th, 2010
11:31 am

Tell you guys what, you puppies sign them all, beat us by 20, we get to fire hewitt, renovate our building and then laugh our heads off when Fox bolts just like Tubby. It’s going to happen, you know it, UGA basketball is a stepping stone not a destination.

Buzz

May 27th, 2010
11:33 am

Thorton would of come to TECH if he wouldn’t of had to sit out a year!!! Don’t get too excited bball DOGGIE fans!!! Ya’ll still suck and your arena is even worse!!!

Justahfan

May 27th, 2010
11:35 am

shane,one question for you.Have you ever seen M.Thornton play? And don’t lie. HAVE YOU?

Farve Dollar Footlong

May 27th, 2010
11:40 am

Justahfan, speaking of a win defining a season..All any Tech fan still talks about is the win over UGA in 08. I guess that win defined an entire decade, seeing as how that was the only win in 10 years ….

TROTTINGHOME

May 27th, 2010
11:42 am

Hoopster, I got to say….weep alll you want about why he signed with “Da Dawgs”…fact is Georgia ain’y that bad or he would have sat the year at FUZZY COLLEGE.

ANd the same goes for you Buzz

Kirk Frentz

May 27th, 2010
11:45 am

I love that Wake Forest school, hell of a football team we played in the Orange Bowl.

gdawginkalamazoo

May 27th, 2010
11:48 am

Coach Fox got two NBA talents to come back for next year. Good things happening with Mr. Basketball coming in and possibly some of these other top recruits. They want to get to the next level looks like Fox is one that can get them there.

TROTTINGHOME

May 27th, 2010
11:48 am

LOL at Hugo…a D1 team giving scholarships to come off the bench. Who says he was going to start at Clemson? Besides all players are groomed to be starters or they play for an institution that is faking and lying…just not all ever good enough to start.

True Baller

May 27th, 2010
11:51 am

Justahfan and Shane: Yes, I’ve seen Marcus Thornton play the last three years at Westlake. Attended several games. He is a good player, but not on the scale as some of the more notable Mr. Basketball. This was a very lean senior basketball class. The junior class is the one with overall talent. This senior class is average that goes about five deep. Thornton was chosen Mr. Basketball because of the lean class. The two better players team were both eliminated early from the playoffs.
How go was Westlake? Even with Mr. Basketball not playing in the championship game, they only lost to a deep junior-laden Milton by 10 point with Mr. Basketball nursing a sore ankle sustained during player introductions.
People need to remember he signed with Clemson, not exactly a national or ACC powerhouse for that matter.
What about Kentucky? After losing so many players, Kentucky had scholarships to give. Thornton was one of the better of the unsigned players left, so why not offer. If he signed good, if not Kentucky wasn’t sweating it, because next year, they are bringing in a Top 5 class and Thornton will become a role and bench player.
UGA and Tech need players. Kentucky just need warm bodies until they sign a highly rated class in 2011.
NOT HATE, JUST FACTS from someone who has followed high school basketball in this state for over 35 years.
Thornton will be a solid player for UGA the next four years. He will probably top out at third team all-conference. He needs to develop some post moves and a 10-12 foot jumper. He will not be able to just use his athleticism and strength to overpower players in the SEC. He also needs more toughness. The toughness showed when he only played about a minute in the Class AAAAA championship game because of a chest bump during player introductions sent him to the floor with a twisted ankle.

Jack

May 27th, 2010
11:52 am

AJC – please take Tebow’s picture off the homepage. Thankyou

DawginLex

May 27th, 2010
12:05 pm

Bruce Pearl has proven that you can compete in the SEC East and compete nationally.

UK isn’t going anywhere but neither is UT, UF and now UGA since UGA now has a real coach who can teach the game and is not a crook.

Vandy and SC are the ones who should be worried.

HugoStiglitz

May 27th, 2010
12:05 pm

LOL at TROTTINGHOME. Every NCAA D1 program gets 13 scholarships per year for their players and recruits. Do you really think they dont offer scholarships to players they know will come off the bench? Kentucky has already recruited two 5 star forwards and a 4 star forward along with some more 5 and 4 star recruits. Marcus Thornton had basically no chance to ever start there.

Hoops Dawg

May 27th, 2010
12:05 pm

This is good news because power forward is perhaps our biggest need for next year (After Trey is no longer with us) and Mr. Royal would be a huge pick-up. If CMF can land him and convince one of the two 5-star shooting guards to come to UGA, interest in BB among the long frustrated Georgia basketball fans will be sky high. In the meantime, I expect the dawgs to put a fine product on the court in this upcoming season, even if it takes Marcus Thornton a half-season to get acclimated to the point where he can become a regular contributor.

DawginLex

May 27th, 2010
12:09 pm

Haters need to realize, UGA basketball is preseason top 25 for next year. How long since that happened?

The SEC East next year is going to be loaded.

UK-#1 Recruiting class in the country
Florida-Returns a ton of talent along with a great incoming class
UT-Will slip a bit but has talent and a good class coming in
UGA-Leslie and Thompkins staying was huge along with the incoming class and Coach Fox’s teaching ability, there is reason for optimism.
Vandy and SC-TROUBLE Brad Tinsley is Vandy’s point guard for next year?
SC-loses downey

4 top 25 teams-not bad for a football league

Justahfan

May 27th, 2010
12:11 pm

Farve dollar foot Iam talkin’ about this blog,this,year and talkin basketball…Pull yourself together “Pal”

burr

May 27th, 2010
12:14 pm

umm im pretty sure because of his relesae from his l.o.i. he would have to sit out year bc he was gonna still be in the acc, had he chosen unc or gt. unc and uk only offered bc of transfers and ppl going to the draft and it was a late scramble to get a post player. unc “offered” a player going to prep school for a year, and they got a transfer from alabama who averaged about 5pts a game. uk ended up getting a juco player so dont make it sound like thorton was their number prized target.

TROTTINGHOME

May 27th, 2010
12:15 pm

Like I alluded to in first post “Hugo hug my nuts”. No coach tells a player “I’m recruiting you to come off the bench”.

True Baller…you wouldn’t have time to post here if you knew as much as you say you do.

DawginLex

May 27th, 2010
12:16 pm

Thornton dissed UK because he knew he was being recruited over.

He is still a good pickup for UGA-a solid 4 year player who can improve each year. Get several of those and you win a lot of games.

Dacula Jacket

May 27th, 2010
12:23 pm

UGA needs a lot more than a three-star left over to fix that mess of a program. How many halves are there in a game again?

HugoStiglitz

May 27th, 2010
12:25 pm

Nice TROTTINGHOME, you look like an idiot so you try to backtrack and throw in some immature insults also. That always works well. Bravo!

TROTTINGHOME

May 27th, 2010
12:31 pm

No back tracking …You misunderstood and stuck ur foot in your mouth…got called on it and now you got called a name for it.

finally

May 27th, 2010
12:32 pm

i have been saying for a long time that phew is not all that. we all know he is a $hitty coach. yet many say he is a great recruiter.

i dont agree.

well it looks to me like that statement is about to be disproved. i contend that any good coach with a good personality could recruit well if not better than phew at gt. any good coach could certainly get more out of the players we have had. certainly more than phew has gotten. phew= richt

over the last 6 years phew has been relying heavily on 5 things to help his recruiting.

-he is black so black players always give him a fair shot. its a shame that phew will not recruit white blue chippers with the same zeal that he recruits black blue chippers. it is painfully obvious to many fans that phew is a closet racist. yes black people can be bigots too.

- gt plays in the acc

-gt is in atlanta an nba city

-gt had a great rep when phew hired on as our coach *sic* due to the hard work of bobby cremins. dont look now but phew is tearing down our program brick by brick.

-gt’s final 4 appearance of 04. even a pig in a silk suit can fine an acorn now n than.

i find it telling that the comments from thornton’s coach does not call phew a great coach. nor does he point out the great direction that phew has gt going. imo this is a repeating scenerio with all the coaches of the recruits that phew is going after. when is the last time anybody has (other than our AD) called phew a great coach?

it has taken 6 years of terrible coaching…. poor performance on the court…. and a lack of discipline (last in academics and players acting like thugs ) for high school coaches and players to finally realize that gt is not a good situation to be in if you want to win acc championships…. if you want to graduate … if you want to perform well in the ncaa’s … if you want to learn how to play bb …if you want to be a well rounded human being.

look no further than we have ONE recruit this year. look no further than instate players looking to play for uga rather than gt. look no further then our egotistical coach acting like a crazy man,.

a crazy man who so believes in his system that he will not try something different. last time i looked the definition of crazy is expecting different results while continuing with the same actions. that is phew to a T.

it is looking like gt will have to take even more steps backwards before we can once again get back on the path of being a creditable bb program,

Jason

May 27th, 2010
12:32 pm

LMAO UGA is not on the rise. Royal will go to GT…he wouldn’t have to sit out a year like Thornton did.

True Baller

May 27th, 2010
12:33 pm

TROTTINGHOME: What does that mean? Just check the facts. As said before not hating on Thornton, UGA or Tech. Several player in the state was rated higher, but team failed and the top player Jelan Kendricks was the state’s only national all-American, but team failed and bad attitude. Thornton wasn’t recruited by all the major powerhouses at first, but this late in the recruiting game and a good player available, you offer. If he accepts good, if not, you know you are bringing in a standout class the next year.
Forgot to add, Thornton will probably be an academic All-SEC. He has a lot of potential to become a solid SEC performer in three to four years.
All I’m saying is don’t look for Thornton to be this one-and-done or two-and-done. He will be a four-year player that will develop into solid player.
As Justahfan said, have any of you all seen Thornton player? Most of caught up on the Mr. Basketball title.
In 2002, Georgia signed Mr. Basketball, Wayne Arnold. That was another lean class and Arnold won by default. By the way, Arnold ended his career at Tennessee State. Thornton will graduate from UGA because he is better prepared academically.

Justahfan

May 27th, 2010
12:37 pm

TRUE BALLER
Ahhhhhhh,finally the voice of reason.I’m feeling every bit of what U R sayin.Have seen Thornton play 5 or 6 times and I would say that your assessment is ON POINT !!!! You see what I see.I’m somewhat of a basketball junkie so I’m always @ BB games,be it middle school,high school, or college. Thanks “TRUE BALLER”

HugoStiglitz

May 27th, 2010
12:39 pm

You said “LOL at Hugo…a D1 team giving scholarships to come off the bench”. Thats pretty straight forward and you never mentioned anything about what coaches tell the players. You obviously know nothing about college recruiting or the scholarship process and tried to backtrack when you got called out on it. If you have to resort to name calling then you are probably losing the argument. So go ahead, call me some more names, show us all how mature you are.

Reality

May 27th, 2010
12:56 pm

Commit to a place that knows how to get you to the NBA – and it isn’t that place in rural farmland, ugag. Athens only knows how to get their athletes arrested and possibly get you some lame recreational degree. No one needs either of those!

nickj0321

May 27th, 2010
1:15 pm

LOL At UGA fans who think anyone even gives a second of thought to their basketball program….irrelevant would be the best word to describe it…

KevinM

May 27th, 2010
1:26 pm

Not exactly the Marcus Thornton effect….it should be called the Derrick Favors or Gani Lawal effect because those 2 highly ranked big men decided to stay home prior to Thornton.
Coaches have continued to let local kids go elsewhere because they don’t put any effort in. Fox grabs one guy locally…..don’t annoint him the chosen one yet.

tenn.DAWG

May 27th, 2010
1:27 pm

Sounds like alot of UGA’s rivals are really getting nervous.With good reason no doubt,just like football,if they can keep the talent home, the sky is the limit.

KevinM

May 27th, 2010
1:38 pm

Michael, please tell me where Georgia or Tech ranks in their recruiting classes for the upcoming season. I didn’t see that mentioned anywhere.

Time will tell to show if kids believe in the state schools and how much these schools recruit the top players.