He won’t be able to help himself. On Friday nights, shooting guard Sindarius Thornwell (Lancaster, S.C./Oak Hill Academy) gets the bug, the itch to go play the game he once really loved. He itches but he doesn’t scratch.
“I miss on Friday nights, the physicalness of it,” Thornwell said. “If you’re mad, you take all your anger out [on the field]. I used to run over DBs. Football isn’t me anymore.”
Ranked No. 43 on the ESPN 100, hoops is in Thornwell’s future. He’s making basketball decisions these days like the one he made to leave Lancaster High in favor of Oak Hill. Close to his high school coach, Thornwell was able to keep the relationship intact despite the move.
“He took it kind of bad at first. I was leaving sooner or later and he said he’ll never hold me back from a better opportunity. I worked out with him before I came here.”
Thornwell hasn’t set visit dates yet but he’s definitely going to visit South Carolina. The Gamecocks locked in on him the moment Frank Martin accepted the position. “The same day they got the job, they were at the school,” Thornwell said. “When coach Frank got hired, an assistant came in the morning and in the afternoon Coach Frank came.”
Growing up in South Carolina, the tendency is to align yourself with either the Gamecocks or the Clemson Tigers, another team on Thornwell’s list. “I was neither. I was a Tar Heel growing up. I still like them to this day; that’s my favorite basketball team. In college football I liked Miami.”
South Carolina, Clemson, Syracuse, NC State and Florida State are his main schools of choice as of late August. Syracuse and South Carolina have the edge.
“I like Syracuse’s zone and the way they play,” Thornwell said. “Coach Frank, he’s cool. Most people say he’s crazy on the court, but off the court he’s a great person. Me and him just bonded.”
Given his perspective, it came as no surprise that Thornwell identified Julius Randle (Dallas/Prestonwood) as the one player that he’s been most impressed with. An attacking wing himself, Thornwell sees those characteristics in Randle.
“When I see him on tape, I used to think you could guard him and just sag on him and let him shoot. It’s hard to guard him because he’s too big. He’s like a Baby LeBron.”