On The Block: Sindarius Thornwell

By Charlie Drafts 5/17/2013 | charlie@blockcblog.com

Picture courtesy of ScoringLive.com | Photographer: Greg Yamamoto 

The 6-5, 190 pound shooting guard and the state of South Carolina’s number 1 rated high school prospect committed to the Gamecocks on October 1st, 2012 and has been the main focus of Frank Martin’s recruiting class since doing so. 

Thornwell is nationally ranked as the 43rd best player in the country and 11th best player at the shooting guard position. Thornwell finished his high school career playing at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, joining a long line of great basketball talents that have also played for the “Warriors”.

During his junior season at Lancaster High, Thornwell averaged 26 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists a game before deciding to play his senior season under the legendary coach Steve Smith at OHA in Virginia. 

Thornwell shows great scoring instincts and is able to create shots on his own. He also has a good first step and the strength to blow by defenders to get to the rim. He possesses a decent jump shot that should progress over time at the college level, but is good enough to hit open looks at the basket. 

With his long wingspan of 6-9, he is able to make plays on the defensive side due to his length and instincts. Thornwell has played a little point/forward over his career and could bring that to the table while at South Carolina as well. 

Overall Sindarius Thornwell is a great talent to have and with his versatility with the ball in his hands or not; he will make an immediate impact on both sides of the court and very well could be the best player on the team in his first season.

BCB: How was the decision made to make the move to Oak Hill Academy to end your high school career and what is it like to play for such a prestigious high school program that has a long list of greats, such as Carmelo Anthony, Brandon Jennings, Rajon Rondo and many more that have played for the Warriors?

Thornwell: It was a great experience, I left to better myself for basketball and be more prepared for college.  I enjoyed every moment playing for Oak Hill, and Coach Smith.

BCB: You had tons of offers from big time programs such as Ohio State, NC State and Tennessee to name a few. What influenced you to come back home and play for the Gamecocks?

Thornwell: I just wanted to make a statement wherever I went I just wanted to be remembered, and I think that I could make a huge impact at USC and plus I'm a South Carolina native.

BCB: The Gamecocks will have one of the youngest teams in the country going into the 2013-2014 season. Do you feel with such a young group that may lack experience and chemistry can make a run in the SEC and possibly become one of the most improved teams in the Nation in your first season?

Thornwell: I think once everybody gets use to everybody and we learn each other, we will be alright. We have a lot of growing up to do, but once everybody understand what Coach Frank wants we will be just fine.

BCB: How excited/anxious are you to be a part of building something new at South Carolina and changing a program that hasn't really had a lot of success?

Thornwell: I'm very excited when I go to the football games and I see how much they support the football team, it just excites me more. Once we start winning, CLA will be going crazy... I always have these thoughts.

BCB: What are your personal goals as a freshman and has Frank Martin spoken to you about how you may be utilized during your freshman campaign?

Thornwell: I really don't have any individual goals. I just want to win 20 plus games and make at least the NIT tournament.  Whatever success i have individually then that's a blessing.

BCB: How was experience during your official visit? Did you have the opportunity to hang out with any current players?

Thornwell: My experience was great. I had fun hanging out with all the players, they showed me a great time and everybody at USC welcomed me like i was already there.

BCB: During AAU ball and while playing for the Bruins you ran a little point/forward, can you see yourself in the position at the collegiate level?

Thornwell: I think next year I will be playing a little bit of the point. I like it more on the wing being able to score more.

BCB: You would you say you best model your game after and who is your favorite current NBA player?

Thornwell: I would say my game is after probably JR Smith, the way he's able to get to the rim and shoot the basketball, but my favorite player in the NBA is Lebron James

BCB: Has there been any talk of what jersey  number you might wear as a Gamecock? If you could choose what number would you wear?

Thornwell: I was wanting to wear number three, but since its retired, I think I'm going to wear number four because it represents my neighborhood, and I'll never forget where I came from.

BCB: What is something about yourself you would like Gamecock Nation to know?

Thornwell: I'm a very outgoing person, I love having fun and I'm just ready to come to USC and help change the basketball program around.

Follow Sindarius on Twitter: @Sin_City_803

By Charlie Drafts 5/13/2013