GREENVILLE, SC - MARCH 19: Sindarius Thornwell #0 of the South Carolina Gamecocks reacts in the second half against the Duke Blue Devils during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on March 19, 2017 in Greenville, South Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Sindarius Thornwell (SG/SF, South Carolina)

 

Measurables: 6’5”, 6’10” wingspan, 211 lbs, 22.7 years old

Strengths

  • Refined scorer – carried suffocating SC offense
  • Gets to the free throw line a ton and converts – 9.9 FTA/40, 83%
  • 3 point shot has improved over the course of his career – 39% on 5.6 3PA/40 last year
  • Extremely strong, physical defender – 2.8 DWS, .274 WS/40
  • Great size, length, and strength to play 2 in NBA, can check 3s
  • Buys into system/coaching – great intangibles
  • Incredible defensive metrics – 3.6 STL%, 6.7 DBPM
  • Compares very well to Malcolm Brogdon last season – instant impact rookie?
  • 3 point shooting numbers pretty consistent from month to month
  • Aggressive on boards – 12.0 TRB%
  • Pretty good playmaker – 19.3 AST%/11.9 TOV%
  • Able to impact shots while closing out with length – 3.4 BLK%
  • Has the necessary frame to succeed at 2 and 3 in NBA

Weaknesses

  • Doesn’t elevate on jumper – how will he fare with NBA range?
  • Not a phenomenal athlete – doesn’t move through traffic quickly
  • Lacks elite burst/length to finish in lane – 59% at rim
  • Below average first step
  • Struggled from field overall for parts of year – around 40% for 2 months
  • Draws fouls, but has questionable finishing ability
  • Will need to expand role as playmaker to succeed in NBA, similar to what Brogdon did
  • Will foul-drawing translate against bigger, smarter defenders?
  • Off-court questions – arrest in May 2016
  • Only has one good season of good 3 point shooting
  • Hard to distinguish role on offense at NBA level – how does he transition to smaller role?
  • Are his offensive skills conducive to playing a smaller role in NBA?
  • Age/ability to translate to NBA – almost 23 already

Overall

  • Thornwell was a leader his whole career at South Carolina, culminating in an impressive Final Four run. He had few holes in his game at college level – all value stats say he was one of the best guys in the country – but he isn’t very athletic and will struggle finishing against NBA length. If he is going to succeed he will need to prove that his jumper is for real and that he can create for others more. However, Thornwell should almost surely be a plus defender from day one. Coaches love defenders who can buy in like Thornwell, and that will keep him on a roster for a long time. If he can become an impactful 3 and D player who can mix in playmaking, he will make a boatload of money.

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