#OTRHoopsReport: Making the Jump – April 1, 2015
Point guard Derryck Thornton will be handed the keys of the Duke Blue Devil offense next year after reclassifying into the class of 2015. Photo cred – Davide de Pas
Every year basketball coaches, analysts and fans watch players jump forward a class in hopes of helping their recruiting situation. In past years it was en vogue for players to fall back a class to allow them to physically mature and essentially allow them another year of development at the prep level. However, in recent years there have been a number of prospects that have jumped forward to make a college roster. Here is a look at some of the notable names from the class of 2016 who are making the leap into the graduating class of 2015.
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Both Feet In
Dedric Lawson of Memphis, Tenn., announced his intention of graduating early last fall. He and his brother Keelon will suit up for coach Josh Pastner at Memphis next year. Dedric is a 5-star prospect who stands at 6-foot-8 as a combo forward and is currently ranked No. 16 in the BrandonClayScouting.com ELITE 150. He projects to be an impact player for the Tigers next season. Here is our last evaluation on Dedric from the EYBL Peach Jam:
Lawson has the skill to play 2-4. He has a pro build and the skill to match already. He has a good feel for the game, in that he can make the right play at the right time. What I like about Dedric is what concerns me about him long term as well. He does not have exert a lot of effort to be productive. He has the handling and shooting ability to play on the perimeter, but can also rebound effectively in the paint.
Coach Krzyzewski and Duke reached the pinnacle of college basketball this spring by winning the 2015 National Championship. With that success he saw three freshman declare for the NBA draft, which included point guard Tyus Jones. The class of 2015 is noticeably thin at that position and all of the 5-star prospects have already committed (Briscoe, Evans, Simon). This opened the door for Findlay Prep point guard Derryck Thornton to reclass and take the reigns of the Blue Devil offense. While Thornton resembles Jones in style, he will benefit from a year of strength and conditioning to attain the physical prowess that Jones had this year. Here is our latest evaluation of Thornton from the Hoop Hall Classic:
Thornton was efficient was his shooting tonight scoring 15 points on 7 of 9 shooting. He did struggle with turnovers as he turned it over 7 times in this game versus Stevenson and Jalen Brunson. His ability to slash and crossover quickly is special. He is very quick and very hard to contain from a defender’s standpoint. He proved he could hit the reversal jumper while also hitting the floater in the lane. He also hounded opponents very well as an on ball defender.
Another guard that decided to make the leap into the college ranks sooner than planned is Lamonte Turner of Harvest, Ala. The left-handed combo guard gave his verbal commitment to Rick Barnes and the University of Tennessee earlier this week. Turner actually was slated as a class of 2015 graduate, but moved back a year during his playing at Arlington Country Day. However, with Barnes taking the job in Knoxville and needing a back court scoring option, Turner saw the opportunity to graduate on time. Here is our latest evaluation on Turner from the Marshall County Hoop Fest:
Turner got things going quickly on Friday night as he started the first quarter versus Carlisle School with 6 threes. He would finish the night with 20 points. His skill to get his shot off is impressive as he can release it off of a jab and step back moves. More over he showed his ability to slash and finish at the rim this weekend. We have him listed as a PG, but it should be noted that he played the SG position all weekend for ACD. Nevertheless, he did show consistent leadership by being vocal.
On the Fence
Two prospects that have not officially reclassified and moved into next fall’s freshman class, but are exploring options are Orangeville Prep teammates 7-0 forward Thon Maker and 6-5 combo guard Jamal Murray. As first reported by Scout.com and Evan Daniels, Maker is considering a midyear entrance into the college ranks. Schools such as Arizona State, Kansas, Kentucky and Indiana are all being mentioned as potential landing spots.
As reported by Jerry Meyer from 247 Sports, Murray is eyeing schools such as Kentucky and Oregon as possible destinations. However, Murray’s family has let it be known that he is in no rush to make a decision. With all of this information in front of us, it seems likely that both will be playing college basketball next season.
Exposure & Showcase Opportunities
Jonathan Hemingway is a National Evaluator for the OTRHoopsReport. Hemingway serves on the Board of Selectors for the Naismith Trophy. He is also the publisher of CoachHemi.com. He has been involved in the community since 1996 as a coach, camp director and evaluator. You can reach him via email at JonathanHemingway@PeachStateBasketball.com and follow him on twitter @JLHemingwayPSB