Despite all the talent that headed to Kentucky, it was South Carolina’s Sindarious Thornwell that took home SEC Player of the Year honors last season. The senior shooting guard scored 21.4 points per game with 7.8 rebounds. He showcased exactly why he deserved this award during the Gamecocks spectacular Final Four run. Thornwell led South Carolina in outstanding fashion, scoring over 24 points in all four of their wins in the tournament. The Hawks have two first-round draft picks and a couple more in the second round. Thornwell is certainly a player they will have their eyes on.
Thornwell could be a late first-rounder but very well could fall into the second round. For a second round guy, you will be hard-pressed to find a better resumé. Thornwell exploded onto the season his senior season in large part to his vastly improved jump shot. He improved to nearly a 40% shooter from behind the arc, which opened up more driving lanes for him to attack the basket. The South Carolina product is not the most amazing athlete in the draft. His quickness is subpar compared to other NBA athletes, and he does not have the unreal explosiveness to posterize defenders on the drive. However, he is an unbelievable finisher around the basket with a knack for drawing contact.
Regardless of what Thornwell may lack in athletic ability, he makes up for with hustle on both ends of the court. He is one of the most complete two-way players available in this year’s draft and seems to have an endless supply of energy. His 6′ 10″ wingspan gives him the ability to guard bigger players and also covers up his average foot speed on defense. He is the ultimate competitor, which was put on display for the world to see during the NCAA Tournament. At almost 23 years of age, Thornwell could come in immediately and make an impact to whichever team selects him.
Here are some of Thornwell’s highlights from his marvelous career at South Carolina.