2017 Scouting Report: Sindarius Thornwell

Sindarius Thornwell is unlikely to go top 10. However, he is an intriguing prospect whose range is wide. He has been projected to go as early as the late lottery, all the way to the end of the 1st round. I want more fans to get to know Sindarius Thornwell because I think he can be a very good player.

Who is Sindarius Thornwell?

Sindarius Thornwell is a 22 year old senior who led South Carolina, along with PJ Dozier, to the Final Four. He’s a very complete wing, as he had a career best season, going for 21 PPG, 2.8 APG, 7.2 RPG, 2.1 SPG, 1.0 BPG on 44.5 FG%, 39.5 3P%, 83% from the line, and a TS% of 59%. These marvelous stats helped him win the SEC player of the year, and it was one of the most improved stat-lines of any draft prospect.

For scouting, I like a lot about Thornwell:

  • He’s got an excellent motor. You will almost never see him give up on a play. This is one reason why his rebound total is so good.
  • His basketball IQ is impressive.  His intelligence on the court is important because it helps make up for his lack of great athleticism.
  • His defense is really good. He has great instincts on that end, and doesn’t take plays off. He also has long arms with a 6’10 wingspan that help him on that end.
  • His 3 point shooting is NBA ready. He has a good shot, and South Carolina routinely ran NBA plays, such as curl routes for Thornwell, where he excelled.
  • His body is NBA ready. He’s 6’5 and 212 pounds with a 6’10 wingspan. He has solid strength.
  • He excels at getting to the line. He absorbs contact well and is in control getting to the line. He doesn’t play reckless.

These strengths make for a really complete player. He can handle the ball some, can play off ball, and can be an effective defender. He always found a way to beat his opponents in college, hence his excellent stats.

However, there are a few things that I don’t like about him:

  • His lack of athleticism is a legitimate concern. He does have traits that make up for it, but his athleticism will hold him back to some extent in the NBA. I don’t believe it will hurt his defense, so that may become his forte.
  • He’s old for the class- almost 23. How will that affect his draft stock in a draft full of underclassmen?
  • He’s a good ball handler, but not great. May only be able to be a tertiary ball handler at the NBA level. He doesn’t have quick handles, but stays in control with the ball.

Overall there’s not a lot to dislike about Thornwell. The question becomes, how well will his game translate? He’s an advanced stats darling, with his TS% being near 60%, his offensive rating being 122 vs a defensive rating of under 90 (88.8), which makes for a great box plus-minus (BPM) of 16.2, the best in the 2016-17 NCAA season, and 7.2 win shares (WS), good for 5th in the nation. His statistical production is incredibly impressive, and helps him project to at least be useful in the NBA. With a high basketball IQ, the ability to get to the line, a high motor, good defense, and an effective jump shot, he will be an immediate impact player. His game reminds me a little bit of 2015-16 Chandler Parsons, as he was sort of a jack of all trades. I think Thornwell would fit in Dallas incredibly well with his high basketball IQ and his ability to have different roles in the offense. However, Dallas would need to trade back in order to acquire Thornwell, which I’m not entirely on board for unless the absolute worst happens on draft night, and the Mavs can get an excellent package.

Thornwell’s best fit with realistic draft range is with any of Miami (14), Denver (13), Milwaukee (17), Atlanta (19), Oklahoma City (21), and Utah (24, 30). A team that has a solid supporting cast and an excellent coaching staff will greatly benefit immediately from Thornwell’s all around game. Look for Thornwell to be one of the quickest impact rookies in the 2017-18 season.

 

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