USC Men's Basketball

Thornwell to work out for more than one-third of the NBA

Former South Carolina star Sindarius Thornwell will probably get a chance to stop and catch his breath at some point.

But he’s been on the move recently and won’t stop soon.

In an interview with WFNZ in Charlotte, the reigning SEC Men’s Basketball Player of the year said he’s worked out with the Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic, Utah Jazz, New York Knicks and is in Portland to work out for the Trail Blazers on Wednesday. It’s far from the last stop.

“I leave here tomorrow after my workout and go to LA, work out for the Lakers,” Thornwell said. “And then when I leave the Lakers, my next workout after that is Toronto and then New Orleans, San Antonio and Sacramento.”

Thornwell is coming off a season in which his game came together and he led a record-setting Gamecocks squad. He was the first USC player to take the conference’s top honor, leading the team to the most wins in school history and the first Final Four for a program that had not won an NCAA Tournament game in decades.

Part of that was Thornwell’s ability to be hyper-flexible on defense, guarding bigger players, attacking in space like Frank Martin likes. USC spent most of the season as one of the top three defensive teams in the country, and that’s a big part of draft profile.

But not all of it.

“People just focus on my defense a lot and forget about my offense,” Thornwell said. “It’s kind of hard to forget that I was the leading scorer in the NCAA Tournament.”

He noted one thing he’s focused on is consistently hitting open 3s. After being an up-and-down shooter from that range his first three years, he hit 39.5 percent from beyond the arc as a senior and will need to do that to provide floor spacing in the NBA.

Thornwell averaged 21.4 points and 7.1 rebounds a game, also leading USC in steals and assists per contest. When he summed up where he might fit in a professional lineups, he kept things simple.

“I’m a basketball player,” Thornwell said. “At South Carolina I played point one year, shooting guard one year, small forward one year and power forward this year.

“Wherever coach needs me to play, I’m going to do the best I can in that position.”