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July 10, 2014

Hoops: U-M 2016 targets play well in front of Beilein

Henderson, Nev., Findlay Prep standout point guard Derryck Thornton, Jr. has now stated his case as the nation's top prep point guard regardless of class. Thornton only got better after playing well at the Michigan College Practice Camp in June, taking home MVP honors at both the NBPA Top 100 Camp and the Steph Curry 30 Select Camp. He's at it again in Philadelphia.

Thornton (6-2, Rivals.com's No. 11 junior nationally) and friend Tyus Battle (6-5 SG, No. 25) of Gladstone, N.J., Gill St. Bernard are tearing up the Reebok Breakout Classic, Rivals.com's Eric Bossi reports, and head coach John Beilein was there to see it up close.

"Though they attend high school on opposite sides of the country, 2016 guards Derryck Thornton and Tyus Battle have been talked about as a potential package deal. They both looked good on opening night," Bossi wrote. "Thornton ran the show and set up teammates while playing tough defense, and Battle was knocking down jumpers. Notables watching them play were John Calipari of Kentucky, Michigan's John Beilein and Connecticut's Kevin Ollie."

Battle was also impressive at the Steph Curry camp after tearing up the New York Rumble in the Bronx in late June.

"Battle sat out one game on Saturday, but still managed to have over 80 points in just three games as the lanky and athletic wing was taking it to defenses all day," NYCHoops.net wrote. "He had good handle when he got the ball on the wing to put the ball on the floor and not just rely on his jumper. That's not to say he didn't have a good jumper - he did, but his athleticism was off the charts and no one could handle him when he was headed to the basket. An excellent leaper with a release that stands out for how it gets great rotation time after time, Battle, who played with his H.S. team this weekend was a true star."

Duke and Florida are among the latest to get involved with Battle.

And Thornton? From NBCSports.com:

"Thornton, the No. 11 recruit in the Class of 2016 according to Rivals, finished with 10 points, seven assists and five boards while leading his team to a two-point win. He controlled possession of the ball, knocked down a couple of mid-range jumpers off the dribble and was able to get into the lane and draw defenders while finding teammates Markis McDuffie and Tyus Battle open on the perimeter.
It was somewhat reminiscent of the way a certain point guard for the Los Angeles Clippers plays, and that's not an accident.

"I watch a lot of film on point guards like Chris Paul and they get a lot of their points off of little pull-ups in the paint," Thornton told NBCSports.com.

Kentucky, UConn, Michigan, Arizona and Florida are among his offers.

"I'm really just trying to focus on my game," Thornton said. "I wasn't into it when I wasn't as known and I'm not into it now."

Some film of Thornton and Battle in action from Philly:


Indianapolis standout Eron Gordon (6-1, No. 38 junior) has visited Louisville, Duke and Michigan and is hoping to get a Kentucky offer. He has yet to receive one from U-M.

"If an offer did come, my interest would go pretty high just knowing that Coach Cal is a really great coach, and he brings a lot of people a lot of success and a lot of good Final Four runs," Gordon told The Courier-Journal.

Gordon is playing at adidas uprising in Chicago, where Michigan coaches are also in attendance. He had to postpone his Kentucky visit last week.
Other 2016 notes:

Jon Teske of Medina, Ohio played very well at the Michigan team camp. The 6-11 standout is in no hurry to make a decision.
"I just want to keep all my options open right now," he told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

Teske is playing with his AAU team in Indianapolis this week.

  • Columbus, Ohio offeree Seth Towns is also at Reebok in Philadelphia, but he hasn't stood out, Bossi noted. Towns had very good moments at the Michigan team camp several days ago.

  • Onsted, Mich. 6-10 big man Austin Davis is the subject of an article at Toledo News Now (with video).

    "I've been to Michigan and Michigan State for two unofficial visits. I was at Toledo for an unofficial visit," Davis said. "We're a small town here, so we really don't get a lot of this. It's been an amazing experience."

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