Less than a year after committing to Duke, point guard Derryck Thornton will transfer elsewhere to continue his college career.
The Chatsworth, Calif., native reclassified from the Class of 2017 to join the Blue Devils a year early and contributed 7.1 points and 2.6 assists per game as a freshman. Tasked with stepping into the big roles vacated by Tyus Jones—who left early for the NBA—and Quinn Cook as the lone true floor general on the roster, Thornton shot 38.6 percent from the field and posted a 1.5 assist-to-turnover ratio, but his role shrunk in Duke's last six games of the season, never playing more than 25 minutes in any of those contests.
“I have loved my time at Duke, but I want to pursue the opportunity to play college basketball closer to home,” Thornton said in a press release. “I want to thank my teammates and coaches for their support this year. The relationships I have with them will always be special to me.”
Thornton started 20 of the Blue Devils' 36 games last season. The floor general would have to sit out next season before taking the court again in 2017-18 under NCAA transfer rules.
Thornton will leave Duke in good academic standing.
“We wish Derryck the best and appreciate his contributions to our team this season,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in the release. “We support his decision and want only what is best for him in the future.”
Duke's backcourt will be filled with talent next season, with Grayson Allen opting to return for his junior season to rejoin Matt Jones and Luke Kennard. Incoming freshman guard Frank Jackson will also likely take on a significant role, as the combo guard now projects as one of the Blue Devils' primary ball-handlers for the 2016-17 season.
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