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The measure of Tyler Thornton’s game will not always be discerned from a stat sheet, there are things he does that make his teammates better, there are things he does that win games that the untrained eye may not see. Coach K knew what he was getting when he recruited Thornton–A winner. He is willing to put his body on the line whether it be diving on the floor or covering players at multiple positions despite giving up height and weight. Being that tough, hard-nosed leader that Duke teams have always relied on is that he brings to the table.
Thornton may not always look for his shot, he may not lead the team in assists but that does not mean he in incapable of doing so. He has shown he can hit the open jumper and find his teammates on the break and I expect those skills to improve his senior year. His offense may not be needed but there will be a game, a situation – as he had in the Maui Invitational, hitting the clinching shot to win it for Duke – where it is needed. He may approach the game with the attitude of a construction worker but rest assured he will step on the offensive end when the time comes.