Marcus Thornton, Take 2

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It’s been almost three weeks since Marcus Thornton went off like Christian Bale, ripping Mississippi State for 31 points in LSU’s 81-57 win in Baton Rouge. In the first 6 minutes, 17 seconds of the second half, Thornton scored 17 points. Game over.

Now, the Bulldogs (16-7, 6-2) get a second shot at Thornton when the Tigers (19-4, 7-1) visit Humphrey Coliseum at 7 p.m. Wednesday. How good is the 6-foot-4 senior guard? MSU coach Rick Stansbury said he’s better than Mr. 54, Kentucky’s Jodie Meeks (who scored only 15 against State last week): “When you break it down and look at the consistency of what he’s done, he’s probably been the most effective guard (in the SEC). When you take that one game away Meeks has had, that 54-point game, you back up and break them all down since then, Thornton’s been a more productive player.”

Thornton is averaging 20.0 points per game and has hit 25 or more seven times this season. Five of those games saw him touch 30 or above. Stansbury thinks LSU does a better job of getting Thornton open than UK does for Meeks, plus the kid is ultra-talented. “He’s a guy that can manufacture shots. … He can take a play where there’s no play and go get a basket.”

So what’s the plan for State? Well, nothing special. Those Tigers have other scorers, too, after all. Tasmin Mitchell was just named the SEC Player of the Week.

“To just focus on one player, I don’t think that’s too smart to do,” MSU guard Phil Turner said. “They have somebody else who can step up and knock down as many shots as Marcus Thornton can. It’ll be ignorant, again, to just go in there and ignore the guy, because he’s a great shooter.”

The assignment to guard Thornton will likely fall to junior Barry Stewart. He was the point man against Meeks, but he had help then, and he’ll need it Wednesday.

Other highlights from today’s press gathering, starting with Stansbury:

• On the magnitude of this game: “I don’t have to talk about it, you guys will talk about it enough, write about it enough. The kids are not blind, are not deaf, they understand that. If this is a situation where I have to talk about it, then we’re in trouble already.”

• On LSU’s experience: “There can’t be a more experienced team in the country than LSU. … That’s like a football roster, three fifth-year guys.”

Center Jarvis Varnado:

• On his first LSU outing (18 points): “I was rushing the first half a little bit. Coaches told me to slow down, and the second half I did a pretty OK job. LSU is a very good team, and they know how to play defense, that’s one thing they’ll do, they’ll play defense and they’re going to rebound the ball.”

Turner:

• On MSU’s youth: “Jarvis and Barry and Brian (Johnson) are our team captains, but it takes a whole. You just can’t have two or three people that are going to lead, you’ve got to have everybody on the same page. Just because they lead doesn’t mean we have to follow, so I believe it’s a collective effort to win and play.”

• On the importance of starting fast: “As a veteran team, they know how to hold you down. We really don’t want to play catch-up basketball with LSU, because of the type of team they are and the type of players they have.”

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3 Responses to “Marcus Thornton, Take 2”

  1. imabulldog Says:

    PUT IT ON TV!

  2. leeearl Says:

    Man, I would love to come out of this game with a big fat ‘W’!!!!

    C’mon State, beat that 16 3pts in a game record again…

  3. sfwmdawg Says:

    Would love for V to get 10 or better in blocks. 20 – 3’s not out the question/ Would also love to get RJ hot in the second half. He comes out on fire than cant hit in the second. Would love for him to light it up in the second half.

    I had my doubts in the beginning of the season. I hope I am not getting ahead of myself. But a 1 seed in the SEC tourny is in our hands. If we can win out, I think we knock either KU or TN out, if you believe what they are saying and only 4 SEC teams going dancing.

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