When we last checked in on Marcus Thornton, the former W&M star was finishing up a bumpy first professional season in the Australian Basketball League.
Now back in the States, and playing for the Boston Celtics' D-League affiliate in Portland, Maine, the first thing that's noteworthy about Thornton is that he's shrunk. Listed at 6'4" throughout his college career, the dreadlocked guard goes 6'2", 177 pounds as a Maine Red Claw. I would've expected the braids to add at least an inch.
Thornton's also picked up his game back Stateside, if only a little. In 10 games in the D-League, he's averaging 12.7 points, 2 boards, and 2.6 assists, scoring in double figures in eight of the ten contests. After shooting less than 30% from deep Down Under, Thornton's improved his long-range marksmanship, making 38.8% of his triples and 45.5% overall from the field. His 1.86 assist/turnover ratio is an improvement, though his advanced defensive metrics show that he's still got work to do.
It's fair to say at this point that we're unlikely to see our guy double the number of Marcus Thorntons in the NBA this season, or even next, but slow and steady progress is better than the alternative.
Now if the Red Claws could only figure out how to sell decent gear.