10 Interesting Basketball Facts About Sindarius Thornwell

by Josh Cohen
  • Thornwell played his first three years of high school ball at Lancaster in South Carolina before transferring to powerhouse Oak Hill Academy his senior year. A teammate of his at Oak Hill was Troy Williams, who starred for the Indiana Hoosiers before bouncing around the NBA for a few seasons.

  • Thornwell chose to stay close to home for college by going to the University of South Carolina, where he played for four years. Other schools that made offers to him included Clemson, NC State, Florida State and Miami.

  • In just his second game in college, he scored 20 points against Baylor. That was one of his seven 20-plus-point performances his freshman season.

  • His best performance in college came during his senior year on Feb. 7, 2017 when he accomplished something rarely done in college or the pros. He had a 40-20 game (44 points, 21 rebounds), granted it came in a quadruple-overtime loss to Alabama. In that game, he took 33 free throws, making an SEC-record 25 of them. The player who held that record before him was LSU’s Pete Maravich, who knocked down 22 foul shots in a game against Florida in 1969.

  • Donta Hall, who most recently played with the Magic before his second 10-day contract expired, was on the Crimson Tide that game. The only other player on the Gamecocks who scored in double figures that night was PJ Dozier, now a member of the Denver Nuggets.

  • South Carolina, led by Thornwell and Dozier, made it all the way to the Final Four that season. Before losing to Gonzaga in the national semifinal, they beat Marquette, Duke, Baylor and Florida. Thornwell scored over 20 points in all four of those victories and he had 15 in the loss to Gonzaga. Duke that year had Jayson Tatum, Luke Kennard, Frank Jackson, Grayson Allen, Harry Giles and former Magic player Amile Jefferson.

  • Thornwell was named the 2016-17 SEC Player of the Year. That season, he ranked No. 1 in the conference in points, free throws made and attempted, and steals.

  • He was drafted 48th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2017 but was immediately traded to the L.A. Clippers. He appeared in 137 games in two seasons with the Clippers. His best game with them came on April 9, 2018 when he scored a team-high 20 points.

  • The opponent that night, the Pelicans, were clearly impressed as they signed him to a substitute contract for the restart at Disney two years later. He stayed with New Orleans much of this season before the team decided not to renew his contract after his second 10-day deal expired.

  • Thornwell was actually part of a G League trade in 2019, going from the Canton Charge to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
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