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30 Greatest Tigers of the Decade: #27 Marcus Thornton

#27 Marcus Thornton
#27 Marcus Thornton

 Marcus Thornton was a star player in high school at Baton rouge's Tara High, but he spent two years in JUCO before showing up on campus.  He was an All-American JUCO player, and then became LSU's best player almost immediately upon arriving on campus.

The last LSU player to average 20 points in a season was Ronnie Henderson, back in 1996.  Thornton not only averaged 21.1 PPG his senior year, he averaged 20.4 PPG on his career.  Thornton could score any which way and at any time.  He was a guard who averaged over 5 rebounds a game, showing the way he could play well in the paint.  Or Thornton could kill you from outside, as he hit 168 three pointers in his two years at LSU.

He made the Coaches' All-SEC team his junior year, a neat feat given how far back in the standings the Tigers were.  In his first season as coach, Trent Johnson leaned heavily on his star, who guided LSU to an improbable SEC title.  Thornton hauled in the honors during his senior year: SEC Player of the Year, Wooden Award Finalist, and 2nd team All-American.

The only negative to Thornton's career was just how brief it was.  Thornton was a supernova, he burned brilliantly for a short period of time and then he was gone.  He leaves behind a whole heck of a lot of trophies and a scoring rate unmatched since the days of Dale Brown.