Marcus Thornton (193-G-93, college: William & Mary) is a 28 year old 193cm guard from Forestville Maryland playing his seventh professional season and first with medi Bayreuth. Last season he played with the NINERS Chemnitz (Germany-BBL) averaging 13.8ppg, 1.9rpg, 4.2apg, FGP: 47.8%, 3PT: 39.3%, FT: 74.2%. In 2019-2020 he played with ES Chalon-Sur-Saone (France-Jeep ELITE ProA) playing 23 games averaging 10.4ppg, 1.8rpg, 1.9apg, FGP: 43.8%, 3PT: 34.9%, FT: 68.2%. He began his professional career in 2015 and has played for organizations Sydney Kings (Australia-NBL), Consultinvest VL Pesaro (Italy-Serie A), Banvit Basketbol Kulubu (Turkey-BSL), Guangxi Rhinos (China-NBL) and for two G-League teams Maine Red Claws and Canton Charge. He played at the College of William & Mary (NCAA) from 2011-2015 playing a total of 125 es and as a senior averaged 20.0ppg, 2.8rpg, 2.9apg, FGP: 51.8%, 3PT: 40.2%, FT: 82.5%. He spoke to germanhoops.com after a convincing 81-64 Fiba Europe Cup win against Donar Groningen.
Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Marcus Thornton in Frankfurt in 2021
Marcus thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Congrats on the 81-64 win. Medi Bayreuth was never in danger of losing this game. How big was this win for the self-confidence with Alba Berlin coming in this weekend?
It was big! It was a good win leading up to a big game this weekend. We are really focused after this win to get it done this weekend.
Medi Bayreuth stepped it up a notch in the second half. Did Donar Groningen get mentally tired?
They may have. Cam Wells and Basti Doreth put a lot of pressure on them. We felt early on that we could wear them down. I feel like that showed as the game went on.
Medi Bayreuth played good aggressive defense forcing Donar Groningen to 23 turnovers. Is the offensive rebounds that the guests got the only real flaw that you had as a team?
Yes probably so. We are really trying to clean that up. That hurt us a lot in our win against Heidelberg. Our focal point at the moment is rebounding. I know that we will get it under control.
The bench contributed 35 points. German Kevin Wohlrath had 12 points. How instrumental has he been in the early going of the season?
Kevin has been really huge for us with all the injuries that we have had. Our team has that next guy mentality stepping up playing and delivering. We are very lucky to have him. He has messed into his role very well. It is also good that he continues to shoot the ball well.
Your playing your first season with medi Bayreuth. How good does it feel playing with fans again?
It has been great. They have an energy that you can’t recreate in any other way. We are very happy to have them back again. They always support us so well
What kind of an experience has it been playing with medi Bayreuth? What is special about this organization?
This organization has been a staple in the BBL for years. This is a family group in a small city that all believe in basketball. The organization really cares about the players and the fans supports us during ups and downs. I am blessed to be here and hope that we have a special season.
How big was the win against Heidelberg stopping a 3 game losing streak. Is this the start of the turn around of the season with Alba Berlin as the next opponent?
I do. That will be a big game. The crazy thing is that we didn’t even play well against Heidelberg, but the fact was we were able to bear down and pull out the win. We want to continue to build off the win leading into the cup game and the next BBL games.
In the easycredit BBL your struggling as a club. Can the team step up the offense with the player personal that you have?
Yes we can. We still haven’t all clicked on the same day yet. Some guys have big games, but on different days. I feel that once we are all rolling, we will be very tough to beat. I think we have good depth. Things will start to happen and we will make some noise.
The team is playing inspired ball in the Fiba Europe Cup. Is the team thinking title or taking it one game at a time?
Of course we want to win the title, but at the same time are taking it day by day. We are always looking to take it one game at a time. We aren’t in it just to play the competition, but want to go far and win it. For us it has been a team goal since the start of the season to take the full ride.
What has it been like being teammates with Cameron Wells. Back in the day he played at Citadel (NCAA) and in the same conference as Steph Curry and wasn’t too far behind in the stats category. You are an enthusiastic passer. Have you been able to take something extra from his playmaking?
Yes for sure. Cam has played in this league for a while and is very knowledgeable. He is always talking to us about certain situations like the pick and roll. I’m a student of the game and always watch him and he helps me. He is a great passer and good player. He has had some double double games with points and assists this season. I expect him to continue to lead the team and try to pick up things form him along the way.
This is your first time in your career playing two competitions in a season. How challenging is it always being ready for battle?
I love it. It had been my goal for some time to be able to play in a competition like this. I’m very excited to play Fiba Europe Cup. More the games the better for me. Playing two competitions, you have more mental practice and have to take care of your body better. It has been fun.
How content have you been with your game with medi Bayreuth. Is your role different than with Chemnitz?
I’m more a two this season. Last season I played the one more. I haven’t even scratched the surface of where I can be this season. I haven’t shot the ball well yet, but I’m not worried, because it’s a long season. For me the most important thing is to find out our team chemistry and get wins. Coach wants me to be aggressive. That suits my game best and I will continue to do that.
Your playing great in the Fiba Europe Cup, but still searching for your three pointer in the BBL. Is your self-confidence up and down with your game or have you been able to keep steady?
My self-confidence never wavers. I never doubt my game. I have worked too hard in my career that I know what I can do. For me it’s just a matter of time. Usually sooner than later. I will get the ball rolling.
What did you get most from Rodrigo Pastore in Chemnitz and how have you profited most from Raol Korner?
In Chemnitz I was exclusively a point guard. I was really grateful to have that job. I was able to show my playmaking qualities and lead the team. Coach Korner has allowed me to be myself and be that three level scorer. He allows me to be aggressive, score the ball and also create. He has let me come into my own. I really appreciate his trust and want to continue to make him look good.
How have you followed the development of the Boston Celtics this season? The team belongs to Jaylon Brown and Jayson Tatum and have with Dennis Schroeder and Marcus Smart two talented guards. Where will the journey of this team go this season?
I think that people get to caught up with the start of seasons. There are too many games in the NBA. There is enough time to figure everything out and mesh. I haven’t watched too many of their games because they come on so late. I think it has been tough with Brad Stevens not coaching anymore. The main thing is that it is still early and so much will change. They will figure it out.
Did you see the sequel to Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?
For sure they should of left it alone. Some movies just aren’t meant to be remade. Money rules all.
Thanks Marcus for the chat.