"Tyler Thornton needs to take a seat next to Wojo on the bench." - Josh Roberson
Those are the words that were repeated by two Duke fans (and probably more) for years.
They were proved prophetic Friday as new Marquette Head Coach - and former Duke assistant coach - Steve Wojciechowski announced the former Blue Devil will join his staff with the Golden Eagles this season.
Thornton graduated from Duke University after four years with Coach K and the Blue Demons. He will likely join the staff as a graduate assistant. The Associated Press reported in June that Thornton had been working kids basketball camps at Marquette. Wojo's staff also includes another former Blue Devil in Chris Carrawell.
"All the guys that he's been around a lot over the past year, anything that we can do to ease his transition here, we would be willing to do," Wojciechowski told the AP last month.
The former point guard committed to Duke despite their pursuit of Kyrie Irving, the top-ranked point guard of his class. While Uncle Drew went No. 1 overall in the 2011 NBA Draft, Thornton went on to start 53 games throughout his four-year career, and although the Krazies groaned with each offensive woe, they cherished his hustle, his strong defense, and his leadership. Thornton was a team captain in 2013-14, starting 25 games and averaging 3.1 points and 2.4 assists.
Once rumored to replace Wojo on Mike Krzyzewski's staff, Thornton received the biggest of compliments from Coach K when he said during Thornton's junior season, "Tyler is going to be a coach one day. He really understands the game."
If one of the greatest coaches in basketball history is giving him a vote of confidence, fans of the Golden Eagles should take this as a good sign for the future.