Austin Thornton is every Michigan State fan's excuse for a bad game or more commonly their favorite whipping boy.
He is the single most criticized player on the team.
Mostly, it's not his fault that he makes so many mistakes.
Tom Izzo just plays him way too much.
Every time Thornton touches the ball every Spartan fan is thinking, "Damn it Thornton, don't screw up." In fact, recently on MSU forums, because of Thornton's increased playing time, fans were questioning whether he would play over QB Kirk Cousins in a football game.
One thing I admire about Thornton is that he knows fans are uneasy about him. He has fun with it and jokes around about it.
This season Thornton has surprised me and has become a good role player.
He is the most scrappy player on the team and is constantly on the ground for a rebound or poking the ball away from some unsuspecting guard.
His 13 point outburst against Arkansas-Little Rock was a complete surprise. Thornton has worked hard to be on the floor, and he is finally getting better on the court.
I'll compare this year's total of only 10 games to his whole career.
This year's totals—33 rebounds, 14 assists, 1 block, 10 steals and 36 points.
Thornton's previous 3 years combined were 127 rebounds, 40 assists, 3 blocks, 12 steals, and 135 points.
So, as you can see, he is finding a rhythm for his senior season.