Auburn basketball: Could JT Thor be Auburn’s hero?

Auburn basketball has shown increased interest in 2020 target J.T. Thor in recent weeks. When Auburn first offered Thor, he was a five-star, top 10 forward in the class of 2021.

A lot has changed since then. Thor reclassified to 2020, transferred to Norcross High School, dropped a bit in the rankings when he settled in to the 2020 class, seemingly parted ways with Auburn in terms of recruiting and is now back in the mix with the Tigers after a short break.

Thor was then reported to be taking an unofficial visit to Auburn (somewhat out of the blue) for Auburn’s Senior Night.

Thor’s unofficial visit coincided with 2021 target James White‘s visit, and Thor was seen in one of White’s recent highlight reels.

Even more recently, Jeffrey Lee of Auburn Rivals reported that Thor’s top three is Auburn, UCLA and Oklahoma State in a feature he wrote about Thor.

Lee also reported that Thor wants to return to Auburn for an official visit as soon as possible. Which could be big for Auburn’s chances of securing a commitment if both parties are interested.

I have seen Thor play a few times, and while there are critiques of his game, he probably has the highest upside of any of the non-five star recruits that Auburn has targeted in 2020.

Thor would be a versatile player in Auburn’s system. I see him fitting best as a stretch four at Auburn. His handle, shooting and mobility all make him an ideal fit there, but he is thin and his lack of size could hold him back a little early on.

However, if (or when) Thor adds more muscle to his frame, he could be a stretch four who can also play a little bit of center for Auburn. Not to say Thor will look like Austin Wiley, instead he’ll probably be more of a slim reaper build. His wingspan and height will give him the ability to protect the rim and rebound, and his skill set and mobility would allow him to outrun every other center on the court.

Adding Thor would give Auburn more wiggle room in what it could do with its remaining spots. Auburn could still add two more of its four big name targets in Jalen Green, Greg Brown, Jonathan Kuminga and Cliff Omoruyi and the class would still fill Auburn’s needs due to its versatility and depth. But, adding Thor would allow Auburn to miss on any of those three front court pieces and still field good about its depth heading into next season. Thor’s versatility also allows Auburn to add any of the four big names and not feel worried about overcrowding one single position.

Of course this is all speculation based on the few times I’ve seen Thor play and how I think Auburn will build next season’s roster, but Auburn’s increased interest and Thor potentially taking an official visit are a couple of big things to keep an eye on in coming weeks.

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