Oct. 25, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State University senior Al Thornton, a pre-season All-America Second-Team selection by the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook and a pre-season All-ACC First-Team pick by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association, has been named one of 50 preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden All-America team and postseason Player of the Year Award.
Thornton averaged a team-leading 16.1 points and 6.9 rebounds and earned All-ACC Second-Team honors as a junior in 2006. He helped lead the Seminoles to a 20-10 record and a fifth place finish in the ACC with a 9-7 record. Thornton led the Seminoles in scoring a career-high and team-leading 14 times and topped the team in rebounding in 13 different games as a junior. In addition, he was named the ACC Player of the Week twice as a junior – following his 37-point performance against Boston College and following his 37-point, 15-rebound performance at Duke. During the 2006-07 season, he led Florida State with three 30-point scoring games (37 vs. Duke, 37 vs. Boston College and 31 vs. Alcorn State) and tied for the team lead with four 20-point games (27 vs. Maryland, 26 vs. Duke, 22 vs. Virginia and 21 vs. Virginia Tech).
“It is an honor for me to be named to the preseason Wooden Award list,” said Thornton. “The honor also goes to our coaching staff and my teammates who are helping me become the team player I want to be. It is our coaching staff and every member of our team who will help us reach our goals this season which include reaching and playing well in the NCAA Tournament.”
Thornton is the first Seminole player to be named as a top candidate for the Wooden Award All-American Team and postseason Player of the Year Award since Corey Louis prior to the 1997-98 season. Other preseason candidates for the Seminole program include George McCloud prior to the 1988-89 season and Bob Sura prior to the 1994-95 season. McCloud was a finalist for the award and became the first Seminole player to earn NBA Draft Lottery status when he was picked seventh overall by the Indiana Pacers in the 1989 NBA Draft.
Thornton headlines a group of seven players from the ACC on the Wooden Award preseason list. He is joined by Coleman Collins of Virginia Tech, Jared Dudley of Boston College, Tyler Hansbrough and Reyshawn Terry of North Carolina, Josh McRoberts of Duke and Sean Singletary of Virginia.
Florida State plays a two-game exhibition season against Spring Hill College at 7 p.m. on Oct. 31 and Nova Southeastern at 7 p.m. on Nov. 7 with both games being played in the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Nov. 7 game against Nova Southeastern will be played with all proceeds going to the Aubry Boyd Fund. Boyd is s former Seminole men’s basketball play who is now paralyzed from the neck down following a 1995 accident while playing in a backyard football game. The Seminoles open the regular season at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 12 as the play host to McNeese State University. Season tickets can be purchased by logging onto seminoles.com or by calling 1-888-FSU-NOLE (888-378-6653).
Wooden Award Preseason All-American Team - Top 50 Candidates (Based on a preseason poll. Players listed alphabetically.) Aaron Afflalo 6'5" Jr. G UCLA De'Angelo Alexander 6'6" Sr. G Charlotte Morris Almond 6'6" Sr. G Rice Corey Brewer 6'9" Jr. F Florida Jon Brockman 6'7" So. F Washington Jamar Butler 6'2' Jr. G Ohio State Coleman Collins 6'9" Sr. F Virginia Tech JamesOn Curry 6'3" Jr. G Oklahoma State Jermareo Davidson 6'10" Sr. F Alabama Glen Davis* 6'9" Jr. F LSU Jared Dudley 6'7" Sr. F Boston College Nick Fazekas 6'11" Sr. F Nevada Aaron Gray 7'0" Sr. C Pittsburgh Jeff Green 6'9" Jr. F Georgetown Caleb Green 6'8" Sr. F Oral Roberts Malik Hairston 6'6" Jr. G Oregon Adam Haluska 6'5" Sr. G Iowa Lamont Hamilton 6'10" Jr. F St. John's Tyler Hansbrough 6'9" So. F North Carolina Brandon Heath 6'4" Sr. G San Diego State Roy Hibbert 7'2" Jr. C Georgetown Al Horford 6'10" Jr. F/C Florida Jarrius Jackson 6'2" Sr. G Texas Tech Dominic James 5'11" So. G Marquette Joseph Jones 6'9" Jr. F/C Texas A&M Acie Law 6'3" Sr. G Texas A&M Courtney Lee 6'5" Jr. G/F Western Kentucky Chris Lofton 6'2" Jr. G Tennessee Luc Richard Mbah a Monute 6'7" So. F UCLA Josh McRoberts 6'10" So. F Duke Sammy Mejia 6'6" Sr. G DePaul Joakim Noah 6'11" Jr. F/C Florida David Padgett 6'11" Jr. F/C Louisville Brian Randle 6'8" Jr. F Illinois Richard Roby 6'6" Jr. G Colorado Brandon Rush 6'6" So. G Kansas Blake Schilb 6'7" Sr. G Loyola (Chicago) Mustafa Shakur 6'3" Sr. G Arizona Sean Singletary 6'0" Jr. G Virginia Jason Smith 7'0" Jr. F Colorado State Ronald Steele 6'3" Jr. G Alabama Loren Stokes 6'3" Sr. G Hofstra Rodney Stuckey 6'5" So. G Eastern Washington Kammron Taylor 6'2" Sr. G Wisconsin Reyshawn Terry 6'8" Sr. F North Carolina Al Thornton 6'8" Sr. F Florida State Alando Tucker 6'6" Sr. F Wisconsin Ayinde Ubaka 6'4" Sr. G California Marcus Williams 6'7" So. F Arizona Julian Wright 6'8" So. F Kansas