April 12, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
All-American Al Thornton earned four awards and senior guard Jerel Allen took home three as Leonard Hamilton and the Florida State basketball team celebrated its’ 2006-07 season in the Tom and Ginny Fuch Ballroom at the University Center on the Florida State campus. The Seminoles earned a 22-13 record, defeated Florida, won at Duke for the first time in school history, advanced to the third round of the NIT and played in the championship game of the Colonial Classic as they enjoyed their most successful season under Hamilton.
Thornton, an All-America Third-Team selection and an All-ACC First-Team selection by the Associated Press, earned the Bob Sura Outstanding Offensive Player Award, the Dave Cowens Chairman of the Boards Award and the awards as the teams’ top field goal and 3-point field goal percentage shooter. He averaged a career-high 19.7 points (first on the team), 5.2 rebounds (first), shot .530 from the field (first), shot a career-high .444 from the 3-point line (first), shot a career-high .790 from the free throw line (third), earned a career-high 40 steals (first, 1.1spg) and blocked a career-high 53 shots (first, 1.5 bpg). In addition to his All-America and All-ACC honors, Thornton was the runner-up for the ACC Player of the Year Award as he enjoyed one of the greatest seasons in the history of the Florida State basketball program.
Allen, who averaged a career-high 4.9 points and 2.0 rebounds while playing in all 35 games, was presented with the Sixth-Man Award, the Tip of the Spear Award and the Unsung Hero Award. Allen came off the bench in 33 of the Seminoles’ 35 games (he earned two starting assignments) and finished among the team leaders in rebounds, assists, steals and 3-point field goals made. The Tip of the Spear Award is presented to the Seminole who best exemplifies a team spirit both on and off the court.
Junior Jason Rich earned the team award as the Seminoles’ top free throw percentage shooter while junior Isaiah Swann was presented with the trophy as Florida State’s assist leader. Rich shot a team and career-high .805 from the line to lead the Seminoles to the nation’s fifth best shooting percentage as a team. The Seminoles shot a school-record best and ACC leading .758 from the free throw line this season as seven regulars in the line-up shot 75 percent or better from the line. Swann averaged a career-high 3.1 assists per game and led the team in assists in 15 of the Seminoles’ 35 games on the season.
Sophomore Uche Echefu, who nearly tripled his scoring average this season as compared to his freshman season, was presented with the Most Improved Player Award. As a sophomore Echefu more the doubled his steals totals this season (29) as compared to freshman season (14); nearly quadrupled his assists total this season (20) as compared to his freshman season (five) and had nearly seven times as many blocks this season (20) as compared to his freshman season (three).
Brian Hoff, a sophomore business management major, earned the award as the Seminoles’ Most Improved Student-Athlete while Matt Zitani, a junior business management major, earned the Outstanding Student-Athlete Award.
Most Improved Student-Athlete Brian Hoff Outstanding Student-Athlete Matt Zitani Best Field Goal Percentage Al Thornton Best 3-Point Field Goal Percentage Al Thornton Best Free Throw Percentage Jason Rich Otto Petty Most Assists Award Isaiah Swann Sixth Man Award Jerel Allen Bob Sura Outstanding Offensive Player Al Thornton Most Improved Player Uche Echefu Tip of the Spear Award Jerel Allen Unsung Hero Award Jerel Allen Dave Cowens Chairman of the Boards Award Al Thornton