March 12, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State University senior forward Al Thornton, who earned All-ACC First-Team honors as was the ACC Player of the Year runner-up, has earned All-America Second Team honors by Sports Illustrated.Com. Thornton’s All-America Second-team selection makes him the first Seminole since Ron King in 1972 to earn All-America honors higher than honorable mention status. King was an All-America First-Team selection by the Helms Foundation in leading the Seminoles to the 1972 NCAA Championship game.
Said the editors of SI.Com: “Thornton was one of three unanimous selections to the All-ACC squad and narrowly missed winning conference Player of the Year honors. Thornton led the Seminoles to upsets of Florida and Duke and carried his team to a victory when it mattered most, leading FSU to a win over Clemson in the first round of the ACC tournament.”
Thornton was joined on the All-America Second-Team by UCLA’s Darren Collison, North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough, Tennessee’s Chris Lofton and Ohio State’s Greg Oden.
The All-America First-Team was comprised of Acie Law IV of Texas A&M, Arron Afflalo of UCLA, Alando Tucker of Wisconsin, Nick Fazekas of Nevada and Kevin Durant of Texas. Durant was selected as the National Player of the Year.
Thornton is one of 30 finalists for the Naismith Award presented by AT&T which is annually awarded to the nation’s top collegiate basketball player by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club. Ballots were sent out to the Naismith voting academy the week of Feb. 26 asking them to narrow the list to four individuals. Those finalists will be announced in mid-March. The winner will be honored during Final Four weekend in Atlanta. The first award was given to Lew Alcindor, now known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, in 1969.
Thornton is also one of 22 collegiate players on the final ballot for the John R. Wooden Player of the Year and All-America team. The final ballot was announced on March 4. Thornton is joined by ACC players Jared Dudley of Boston College, Sean Singletary of Virginia and Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina. The winner will be announced April 7.
Beginning with his near school-record and career-high 45 point performance in the Seminoles’ victory over Miami in the final game of the regular season, All-America candidate Al Thornton is enjoying his own version of March Madness. He is averaging 27.3 points (82 total points), 8.3 rebounds (25 total rebounds) while shooting .547 (29-of-53) from the field, .500 (five-of-10) form the 3-point line and .864 (19-of-22) from the free throw line.
Florida State, which has won 20 games in each of the last two seasons, plays host to Toledo in the first round of the 2007 Mastercard NIT Tournament on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Seminoles are the No. 2 seed in the North Region of the four region tournament. Florida State is making its second consecutive appearance in the NIT – the Seminoles were 1-1 in the 2006 event with a victory over Butler (March 17, 67-63) an overtime loss against South Carolina (March 21, 69-68).