Dec. 16, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State forward Al Thornton, who has led the Seminoles to an 8-2 early season record, is as one of 50 candidates for the Naismith Trophy presented by Cingular Wireless as announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. Thornton is averaging a team-leading 15.8 points and 6.1 rebounds for the Seminoles who have won at least eight of their first 10 games of a season for the second time in the five-year head coaching tenure of Leonard Hamilton.
The Top 50 list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. The board based its preseason criteria on player performances from last season end expectations for the 2006-07 season. Thornton is one of eight ACC players on the Naismith Trophy list.
Thornton enters Monday’s game against High Point (the Seminoles’ next game) with 989 career points. He needs only 11 points to become the 38th player in school history to reach the 1,000 point plateau. Thornton is looking to become the first Seminole to reach the 1,000 point mark since Tim Pickett during the 2003-04 season. Thornton is looking to reach the milestone as he plays in his 100th career game against the Panthers.
In addition to nearing the 1,000 career point plateau, Thornton has pulled down 451 career rebounds and needs only 49 rebounds to reach the 500 rebounds plateau. He needs only 11 points and 49 rebounds to become only the 15th player in school history to score 1,000 or more career points AND pull down 500 or more career rebounds. The last Seminole player to join the 1,000 points/500 rebound club for the Seminoles was Corey Louis during the 1997-98 season.
Thornton was also named as one of 50 candidates for the John R. Wooden Award as the nation’s top collegiate player earlier this season. He was a pre-season All-ACC First-Team selection and the runner-up selection as the pre-season ACC Player of the Year.
For complete information on Thornton please log onto althornton12.com — his FSU sponsored website.
In January, the Naismith Trophy Voting Academy will narrow its preseason list to the Top 30 players in the nation. Those players, and others who distinguish themselves throughout the season, will be eligible for the final ballot in March. Beginning in mid-February, CBS’ “Cingular at the Half” will feature a weekly Naismith Trophy update highlighting the players in contention. In April, the Naismith Trophy winner will be recognized at the NCAA Men’s Final Four in Atlanta.