TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) — For the second straight season, Florida State sophomore forward Shakayla Thomas has won the ACC Sixth Player of the Year as selected by the league’s head coaches, announced on Wednesday by the conference.
Thomas is the first repeat winner of the award since it began in 2008. A Seminole has won the honor three times, as former player Chasity Clayton received the honor in 2013.
While she started the first six games of the season, Thomas shifted back to her familiar role off the bench to give the second unit even greater production. The move has worked out very well for FSU, as it has outscored opponents this season by an average of 25.4-15.3 per game in bench points.
Thomas leads the Seminoles in points per game (17.3) and field goals made per game (7.5) while shooting 55.9 percent from the field. Among all sophomores nationally, Thomas’ reputation as a volume scorer is evident by her 26.5 points per 40 minutes of play that rank second.
Her 26 minutes off the bench is the fourth-most on the team, yet Thomas has led the Seminoles in scoring in 13 games this season. In the regular season, Thomas has come through when needed with key baskets in the second half, shooting 59 percent and leading the team with 9.1 points in the final 20 minutes.
Thomas has already earned All-ACC First Team honors from the Blue Ribbon Panel as announced on Tuesday, following up a strong freshman season where she was named to the All-ACC Freshman Team and the ACC All-Tournament First Team.
The versatile forward leads No. 14 Florida State into the ACC Tournament quarterfinals on Friday as it faces either No. 5 seed Miami, No. 12 Pitt or No. 13 North Carolina at 11 a.m. The game will be televised locally on FOX Sports Sun and can be seen on several of the ACC Regional Sports Networks (FOX Sports South, FOX Sports Carolinas and several other networks).