COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Two-time ACC Player of the Year Alyssa Thomas of the sixth-ranked Maryland women’s basketball team was named to the 33-player 2014-16 USA Basketball Women's National Team pool Monday. Rosters for the 2014 USA World Championship Team and, if the U.S. qualifies, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team will be selected from this pool.
Thomas made the 33-player pool after being invited to and attending the mini camp in Las Vegas, Nev. in October. She is joined on the pool with some of the WNBA’s biggest names in Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings, Diana Taurasi, Candace Parker, Maya Moore, Elena Delle Donne, Skylar Diggins and Brittney Griner to name a few.
“I think all athletes want to win a world championship or play in the Olympics, so this is definitely one of my many dreams,” Thomas said. “As players, we all want to be the best we can and the best in the world, so I just want to keep working like I always have and hopefully those things will happen.”
Thomas is one of six college players to make the pool. Stefanie Dolson (Connecticut), Kayla McBride (Notre Dame), Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (Connecticut), Odyssey Sims (Baylor) and Breanna Stewart (Connecticut) also made the pool.
"I think the game has changed tremendously and we are fortunate that the pool is probably greater than it's ever been," said Geno Auriemma, 2013-16 USA National Team and University of Connecticut head coach. "The gap between those that have won gold medals and those that are still playing for the USA Basketball National Team and those that want to be part of it who are younger and have made a name for themselves is narrowing every year. I'm excited that we have so many great players to choose from.
The USA National Team pool will be fluid, and athletes may be added at any time by the USA Basketball Women's National Team Player Selection Committee.
The USA Basketball Women's National Team over the next three years will compete in the 2014 FIBA World Championship (Sept. 27 - Oct. 5 in Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey), and if the USA qualifies, the 2016 Summer Olympic Games (Aug. 5 - 21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), as well as additional USA training camps and exhibition games.
For the full list of athletes named to the pool, including quotes from all athletes selected, log on to http://www.usab.com/womens/national/14_16_wnt_pool.html.
Thomas leads the nation in double-doubles (13) and triple-doubles (12) and leads the ACC in rebounding (11.0). Maryland leads the ACC and is second in the nation with its rebounding margin of +15.2. The Terps are second only to Liberty (+17.0). The Terps are top 10 in the country in scoring offense (85.7), field goal percentage (48.3%), scoring margin (+28.9) and assists (20.4).
The Terrapins are ranked No. 6 in the latest Associated Press and in the USA Today Coaches polls.
Next, Maryland will welcome Syracuse (12-4, 1-2) Thursday at 8:30 p.m. in College Park. The Terps-Orange matchup will be shown on RSN, which includes Comcast SportsNet locally. For tickets, log on to the Terrapin Ticket Office online at umterps.com or call 1-800-IM-A-TERP.
Each fan in attendance at the Maryland-Syracuse game will receive a bingo card with various basketball events to look for throughout the game. Winners will receive prizes.