Thomas Named ACC Rookie of the Year
March 2, 2011
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Freshman forward Alyssa Thomas of the No. 13 Maryland women's basketball team was named the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Basketball Rookie of the Year, announced today by ACC Commissioner John Swofford.
Thomas was chosen by a vote of the Blue Ribbon Panel, a group that includes selected media as well as all 12 women's basketball coaches, to become the seventh Terrapin freshman to garner the award and second in three years, including fellow All-ACC Second Team honoree Lynetta Kizer, who collected the honor in 2009. Thomas is also the fourth Maryland rookie to receive the honor under head coach Brenda Frese.
"What a great honor for Alyssa and our program," head coach Brenda Frese said. "From the day I first saw her I knew she was going to do special things. This didn't happen by accident. She has worked really hard for this award. There can't be many freshmen around the country that are having bigger impacts on their programs than Alyssa Thomas is on Maryland."
"In every regard, she's a joy to coach, which is a direct reflection of her family. What's even better is that she's one of the most driven and competitive players I've ever had as a coach, so I know this is just the start and there are many more great things to come."
Thomas is the first freshman to be named to the All-ACC First or Second Team since former Terrapin Marissa Coleman was named to the Second Team in 2005-06. She led the team in both scoring and steals. The Harrisburg, Pa., native also leads the ACC's freshman class in three statistical categories, including scoring, rebounding and steals. She is No. 5 in the league in scoring (15.7 ppg) and in rebounding (8.4 rpg) in conference games. She is also in the top ten in steals (2.1).
A school-record seven-time ACC Rookie of the Week selection, Thomas scored in double figures in 13 of her 14 league games this season. She helped Maryland register a 23-6 overall mark and 9-5 finish in conference play, earning a fourth-place finish.
Joining Thomas on the ACC All-Freshman Team is trio of guards - including Duke's Chelsea Gray, Georgia Tech's Tyaunna Marshall, and Virginia's Ataira Franklin - along with Florida State forward Natasha Howard.
The Terrapins enter the ACC Tournament as the No. 4 seed. Earning a bye in the first round, they will play the winner of the No.5-seed Georgia Tech and No.12-seed Virginia Tech game Friday at 11 a.m. in the Greensboro Coliseum.
Tickets to the ACC Tournament are still available. Please visit the Terrapin Ticket Office online at umterps.com or call 1-800-IM-A-TERP.
Maryland's game Friday will be broadcast on RSN and Fox Sports HD. To find out where to watch, please click here.