NBA DRAFT GRADES
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ON THORNTON: All-America, National Player of the Year and Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year candidate as one of college basketball's top players...said Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski after Thornton scored 37 points against his Blue Devils in Cameron Indoor Stadium in Feb. 4, 2006: "There aren't many kids like him (Al Thornton). He's one of the best players in the country."...his outstanding junior season has made Al Thornton a household name and placed him among the elite players in college basketball for the upcoming season...earned All-ACC Second-Team honors as a junior in 2006 and returns for his senior season as one of the stars with one of the brightest burning fires among all collegiate players at any position...burst onto the collegiate scene as a junior and enters his senior season looking to explode onto the nation's brightest stage along with the nationally ranked Seminoles...Thornton brings the most exciting inside/outside combination of abilities to the court of any player in college basketball for the 2006-07 season...a pair of signature games - 37 points at No. 15 Boston College and 37 points at No. 2 Duke - during his junior season put him on the map and sent his stock soaring into the stratosphere among the nation's elite college basketball players...said Virginia Head Coach Dave Leito: "Al Thornton is one of the best frontcourt players that this league has. He's a very tough match-up because he plays perimeter offense as well as any four-man does. I don't know if I can name another four-man that plays perimeter offense as well as he does, but yet he's a leading rebounder and he has some toughness."...since he became a full-time player as a sophomore, he averages in double figures in scoring against every ACC opponent except for Miami and he scored 18 points against the Hurricanes on March 5, 2006...ranked in the top 15 in the ACC in scoring (12th, 16.1 ppg), rebounding (10th, 6.9 rpg) and field goal percentage (seventh, .518) as a junior...ranked as one of only five players - joined by only Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina, Craig Smith of Boston College, Eric Williams of Wake Forest and Shelden Williams of Duke in the top 15 of the scoring, rebounding and field goal shooting percentage categories in the ACC statistics...enters his senior season with 831 points and needs only 169 to become only the 38th player in school history to score 1,000 or more career points...added Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt: "You put a bigger guy on him and he's going to go by you. If you put a little guy on him, he's going to post him up."...one of the top field goal shooters in terms of accuracy in school history with a career mark of .527 and has shot better than .500 percent from the field in each of his first three seasons including the 2005-06 season when defenses were designed to stop him offensively...on signing Thornton as a little-known forward coming out of high school Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton said: "I saw quickness, speed and intensity that separated him from other kids on the floor. He was from a small town, and even though he was very well known in his area, maybe he hadn't gotten as much exposure as other people. We were fortunate to have contacted him at the right time. I felt we were a good match for each other"...presents incredible match-up problems at the forward position because of his speed and quick footwork...uses his quickness to take players to the basket and is comfortable taking players outside when he can shoot from long range...also uses his tremendous foot speed to beat a post-up defender to his favorite spots on the floor...Thornton's hunger to improve and his leadership spreads throughout the team and makes his teammates better players...uses his athletic ability to rise above defenders and quickly get off his improved jumpshot.
AS A JUNIOR (2006): Earned All-ACC Second-Team and All-District First-Team honors as he enjoyed an outstanding season in leading Florida State to 20 wins and into the second round of the NIT...averaged 16.1 points (first on the team), 6.9 rebounds (second), while shooting .518 from the field (third), .744 from the free throw line (third) and .476 from the 3-point line...established single-season career-highs for points scored (484), points scored per game (16.1), field goals made (171), field goals attempted (330), 3-point field goals made (20), 3-point field goals attempted (42), 3-point field goal percentage (.476), free throws made (122), free throws attempted (164), free throw shooting percentage (.744), offensive rebounds (87), defensive rebounds (121), total rebounds (208), rebounds per game (6.9), assists (37), steals (29), minutes played (871) and minutes played per game (29.0)...named the ACC Player of the Week twice - following his 37-point performance against Boston College and following his 37-point, 15-rebound performance at Duke...led Florida State with three 30-point scoring games (37 vs. Duke, 37 vs. Boston College and 31 vs. Alcorn State) and tied for the team lead with four 20-point games (27 vs. Maryland, 26 vs. Duke, 22 vs. Virginia and 21 vs. Virginia Tech)...led the Seminoles in scoring a career-high and team-leading 14 times and topped the team in rebounding in 13 different games...tied for the team lead with nine games of 10 rebounds or more (15 vs. Duke, 13 vs. Miami, 12 vs. Virginia Tech, 12 vs. Maryland, 12 vs. Nebraska, 10 vs. Jacksonville, 10 vs. Alcorn State, 10 vs. Bowling Green and 10 vs. Campbell)...ranked second on the team in double-doubles with a career-high eight including a career-high 37 points and a career-high 15 rebounds against Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium...ranked 12th in the ACC with a 16.9 points per game average and ranked sixth in ACC games only as his scoring average improved to 18.4 points per game...played his best against the nation's top teams as he averaged 23.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in six games against Seminole opponents who played in the NCAA Tournament...averaged two points more per game in the second half of the ACC season (19.4 points per game) vs. the first half of the conference season (17.4 points per game) and averaged one rebound more in the second half of ACC play (7.4 rebounds per game) as compared to the fist half of the conference slate (6.4) despite having defenses designed to shut him down...shot the ball well in both halves -- .526 in the first half as compared to .509 in the second half...he scored 37 points and pulled down 15 rebounds against Duke on Feb. 4 in Durham, scored 26 points and pulled down six rebounds against Duke on March 1 in Tallahassee, totaled 37 points and pulled down six rebounds against Boston College on Feb. 14 in Chestnut Hill and scored 19 points and pulled down five rebounds against North Carolina on Jan. 22 in Tallahassee...first of three 30-point scoring games came in the Seminoles' victory over Alcorn State (31 points) in the second game of the season (Nov. 21)...also totaled 10 rebounds as he began the year with double-doubles in the first two games of the season...he opened the year with 12 points and 10 rebounds in Florida State's season opening victory over Jacksonville (Nov. 19)...scored 12 points in 23 minutes of play as the Seminoles defeated Purdue, 97-57, in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in a game nationally televised on espn2...(vs. Boston College): scored 37 points and pulled down 6 rebounds in the Seminoles' only game against Boston College in a game played in Chestnut Hill (Jan. 14)...announced his national presence with authority as an impact player in the ACC for the remainder of his career as he scored 37 points and was named the ACC Player of the Week after leading Florida State against Boston College...his 37 points came on an incredible 15-of-18 (.833 shooting percentage) from the field as the Seminoles took the Eagles to the limit on the road in a 90-87 loss...was on fire in the first half with 17 points on seven-of-10 shooting from the field and a perfect three-of-three from the free throw line to bolster Florida State to as much as an 11-point lead and a 38-34 advantage at halftime...Thornton's 37 points on the road against the Eagles is tied for the 13th best single-game scoring effort in school history and while his 15 field goals (also a career-high) are tied for the 10th best single game effort in school history...his 37 points are the most scored by a Seminole player in a single game since Ron Hale scored 37 at Wake Forest on Jan. 4, 2000 and tied Hale's school record for points scored in an ACC game by a Florida State player...against Boston College, Thornton scored 17 first half points and totaled 20 second half points...was a perfect eight-of-eight from the field and was three-of-five from the free throw line in the second half. He scored 10 points in a four minutes span during the second half and scored eight points in the final 4:22 of the game as the Seminoles nearly won their second consecutive ACC road game...Thornton played all 20 minutes of the second half and 19 of 20 in the first half. Said Jeff Goodman of the Boston Herald: "It was the Al Thornton show in the first half. Thornton surpassed his scoring average in the first half (15.3 ppg) prior to the break with 17 and the Seminoles appeared poised to pull away."...(vs. Clemson): averaged 13.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in two games against NIT participant Clemson...shot .500 percent (nine-of-18) in the two games against the Tigers...led Florida State with 15 points in addition to four rebounds, a season-high two blocked shots and two steals in the Seminoles' victory over Clemson in Tallahassee (Feb. 1)...the win came after an overtime loss against Miami and allowed Florida State to win their fourth ACC game of the season...scored six second half points including two in a span of 26 seconds to help Florida State stretch its lead from two to six with 6:32 remaining in the game and begin to put the game away...Thornton's first of the two baskets began a 16-10 game-closing spurt that helped the Seminoles gain the win...the game had been tied at 49 just over one minute prior to Thornton's mini explosion...led the Seminoles with 12 points and eight rebounds as Florida State traveled to play at Clemson (Jan. 4)...six points in each half as the Seminoles never got into the offensive flow of the game in their conference opener...(vs. Duke): averaged a double-double of 31.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in two games against NCAA Tournament participant Duke...continued his mandate to be recognized as one of the nation's top players with a phenomenal 37-point, 15-rebound effort against Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium (Feb. 4)...he shot an incredible 17 of 32 (.531) from the field and was a perfect three-of-three from the free throw line as the Seminoles took the No. 2 ranked Blue Devils to the limit before falling, 97-96, in overtime...dueled All-America and National Player of the Year J.J. Redick throughout the game as he scored a career-high tying 37 to outscore Redick by one at 37-36......on top of his game in the first half with a near double-double of 19 points, eight rebounds and two steals in 17 minutes...remained on fire in the second half with 14 points, five rebounds and three assists...nearly put the Seminoles over the top in the overtime period with four points and two rebounds in playing all five minutes of the bonus basketball session...also established career-highs for field goals made (17), field goals attempted (32), assists (five), steals (three) and minutes played (42) while tying his career-high for points (37), free throw percentage (1.000)...tied the game at 80 with a lay-up at the 1:21 mark of the second half and had two defensive rebounds in the last minute to help send the game into overtime...left no national doubt as to his All-America status with a 26-point, five rebound performance in leading the Seminoles past No. 1 ranked Duke in Tallahassee (March 1)...his 26-points scored is tied for the fifth highest scoring total of his career...scored 13 points in each half as the Seminoles outscored the Blue Devils in both period (36-33 in the first and 43-41 in the second) to gain the second victory over the nation's No. 1 ranked team in school history...Florida State led the game throughout the entire first half and for the first five minutes of the second half before the Devils took their first lead of the game...he made a career-high 15 free throws in a career-high 16 attempts (.938) including 11 of 12 (.917) from the line in the second half...his 15 free throws made and 16 free throws attempted against the Blue Devils established the single-game records for an ACC game in school history...scored 10 points on a perfect eight-of-eight shooting from the field in the final 7:54 of the game to bring the Seminoles from a one-point deficit to the wonderfully awesome 79-74 victory...Thornton was composed enough to make two free throw attempts to seal the victory at 79-75 after the court had been stormed by the Florida State student section with 1.7 seconds remaining on the clock...order was restored and court cleared before putting Thornton on the line to close out the game...Thornton corralled the most important rebound of the night on a missed 3-point shot by J.J. Redick with six seconds remaining in the game...he was fouled by Duke's Patrick Johnson and made his two shots with one second remaining...in between the foul and Thornton's two free throws, Redick made two free throws after a technical had been assessed to the Florida State bench for too many players on the court...(vs. Georgia Tech): scored 10 points and pulled down four rebounds in the Seminoles' only game against Georgia Tech...one of five Seminoles to score in double figures as Florida State earned the come-from-behind win to beat the Yellow Jackets in Tallahassee (Feb. 9)...was a perfect three-of-three from the field and made three free throws in the victory...seven of his points came in the first half as Florida State fought furiously to stay with the hot Jackets...Thornton's seven first half points allowed the Seminoles to pull within four (43-39) at halftime after trailing by as many as eight in the first half...(vs. Maryland): totaled a double-double of 27 points and 12 rebounds in 39 of 40 minutes played in Florida State's only game of the season against NIT participant Maryland...his 27 points against the Terps was his fourth highest scoring total of the season...had a near-double-double of 10 points and eight rebounds by halftime...scored in nearly every way possible against Maryland - which had no answer for the All-ACC selection...was 10-of-15 (.667) from the field, a perfect two-of-two (1.000) from the line and made five free throws...made both of his 3-point shots in the first half as the Seminoles pushed their lead to as many as 14 in the first 20 minutes...his first 3-point shot at the 11:30 mark of the first half extended a two-point lead to a five point lead and his second from the bonusphere extended Florida State's lead to 11 at the 7:38 mark...all 10 of his baskets and all five of his free throws extended the Seminoles' lead during the game in leading Florida State to its seventh conference victory of the season and 17th overall victory...(vs. Miami): averaged 9.0 points and 6.5 rebounds in two games against NIT participant Miami...a double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds in the Seminoles' regular season ending victory over Miami, 67-64, in Coral Gables (March 5)...eight of his 18 points came from the free throw line with all eight made free throws made and all 10 free throws attempted coming in the second half...was four of five from the free throw line (.800) to help Florida State outscore Miami, 10-7, in the last five minutes to gain the victory...two most important free throws came with eight seconds remaining in the game as he was a perfect two-of-two to give Florida State a 65-61 lead and making the game a two-possession must for the Hurricanes...the Hurricanes made one but not a second 3-point shot and Florida State gained the victory...his only basket of the second half came on a dunk with 11:23 remaining in the game to bring the Seminoles to within three at 42-45...lowest scoring game of the season came at home against the Hurricanes (Jan. 29) as he was held scoreless after suffering a knee injury early in the first half...attempted only four shots (all in the first half) in proving his importance to Florida State's offense as it lost the game in overtime, 84-78...(vs. North Carolina): scored 19 points and pulled down five rebounds in the Seminoles' only game against NCAA Tournament participant North Carolina...tied for the team scoring lead as he nearly willed the Seminoles to the victory in Tallahassee against the No. 22 ranked Tar Heels (Jan. 22)...scored eight points in the last nine minutes as the Seminoles' attempted to recover the lead and gain the ACC win...made six consecutive free throws in the final 8:46 of the game in trying to bring Florida State back from as much as an eight point deficit...beginning with a Thornton jumper with 9:01 left in the game, Florida State outscored North Carolina, 17-12, but couldn't hold on to gain the victory...two free throws with 8:46 by Thornton pulled Florida State to within six a 65-71...two more by the All-ACC Second-Team selection with 6:33 left brought Florida State to within two a 71-73...Thornton tied the game at 73 with 3:38 remaining with two more free throws...an assist on an Alexander Johnson dunk put the Seminoles up 78-76 with 1:08 left on the clock...a 5-3 run to end the game put the win in the column for the Tar Heels...Thornton missed a desperation 3-point attempt to win the game at the buzzer...was a near-perfect seven-of-eight from the free throw line including a perfect six-of-six in the second half...(vs. NC State): scored 14 points and pull down one rebound in Florida State's lone game against NCAA Tournament participant NC State...seven first-half points and seven second-half points as the Seminoles played in Raleigh for the second consecutive season (Feb. 15)...(vs. Virginia): averaged 16.0 points and 6.5 rebounds in two games against NIT participant Virginia...scored 10 points and pulled down four rebounds as Florida State defeated Virginia in Tallahassee (Feb. 18)...scored seven second-half points as the Seminoles stretched their half time lead to their largest ACC victory (+14) of the season...scored 22 points and pulled down nine rebounds as the Seminoles won in overtime, 87-82, in Charlottesville (Jan. 11) for their second ACC victory of the season...scored three points (on three-of-four free throws in the overtime period as Florida State outscored Virginia, 10-5, to win the game...first two free throws with 3:09 remaining in the bonus session gave the Seminoles an 81-78 lead and one of two from the line put the Seminoles up 83-80 with 23 seconds left in the game...biggest play of the game was a blocked shot on a 3-point shot attempt by J.R. Reynolds with Florida State up 85-82 and only three seconds remaining...the Seminoles sealed the game on two free throws by Jason Rich after he grabbed the rebound of Thornton's blocked shot...Thornton did what an All-America candidate should do on a blocked shot - keep the ball in bounds...also had three rebounds in the overtime period...nine second half points including three on an old fashioned three-point play with 4:30 left in regulation as Florida State rallied to recover from a second-half deficit to tie the game and send it into overtime...made five free throws in the second half and the overtime period combined...(vs. Virginia Tech): averaged 17.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in two games against Virginia Tech...a double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds as the Seminoles defeated Virginia Tech in Tallahassee to win their first ACC game of the season (Jan. 7)... scored the first two points of the game and helped the Seminoles bolt to an 8-0 lead before the Hokies got on the scoreboard...scored six of the Seminoles' final eight points of the first half and 10 total in the first half as Florida State jumped to a commanding 34-26 lead at the intermission...was five of six from the free throw line in the second half including one of two with 1:25 seconds left in the game and Florida State up by only three...his free throw put the Seminoles up 66-62 and though the Hokies closed to within two with under one minute left, Thornton's free throw proved pivotal in the games outcome...totaled 13 points and four rebounds as Florida State traveled to play in Blacksburg (Feb. 25)...scored nine second half points as the Seminoles attempted to win a tightly contested contest that see-sawed back-and-forth during the entire game...(vs. Wake Forest): averaged 15.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in two games against NIT participant Wake Forest...a major factor in the Seminoles victory over Wake Forest in Winston-Salem (Jan. 24) with 13 points and four rebounds...part of Florida State's 3-point barrage in the first half with one of the team's eight in leading the Seminoles to a 42-34 lead at the break...his contribution from the 3-point line started a 35-21 half-ending run that put Florida State in the drivers seat for their third ACC victory of the season...a second 3-pointer came in the second half as the Seminoles jumped to a 13-point lead (47-34, their largest of the game) with 18:09 left in the second half...also added three assists in the win which tied for his second highest total of the season in an ACC game...led the Seminoles with 17 points and eight rebounds in the top ACC Tournament performance of his career against Wake Forest in Greensboro (March 9)...led all scorers in the first half as he scored 11 points and pulled down five rebounds in 17 minutes of play...scored five of Florida State's first nine points to stake the No. 5 seeded Seminoles to a quick 9-0 advantage...added a 3-pointer with 6:55 remaining in the first half to put the Seminoles up 26-16...Florida State led, 40-32, at halftime...(vs. Butler and South Carolina in the NIT): averaged 6.5 points and 6.5 rebounds against Butler and South Carolina as the Seminoles advanced to the second round of the NIT for the second time during Thornton's career...scored five points and pulled down seven rebounds in 23 minutes as Florida State defeated Butler, 67-63, in the first round of the NIT in a game played in Tallahassee...three points early in the second half on a 3-point shot gave Florida State a 40-35 lead with 16:58 left in the game...a big play block on a 3-point shot attempt by the Bulldog's A.J. Graves allowed Florida State to hold their 5-point advantage with 11:03 remaining in the second half...scored eight points and pulled down six rebounds in the second round of the NIT against South Carolina in a game also played in Tallahassee (March 21)...scored two points and pulled down one rebound in the overtime period against the Gamecocks...his lay-up tied the game at 62-62 with 2:55 remaining in the extra session in the game won by the eventual NIT Champion Gamecocks, 69-68...(vs. Florida): scored nine points and pulled down one rebound against Florida...limited to five first half minutes as he was whistled for two fouls in the first 2:26 of the game...scored all nine of his points in only five minutes played during the first half...picked up his third and fourth fouls in the first 2:44 of the second half and played only eight minutes the remainder of the game in desperate foul trouble...helped limit Joakim Noah to a season-low three points and two rebounds while playing his season-low of only 15 minutes.
AS A SOPHOMORE (2005): Averaged 9.1 points (second on the team), 4.4 rebounds (tied for first), 0.6 blocks (first) and shot .543 from the field (first) as he enjoyed the best year of his two-year Seminole career...led the team with 48 offensive rebounds (1.7 orpg) and pulled down 128 rebounds...tied with Adam Waleskowski for the team lead with his 4.4 rebounds per game average and finished tied for second on the team with 128 total rebounds...established career-high statistics for blocked shots (18)...more than tripled his scoring average in overall games (9.1-2.8) and scored nearly seven times as many points against ACC competition (10.1-1.5) in 2005 as compared to his freshman season...tied for second on the team with the first two 20-point scoring games of his career...career-high 26 points in the Seminoles fantastic 93-81 victory over No. 3 Wake Forest in overtime in Tallahassee (Jan. 18) and 20 points against Georgia Tech in Tallahassee (Feb. 20)...also tied for first on the team with two double figure scoring games...his season-high of 13 rebounds came against Maryland (Dec. 19) and 10 came in the victory over Wake Forest at home...his double figure rebounding efforts gave him the first two double-double efforts of his career...his two double-double also tied for the team lead with Waleskowski and Anthony Richardson...tied for second on the team as he led the team in scoring in a career-high five different games...led with the team with 20 points vs. Georgia Tech (Feb, 20), 19 vs. North Carolina (Mar. 3), 15 vs. Texas A&M (Nov. 22), 15 vs. Clemson (Feb. 27) and 12 vs. Miami (Feb. 22)...second on the team as he led the Seminoles in rebounding nine games...pulled down a team leading 10 rebounds in the victory over Wake Forest (Jan. 18), eight vs. Miami (Feb. 22), seven rebounds against South Alabama (Dec. 16), NC State (Jan. 26) and against Georgia Tech (Feb. 20), six against Kent State (Nov. 27), LSU (Dec. 30) and North Carolina (March 3) and five against Texas A&M (Nov. 22)...12 double figure scoring games as a sophomore as compared to one during his junior season...totaled 12 points in the Seminoles' come-from behind victory over Minnesota in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge...scored six second half points including a lay-up with 14 seconds remaining in the game to put the Seminoles up 70-66...his lay-up proved important as Minnesota's Aaron Robinson made a 3-point shot with six seconds remaining to pull the Gophers within one point...Florida State ran the clock out in the final six seconds to win the game and helped the ACC win the challenge for the fifth consecutive season...closed the year as the Seminoles' most consistent player as he averaged 14.0 points and scored in double figures in a personal best five consecutive of the last six games of the season...a standout in the Seminoles' 12 games won with an 11.3 points per game average...averaged 11.2 points in the 12 games against teams which played in the NCAA Tournament...(vs. Clemson) averaged 8.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in two games against NIT participant Clemson...shot five-of-eight (.625) from the field in the two game series against the Tigers...led Florida State with 15 points and pulled down four rebounds as the Seminoles traveled to play at Clemson (Feb. 27)...scored 14 of his 15 points in the second half as he made four of six field goals and five of eight free throws...scored two points and recorded one rebound as the Seminoles played host to Clemson in Tallahassee (Jan. 12)...(vs. Duke) scored two points and pulled down one rebound in the Seminoles only game against NCAA Tournament participant Duke...also recorded one assist and one steal in 19 minutes of play against the Blue Devils...(vs. Georgia Tech) averaged 13.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in two games against NCAA Tournament participant Georgia Tech...shot 10-of-13 (.769 percent) from the field and made six of eight free throws (.750) in the pair of games against the Yellow Jackets...second career 20-point scoring game to go along with seven rebounds as Florida State nearly defeated Georgia Tech in Tallahassee (Feb. 20)...on fire as a starter for the first time in his career with eight points and the first half and 12 in the second as the Seminoles nearly rallied for the victory...one of the best shooting games of his career as he made seven of eight shots from the field (.875) and six of eight shots (.750) from the free throw line...was a perfect four of four from both the field and the free throw line in the second half as Florida State outscored Georgia Tech 39-32 as it climbed back in to the game...scored eight points in the final seven minutes of the second half as the Seminoles outscored the Yellow Jackets 15-5 in pulling of the near miraculous victory...biggest shot of the game came with 10 seconds left in the second half as the Georgia native hit a fade away jumper of Like Schenscher to give the Seminoles the lead at 75-74 for the first time since midway through the first half...unfortunately, the lead was short lived as Georgia Tech's B.J. Elder made two free throws with 0.4 second left on the clock to give the Yellow Jackets the 76-75 victory...scored six points and five rebounds in nearly leading the Seminoles to the victory in Atlanta (Feb. 2)...all six points came in the first half and helped the Seminoles to a 33-27 halftime lead...Will Bynum won the game for the Yellow Jackets on a 3-point shot with just 2.8 second remaining on the game clock in the second half...(vs. Maryland) scored 16 points and pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds in earning the first double-double of his career in the Seminoles' only game of the season against NIT semifinalist Maryland...nearly willed the Seminoles to the win with nine points and six rebounds in the second half of the games as the Seminoles outscored the Terps, 45-38, to force the overtime period...three points in the final 1:56 on a lay-up to tie the game at 70-70 and free throw with 24 seconds remaining to once again tie the game at 80-80 and send it into overtime...scored the first two points of the overtime period on a jumper to put the Seminoles up 82-80...Maryland outscored Florida State 10-6 over the remainder of the overtime period to take the ACC opener for both teams, 90-88...pulled down his career-high of 13 rebounds and seven offensive rebounds while making a career-high six free throws on a career-high 13 free throw attempts...(vs. Miami) averaged 6.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in two games against NIT participant Maryland...first appearance against the Hurricanes in Coral Gables (Jan. 15) accounted for less than 30 seconds of playing time and did not result in any statistics...was limited against the Hurricanes with an injured left ankle that he hurt in the previous game against Clemson...scored a team-high 12 points and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds as the Seminoles played host to Miami in Tallahassee (Feb. 22)...all 12 points came in the second half as the Seminoles' attempted to scramble from behind...Miami won the game, 65-49...(vs. North Carolina) averaged 13.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in two games against National Champion North Carolina...shot 12-of-15 (.800 percent) from the field in the two games against the Tar Heels...nearly reached the 20-point plateau with 19 on eight-of-10 shooting from the field as the Seminoles played in Chapel Hill at the Dean Dome (March 3)...a starter with 11 points to help Florida State to a 44-41 halftime lead...was nearly perfect from the floor in the first half as he made five of his six attempted field goals...scored 11 of the Seminoles' first 22 points and helped pull the Seminoles to within one point at 23-224 with 8:44 remaining the first half...despite eight second half point by Thornton, the Tar Heels pulled away in the second half to gain the win...totaled eight points in seven minutes of play on four-of-five shooting from the field as Florida State played host to North Carolina in Tallahassee (Feb. 6)...(vs. NC State) averaged 10.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in two games against NCAA Tournament participant NC State...shot seven-of-14 (.500 percent) from the field in two games against the Wolfpack...totaled 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds as Florida State won at NC State, 70-64, to break the Seminoles' 26-game ACC road losing steak that dated back to the end of the 2001 season (Jan. 26)...came off the bench to score 12 points to go along with one assist and one blocked shot in 27 minutes of play...scorching hot from the floor in the first half with eight points on three-of-four shooting from the field (including his second 3-point shot of the season) to help the Seminoles to a 33-25 halftime lead...six points in the final 5:14 of the second half as Florida State outscored NC State, 17-4, to end the half...scored four points in the second half as the Seminoles held on for the long-awaited road win...eight points and seven rebounds again the Wolfpack in a starters role in the ACC Tournament at the MCI Center (March 10)...also blocked two shots to mark the fourth time with multiple blocked shots in a single game during the season...(vs. Virginia) averaged 6.0 points and 3.0 rebounds in two games against Virginia...shot five-of-nine (.556) from the field in the home-and-home series against the Cavaliers...one of four Seminoles in double figure scoring with 10 points as the Seminoles closed out the regular season with a 68-63 victory over Virginia in Tallahassee (March 6)...four first half points to bolster the Seminoles to a 32-21 halftime lead and six more in the second half to help Florida State hold off the fast-charging Cavaliers to gain the victory...two pressure-packed free throws with 1:51 remaining on the clock to give Florida State a 61-56 lead...the Seminoles' lead did not dip below four over the course of the final seconds and the Seminoles earned the victory...scored two points and pulled down two rebounds as the Seminoles traveled to play at Charlottesville (Feb. 9)...two first half points as the Seminoles ran out to a 31-23 halftime lead...Virginia gained the win as it took its first lead of the game with five seconds remaining in the second half on a 3-point shot by Devin Smith...the Cavaliers won the game, 56-55...(vs. Virginia Tech) scored seven points and pulled down two rebounds in the Seminoles' only game of the season against new ACC member and NIT participant Virginia Tech...played well in scoring five second half points to help Florida State to a 45-38 halftime lead...punctuated his first half performance with a dunk at the 1:32 mark of the first the first half to give the Seminoles a 42-36 lead as Florida State took the seven-point lead at the half...perfect on two free throws in the second half to give the Seminoles a 49-48 lead...blocked a shot on the next Hokie possession to help preserve the Seminoles' lead...the block began an offensive rush that led to a basket by Isaiah Swann and a 51-48 Seminole advantage...(vs. Wake Forest) averaged 15.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in two games against NCAA Tournament participant Wake Forest...best game of his career as he established his career-high statistics with 26 points, 36 minutes played, 10 field goals made, 20 field goals attempted, seven offensive rebounds and four assists in Florida State's 91-83 overtime victory over Wake Forest in Tallahassee (Jan. 18)...scored 20 points after the intermission and totaled six points in overtime...nearly outscored Wake Forest, 6-7, in the extra session...14 points in the second half as the Seminoles held on to take the game into overtime and gain the win in the extra session...put on a near clinic in the overtime period as he began the session with the first basket of the overtime to put the Seminoles up 78-76 and added a jumper less than one minute later to increase the Seminoles' lead to 80-76...a pair of free throws with eight seconds remaining to make the score 91-80 and seal the deal...scored four points and pulled down two rebounds as the Seminoles traveled to play in Winston-Salem (Feb. 12)...(vs. Florida) scored 17 points and pulled down nine rebounds in a near double-double performance in the Seminoles' victory over Florida in Tallahassee (Jan. 2)...one of four Seminoles in double figure scoring as the Seminoles defeated the Gators...six first half points including two in a half-ending 10-0 Seminole run which gave Florida State a commanding 45-32 halftime lead...11 points in the second half as the Seminoles maintained a double-digit lead during most of the second half on their way to one of their biggest wins of the season...
AS A FRESHMAN (2004): Averaged 3.2 points (tenth on the team), 1.8 rebounds (tied for ninth) and shot .517 from the field to rank second among the regulars in the Seminoles' rotation ... ranked in the top 25 among ACC freshmen in seven different statistical categories ... season high of 12 points came in his fourth career game against South Carolina State (Nov. 28) ... made his season high of six field goals in a season-high eight attempts while playing his season-high of 18 minutes against the Colonels ... strong game defensively at North Carolina (Feb. 21) with three steals in seven minutes played during the first half against the Tar Heels ... his three steals against the Tar Heels accounted for nearly half of his seven steals for the entire season ... made three 3-point shots with none more important than one against NC State in Tallahassee to put the Seminoles ahead 53-52 with 1:34 remaining in the game ... scored four points against Wichita State in his first career NIT game ... all four points came in the second half as the Seminoles outscored the Shockers 44-34 in the second half and won the game in double overtime, 91-84 ... the win was the first for the Seminoles in the postseason since the 1998 NCAA Tournament ... scored 84 points in 238 minutes played during his first collegiate season ... scored seven points in 11 minutes played against NC State (Jan. 18) and totaled 12 points in 18 minutes against South Carolina State (Nov. 28) ... Thornton's seven points against NC State ranked as his ACC season high while his 12 points against Nicholls State rank as his single game season high during his first 30 games as a Seminole ... (vs. Clemson) averaged 0.0 points and 1.5 rebounds in two games against Clemson ... pulled down two rebounds, blocked one shot and earned one steal as the Seminoles defeated Clemson in Tallahassee (Feb. 14) ... scored one point and added one steal as Florida State traveled to play at Clemson (Jan. 13) ... (vs. Duke) averaged 1.0 point and 1.0 rebound in two games against NCAA semifinalist Duke ... scored two points and had one blocked shot as the Seminoles nearly defeated Duke for the third consecutive season in Tallahassee (Feb. 29) ... (vs. Georgia Tech) averaged 0.0 points and 0.0 rebounds in one game against NCAA Tournament runner-up Georgia Tech ... earned three minutes of playing time as Florida State defeated No. 10-ranked Georgia Tech in Tallahassee (Feb. 3) ... the Seminoles won the game, 81-65, to hand the Yellow Jackets their worst margin of defeat during the entire season ... (vs. Maryland) averaged 0.5 points and 0.0 rebounds in two games against ACC champion and NCAA Tournament participant Maryland ... scored one point in one minute as the Seminoles defeated the No. 24-ranked Terps in Tallahassee (Dec. 28) ... his one point came on a free throw with 1:41 remaining in the first half to bring the Seminoles within one at 36-35 ... Florida State won the game 79-75 to open their conference schedule with a victory for the first time since 2000 ... (vs. North Carolina) averaged 3.5 points and 1.5 rebounds in two games against NCAA Tournament participant North Carolina ... tied his ACC season high of seven points in the Seminoles' monumental 24-point comeback against the Tar Heels in Tallahassee (Jan. 22) ... a slam dunk with eight minutes remaining in the second half brought Florida State to within 70-63 and helped the Seminoles continue their march toward defeating North Carolina ... his dunk began Florida State's final push which closed the game on a 15-8 run and allowed the Seminoles to tie the game at 78 at the end of regulation and win the game in overtime ... recorded three steals and one assist in eight minutes of play as the Seminoles nearly won in Chapel Hill (Feb. 21) ... (vs. NC State) averaged 4.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in three games against NCAA Tournament participant NC State ... was a perfect two-of-two from the 3-point line against the Wolfpack in three games for two of his three made 3-point shots to come against NC State during the season ... scored his ACC high tying total of seven points against NC State in Tallahassee (Jan. 11) ... made the biggest shot of his freshman season - a 3-pointer - with 1:34 remaining to put the Seminoles up 53-52 as the clock ran down ... took a pass from Nate Johnson and nailed the shot from the right elbow ... totaled three points on a 3-point shot as the Seminoles played in Raleigh (Feb. 10) ... scored four points and pulled down three rebounds against the Wolfpack in his first career ACC Tournament game (March 12) ... (vs. Virginia) averaged 0.0 points and 1.0 rebound in one game against NIT participant Virginia ... earned three minutes of playing time as the Seminoles played in Charlottesville ... (vs. Wake Forest) averaged 0.5 points and 1.5 rebounds in two games against NCAA Tournament participant Wake Forest ... scored one point, pulled down one rebound, had one assist and one steal in helping Florida State past No. 10 Wake Forest in Tallahassee (Jan. 25) ... pulled down one rebound in four minutes as the Seminoles traveled to play in Winston-Salem (Feb. 25) ... (vs. Wichita State and Iowa State in the NIT) averaged 2.0 points and 0.5 rebounds against Wichita State and Iowa State in the NIT ... shot a combined .667 (two-of-three) from the field and had one blocked shot as the Seminoles played in the postseason for the first time since 1998 ... scored four points to help lead the Seminoles past Wichita State, 91-84, in overtime in a game played in Wichita, Kansas (March 17) ... totaled four points against the Shockers on a perfect two-of-two from the field in the second half as the Seminoles outscored the Shockers, 44-34, to erase a ten-point disadvantage after the first 20 minutes of play ... earned two minutes of playing time in the second round of the NIT against Iowa State.
AS A FRESHMAN (2003): A redshirt season ... originally signed with Leonard Hamilton during the summer of 2002 but did not enroll at Florida State until December of 2002 ... was fully eligible as a student and a player upon his arrival but decided on a redshirt season ... practiced with the team during the entire second semester.
AT PERRY: Graduated from Perry High School in 2002 ... averaged 27.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 3.0 blocked shots and 2.0 steals as a senior ... named the Most Valuable Player at the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association (GACA) All-Star game and the Georgia/Tennessee All-Star game following his senior season ... scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the GACA All-Star game while helping his South team to a 97-81 victory ... scored 28 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the Georgia/Tennessee All-Star game ... earned Class AAA All-State Honorable Mention honors ... named the Middle-Georgia Player of the Year by the Macon Telegraph ... ranked No. 26 among the nation's top power forwards and centers by Prepstars.com ... scored a career-high 53 points against West Laurens and scored 40 or more points in three other games his senior season ... scored 45 points against Central High School, 41 against Thomasville and 40 vs. Dublin in addition to a number of 30-point scoring games ... was invited to participate in the Georgia/Florida All-Star game in Orlando following his senior season ... all-time school record holder for points with over 1,500 career points.
PERSONAL: Born Dec. 7, 1983 ... Al is the son of Alford and Philomenia Thornton ... comes from a tall family ... his dad stands 6-foot-6 and three sisters are all nearly 6-foot tall ... selected Florida State over Cincinnati, Kentucky and Georgia.
Strengths: Thornton is a near automatic shooter from 17 feet and closer, whether it be off of the dribble or with his feet set. Although his shooting form is a bit mechanical, he has a virtually unblockable release point on his jumper. He is too quick for opposing power forwards to stay in front of and too skilled on the blocks for a small forward to defend. He is an incredibly quick leaper, often getting off the ground twice before his opponent is able to leap once. Generally, Thornton does a solid job with defensive rotations and keeping his man in front of him once the offensive player has put the ball on the floor.
Weaknesses: On the offensive end, Thornton is a downright atrocious passer. He just doesn't really seem to have a good feel for finding the open man. His ballhandling ability has often been questioned. Age will also be called into question by some decision-makers who may wonder if the 23 year-old forward has as much upside as some of the younger prospects in the draft.
Outlook: In the past year, there might not be another player whose stock has gone up as much as Thornton's. The super-athletic combo forward seems to be a lock to land in the lottery after his great senior season.
DraftExpress covers the NBA Draft for Rivals.com. Their work can also be found at Complete Bio]