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Tribe’s Thornton Named Virginia Player of the Year

May 14, 2015, 11:24 AM EDT

W&M's Marcus Thornton

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – William & Mary men’s basketball senior Marcus Thornton headlined the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) All-State team, taking home the State Player of the Year Award, the organization announced on Tuesday. Thornton also garnered first team all-state honors for the second straight season, while junior Terry Tarpey was selected to the VaSID All-State second team following a standout 2014-15 campaign.

The Tribe and Virginia were the only two programs in the state to have a player on both the first and second teams.
Joining Thornton on the VaSID All-State first team were VCU’s Treveon Graham, Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon, ODU’s Trey Freeman and Richmond’s Kendall Anthony. Along with Thornton being named the state player of the year, Virginia head coach Tony Bennett was selected as the VaSID State Coach of the Year and Virginia Tech’s Justin Bibbs garnered the state rookie of the year honor. Tarpey was a member of the all-state second team along with Virginia’s Justin Anderson, Radford’s Javonte Green and both Jeff Short and RaShid Gaston of Norfolk State.

Thornton is the third W&M player to be named the state player of the year and the second to be honored by VaSID. Martin Morris was the state player of the year for the Tribe in 1965, while Adam Hess received the VaSID State Player of the Year honor in 2003. The VaSID award is the second state player of the year for Thornton in 2015 as the Richmond Times Dispatch honored him as such in March as well. Thornton is a three-time VaSID All-State selection and the first two-time first team honoree for the Green and Gold since Hess in 2003 and 2004.

W&M’s all-time leading scorer, Thornton finished his career with 2,178 points, which ranks seventh in CAA history. The Upper Marlboro, Md., native was named an Associated Press honorable mention All-American and garnered the first CAA Player of the Year honor in program history. Thornton was the first Tribe player since 2004 to average 20 points per game, while knocking down a school-record 102 3-pointers.

Thornton became the only W&M player in program history to be named First Team NABC All-District on three occasions. A three-time All-CAA choice, he was a first-team selection each of the last two years. Also during 2014-15, Thornton was named a finalist for the Lou Henson Mid-Major Player of the Year award and the Jerry West Division I Shooting Guard of the Year, presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He will compete in the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, May 12-17.

Tarpey earned his first VaSID All-State honor after a stellar junior campaign. He was the only player in the country to average 10 points, eight rebounds, three assists, one steal and one blocked shot per game. He led the CAA and ranked among the top 50 nationally in rebounding at 8.4 per game, while adding nearly 12 points per contest. Tarpey became the first player in Tribe history to be named the CAA Defensive Player of the Year and also garnered second team all-league accolades. He registered the first triple-double in W&M history with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in an 81-73 win over JMU on Jan. 10 in Williamsburg.

In 2014-15, the Tribe posted its second straight 20-win season, marking the first back-to-back 20-win campaigns at W&M since 1951. W&M won the program’s first CAA regular season title in 17 years, was the No. 1 seed in the CAA Tournament for the first time in program history and played in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) for the third time in the school’s annals this past season.