Marcus_Thornton_W&M
Marcus_Thornton_W&M

William & Mary's Marcus Thornton named CAA player of the year



William & Mary senior guard Marcus Thornton has been selected the CAA’s men’s basketball player of the year. Thornton, who scored a CAA tournament single-game record 37 points in a 92-91 double-overtime victory against Hofstra in Sunday's semifinals, is the first Tribe player to win the award.

Joining Thornton on the all CAA team were Elon freshman guard Elijah Bryant (named rookie of the year), William & Mary junior guard Terry Tarpey as defensive player of the year and  Northeastern junior guard Caleb Donnelly and  W&M  senior forward Tom Schalk were co-winners of the Dean Ehlers Leadership Award. UNC Wilmington’s Kevin Keatts was honored as coach of the year.

Thornton is second in the conference and 21st in the nation in scoring with 19.4 points per game and scored in double figures in 35 consecutive games dating back to last year. He became the Tribe's all-time leading scorer on Feb. 25, breaking a mark that had stood since 1950. He is currently 11th in CAA history with 2,081 points. Thornton is also the most prolific three-point shooter in W&M history and ranks fifth on the CAA's all-time treys list with 308. A three-time all-conference selection, Thornton is one of 16 finalists for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award, presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He's currently one of only four players in Division I to be shooting better than 45 percent from the floor (46.4%), 40 percent from 3-point range (40.9%) and 80 percent from the free throw line (81.6%) this season.

Bryant ranked eighth in the league in scoring with 13.9 points per game, which led the Phoenix and was best among all CAA rookies. He was in double figures in 25 of 31 games and was the team's top scorer 13 times. Bryant was also second on the team in rebounding (4.2 rpg) and assists (2.8 apg), and was eighth in the conference with a team-high 40 steals.

Tarpey is W&M's first CAA defensive player of the year honoree. The junior guard leads the conference and ranks 51st nationally with 8.4 rebounds per game, and is also first in the CAA in steals (50) and blocked shots (40). He grabbed 10 or more rebounds in 11 games, recorded nine double-doubles and posted the first triple-double in Tribe history on Jan. 10. Tarpey also leads W&M with 89 assists and is third on the team in scoring with 12.0 points per game.

Donnelly is the second Northeastern player in the past three seasons to receive the Ehlers Award, which is presented annually to the men's basketball student-athlete who "embodies the highest standards of leadership, integrity and sportsmanship in conjunction with his academic athletic achievement." Donnelly, who has a 3.99 grade point average while majoring in chemical engineering and minoring in mathematics, was selected as a class representative to the 2016 American Institute for Chemical Engineers and was a Huntington 100 Award winner, which recognizes the 100 most influential students at Northeastern University. He volunteered for six months as a teacher through the Citizen Schools Program and taught an inner-city, sixth-grade class how to build solar-powered toy cars.

Schalk is the fourth William and Mary player in the past six years to receive the Ehlers Award. He has a 3.7 grade point average while majoring in accounting and has already been accepted to graduate school in W&M's Masters in Accounting program. Schalk is a three-time recipient of the William & Mary Provost Award, is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and was chosen to represent the College in the 2014 Grant Thornton Program for emerging leaders. Schalk is involved with the Williamsburg Community Chapel where he works with local teens leading bible study groups and mentoring.

In his first season at UNCW, Keatts guided the Seahawks to a share of the CAA regular-season title for the first time since 2006. After being picked to finish ninth in the league's preseason poll, UNCW surpassed expectations with a 12-6 mark in CAA play, which was its most conference wins since 2007-08. The Seahawks started the year 5-7 before winning 12 of their final 17 games. Keatts is the third UNCW coach to be honored as CAA Coach of the Year, joining Jerry Wainwright (1997, 2001) and Brad Brownell (2003, 2006).

Joining Thornton on the All-CAA first team were Northeastern senior forward Scott Eatherton, Hofstra junior guard Juan'ya Green, Drexel junior guard Damion Lee and UNCW senior guard Addison Spruill.

Eatherton received first-team honors for the first time after earning a spot on the All-CAA second team a year ago. The senior forward ranked fifth in the league in scoring (14.7 ppg), third in rebounding (6.6 rpg) and third in blocked shots (1.2 bpg). He shot 58.7% from the floor, which is the 13th-best percentage in Division I. Eatherton recorded a team-high five double-doubles this season.

Green earned a spot on the All-CAA first team in his first year at Hofstra. The junior guard was third in the conference in scoring with 17.0 points per game and reached double figures in all 31 contests. He also topped the CAA and ranked ninth in Division I in assists with 6.5 apg. Green posted eight double-doubles in 2014-15 and had the first triple-double in Hofstra history with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against LIU Brooklyn.

Lee bounced back from a season-ending knee injury in 2013-14 to gain a spot on the All-CAA first team. The junior guard led the conference and ranked fifth in the nation in scoring with 21.4 points per game. He topped the 20-point mark 14 times and had five 30-point performances. He was also sixth in the CAA in rebounding (6.1 rpg), fourth in steals (1.5 spg) and ranked 13th in Division in free throw percentage (88.7%).

Spruill garnered all-conference honors for the first time. The senior guard topped the Seahawks and was seventh in the CAA in scoring with 14.5 points per game and also led UNCW and was fourth in the league in rebounding with 6.5 per game. He shot 45.4% from the floor, which was seventh-best in the conference. Spruill scored double digits 23 times and recorded three double-doubles.

2014-15 CAA MEN'S BASKETBALL AWARD WINNERS

First Team All-CAA                          Cl.           Pos.         Ht.            Wt.        Hometown/High School

Scott Eatherton, Northeastern              Sr.           F                6-8            234         Hershey, Pa./Hershey

Juan'ya Green, Hofstra                            Jr.           G               6-2            195         Philadelphia, Pa./Archbishop Carroll

Damion Lee, Drexel                                 Jr.           G               6-6            200         Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall

Addison Spruill, UNCW                           Sr.           G               6-4            225         Currie, N.C./Pender

Marcus Thornton, William & Mary       Sr.           G               6-4            190         Upper Marlboro, Md./Bishop McNamara

Second Team All-CAA                      Cl.           Pos.         Ht.            Wt.        Hometown/High School

Ron Curry, James Madison                    Jr.           G               6-4            190         Pennsauken, N.J./Paul VI

Freddie Jackson, UNCW                        Sr.           G               6-4            185         Wilmington, N.C./New Hanover

Ameen Tanksley, Hofstra                       Jr.           G/F          6-5            230         Philadelphia, Pa./Imhotep Charter

Terry Tarpey, William & Mary              Jr.           G               6-5            210         Stamford, Conn./Fairfield Prep

David Walker, Northeastern                  Jr.           G               6-6            196         Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls

Third Team All-CAA                       Cl.           Pos.         Ht.            Wt.        Hometown/High School

Kyle Anderson, Delaware                       Sr.           G               6-3            195         Newark, Ill./Newark

Elijah Bryant, Elon                                  Fr.           G               6-4            225         Gwinnett, Ga./New Hampton School

Yohanny Dalembert, James Madison  So.          F                6-8            225         Port-au-Prince, Haiti/Lower Merion (Pa.)

John Davis, Towson                                 So.          F                6-5            215         Philadelphia, Pa./Ss. Neumann-Goretti

Omar Prewitt, William & Mary              So.          G/F          6-6            190         Mount Sterling, Ky./Montgomery County

2014-15 CAA Player of the Year - Marcus Thornton, William & Mary

2014-15 CAA Coach of the Year – Kevin Keatts, UNCW 2014-15

CAA Rookie of the Year – Elijah Bryant, Elon 2014-15

CAA Defensive Player of the Year – Terry Tarpey, William & Mary

2014-15 Dean Ehlers Leadership Award – Caleb Donnelly, Northeastern and Tom Schalk, William & Mary

CAA All-Rookie Team                      Cl.           Pos.         Ht.            Wt.        Hometown/High School

Elijah Bryant, Elon                                  Fr.           G               6-4            225         Gwinnett, Ga./New Hampton School

Chivarsky Corbett, Delaware                 Fr.           G               6-7            195         Tampa, Fla./Tampa Catholic

Kory Holden, Delaware                           Fr.           G               6-2            180         Salisbury, Md./J.M. Bennett

Mike Morsell, Towson                             Fr.           F                6-5            190         Fort Washington, Md./St. John's College

Jordon Talley, UNCW                             Fr.           G               6-0            180         Richmond, Va./Henrico

CAA All-Defensive Team                 Cl.           Pos.         Ht.            Wt.        Hometown/High School

Yohanny Dalembert, James Madison   So.          F                6-8            225         Port-au-Prince, Haiti/Lower Merion (Pa.)

Scott Eatherton, Northeastern               Sr.           F                6-8            234         Hershey, Pa./Hershey

Freddie Jackson, UNCW                         Sr.           G               6-4            185         Wilmington, N.C./New Hanover

Damion Lee, Drexel                                  Jr.           G               6-6            200         Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall

Terry Tarpey, William & Mary               Jr.           G               6-5            210         Stamford, Conn./Fairfield Prep

CAA All-Academic Team                Cl.           Pos.         Ht.            Wt.        Hometown/High School

Kyle Anderson, Delaware                       Sr.           G               6-3            195         Newark, Ill./Newark

Canyon Barry, Coll. of Charleston        So.          G               6-6            195         Colo. Srings, Colo./Cheyenne Mountain

Dimitrije Cabarkapa, James Madison  So.          F                6-10         240         Novi Sad, Serbia/High Medical School

Caleb Donnelly, Northeastern                Jr.           G               6-1            181         Hudson, N.H./Alvirne

Luke Eddy, Elon                                         So.          G               6-0            170         Charleston, W.Va./George Washington

Christian Hairston, Elon                          So.          G/F          6-7            190         Greensboro, N.C./Greensboro Day School

Kevin Hickson, UNCW                             Jr.           F                6-8            215         Charlotte, N.C./Wofford

Damion Lee, Drexel                                  Jr.           G               6-6            200         Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall

Four McGlynn, Towson                           Jr.           G               6-2            180         York, Pa./Dallastown Area

Dion Nesmith, Hofstra                            Gr.          G               6-1            215         Union, N.J./Union

Timajh Parker-Rivera, Towson              Jr.           F                6-7            215         Milford, Conn./St. Joseph

Tom Schalk, William & Mary                  Sr.           F                6-8            225         Burnsville, Minn./Apple Valley

Michael Schlotman, William & Mary    R-Fr.      G               6-6            200         Munster, Ind./Munster

Rodney Williams, Drexel                         So.          F                6-7            220         Richmond, Va./St. Christopher's

Ryan Winters, Elon                                   Sr.           F                6-7            210         Denver, Colo./Regis Jesuit

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