Terrapins Insider: Alyssa Thomas named ACC rookie of the year

By Gene Wang
Wednesday, March 2, 2011; 4:27 PM

Guard-forward Alyssa Thomas was selected ACC rookie of the year following a regular season in which she led the 13th-ranked Maryland women's basketball team in scoring and steals, finished second in rebounding and became its most indispensable player.

The announcement Wednesday was all but a formality considering Thomas had won ACC rookie of the week seven times, the most in school history. Thomas becomes the second Terrapins player in three years to win the award -- junior center Lynetta Kizer won in 2008-09 -- and the seventh in program history.

As the centerpiece to Coach Brenda Frese's highly regarded freshman class, Thomas is averaging 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game. She leads all ACC freshmen in those categories and is fifth overall in ACC games in scoring (15.7) and rebounding (8.7).

"What a great honor for Alyssa and our program," Coach Brenda Frese said in a statement from Greensboro, N.C., where the Terrapins will play a second-round game in the ACC tournament on Friday morning. "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."

Thomas also was named second-team all-ACC yesterday, becoming the first freshman since Marissa Coleman in 2005-06 to do so. Coleman also won ACC rookie the year that season.

Thomas scored a team-high 17 points and added nine rebounds to help Maryland beat Boston College, 78-69, on Sunday to secure fourth place in the conference and a first-round bye in the ACC tournament that begins tomorrow at Greensboro Coliseum.

Maryland plays the winner of tomorrow's Georgia Tech-Virginia Tech game. The Terrapins beat both the Yellow Jackets and Hokies during the regular season.

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