The votes were tallied, and the fans were heard. As a result, William and Mary men’s basketball senior Marcus Thornton was voted the 2014-15 College Court Report Mid-Major Player of the Year, the website has announced. Thornton won the 32-player bracket, which started in late February and was decided by fan votes over the last five weeks. He outdistanced East Tennessee State’s Jalen Riley in the championship round.
Along with his fan-vote Mid-Major Player of the Year honor, Thornton took home two more awards from the website. He was first team All-Mid-Major in the fan-vote awards, while being named to the third team by the website in its second annual season awards.
Earlier this week, Thornton became the sixth W&M player to be named an All-American, earning honorable mention distinction from the Associated Press. Last week, he was selected as a National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) first team All-District 10 honoree for the third time in his career. He was also named one of 16 national finalists for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year award presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in February. Thornton was picked to the Lou Henson Mid-Major All-America Team, and is a finalist for the award’s Mid-Major Player of the Year.
The Upper Marlboro, Md., native concluded his career as the program’s all-time leading scorer and became the first Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Player of the Year in Tribe history. He topped the oldest Division I school record in college basketball when he surpassed the late Chet Giermak, who held the record since 1950, on Feb. 25. Thornton finished with 2,178 points, which also ranks seventh in CAA history. His career total of 325 3-pointers is the Tribe program mark and the fourth most in CAA history.
A first team All-CAA honoree for the second straight season, Thornton became the first Tribe player since 2004 to average 20 points per game, ranking 16th nationally. His 659 points in 2014-15 were the second most in W&M history and the most since 1949. He knocked down a school-record 102 3-pointers and became just the sixth player in CAA history to reach the century mark in 3-pointers made.
Thornton led the Tribe to back-to-back 20-win seasons in the final two years of his career, a first at W&M since 1951. He also captained W&M to back-to-back CAA championship game appearances in 2014 and 2015. The Tribe 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 for the third time.