Draft Feature - Alyssa Thomas
She also made All-District all four years of high school, district MVP in 2009 and 2010, and a three-time, mid-Penn Conference Player of the Year, while recognized by pennlive.com as one of the decade's best high school athletes in Pennsylvania.
With her talent on the court as a high school student, Maryland definitely wasn’t the only school trying to claim her. After her verbal commit to Maryland, she was recruited by Notre Dame, Penn State, Miami and NC State, but she chose Maryland because she loved the family atmosphere.
Thomas’s first year at Maryland was no surprise to those who knew how she played. She was named ACC Rookie of the year and led the team in scoring in 11 games, rebounding in 10 and steals in 15 games while finishing in the top ten in the ACC in scoring with 14.5 points per game, No. 11 in rebounding with 7.3 per game and No. 8 in steals with 2.1 per game. She was top-15 in the ACC and field goal percentage was top-10 at 48.0 percent.She also finished in the top-15 of the league in offensive and defensive rebounds. With 450 points on the year, it puts her at No. 5 among all-time Maryland freshman. Thomas finished her freshman year in the top 20 in Maryland's single season records and in the top ten of all Maryland freshman in eight categories.
Her junior year is when her numbers managed to increase even higher; she was voted Preseason ACC Player of the Year by the Blue Ribbon Panel, named to All-ACC First Team, also named to Wooden Ballot, Naismith watch list and a USBWA National Player of the Year finalist. She has scored in double digits in 90 of 100 games in her career and notched 20 double-doubles, including two triple-doubles, in the 2012-13 season.
However, her four triple-doubles in her senior season made her one of only four players in NCAA history to have at least six in her career. Thomas started in every game her senior season and broke Crystal Langhorne’s program scoring record with 24 points on March 7. She also became the ninth player in program history with jersey honored in the rafters and has 24 double-doubles in 31 games, 66 career double-doubles, while breaking another one of Crystal Langhorne’s record of 59 on Feb. 23.
She was voted Preseason ACC Player of the Year by the Blue Ribbon Panel for the third straight year and All-ACC First Team. The versatility Thomas brings to the court is what makes her a top-5 draft prospect for the 2014 WNBA draft, and Maryland will have a tough time filling her shoes.