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Larry Thomas named SAA Men's Basketball Player of the Year

Larry Thomas (photo courtesy of Larry Radloff, d3photography.com)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Larry Thomas has been named the 2014 Southern Athletic Association Men's Basketball Player of the Year, the league announced today. In exclusive voting by the conference's head coaches, Thomas was also named First-Team All-SAA, while senior Griffin Schamp earned Second-Team honors and sophomore Ross Welch was named Honorable Mention All-Conference.

Thomas, a junior guard from Atlanta, Ga., was a dual threat on the court for the Panthers this season, leading the SAA in scoring with 19.3 points per game while pulling down a second-best 7.5 rebounds a contest. He scored over 20 points in 12 games this season, including a career-high 40 against Huntingdon on Jan. 21. Thomas also tallied eight double-doubles this year with a season- and career-high 12 boards against Millsaps on Dec. 1. He also led the SAA with 2.3 steals per game, and shot over 47 percent from the field and over 40 percent from three-point range. Thomas also joined the 1,000-point club on Jan. 31 against Berry College, and now owns 1,182 career points, putting him at ninth on the career list.

Schamp, a forward from Atlanta, Ga., was ninth in the conference with 12.9 points per game and second with a .550 field goal percentage. He five 20-point games, with a career-high 27 against Salisbury University on Nov. 22. Welch, a guard from Nashville, Tenn., averaged 10.3 points per game and was fifth in the conference with a .433 three-point field goal percentage.

Centre's Tyler Wesley was named Defensive Player of the Year, Berry's Owen Jacobs is Newcomer of the Year, and Centre's Greg Mason was voted Coach of the Year. For a complete list of honorees, click here to visit saa-sports.com.