Thompson Headlines Lou Henson Preseason All-America Team
Friday, October 11, 2013 | by Jason MacBain (@JaBain)
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Bernard Thompson has been named the headliner of the Lou Henson Preseason All-America Team. The award is presented annually to the top mid-major player in the nation.
Bernard Thompson has been named the headliner of the Lou Henson Preseason All-America Team. The award is presented annually to the top mid-major player in the nation.

BOSTON – The preseason accolades for the FGCU men’s basketball team continue to compile as this time junior Bernard Thompson has been named the headliner of the Lou Henson Preseason All-America Team. The award is presented annually to the top mid-major player in the nation.

Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) leads a list of 25 players selected to the team, which is named in honor of Lou Henson who retired in 2005 after a coaching career that lasted 41 years. Last season Thompson was named the Atlantic Sun Conference Defensive Player of the Year after ranking second nationally in total steals (102) and fifth in steals per game (2.76). The 102 steals were a program record and the second-most in A-Sun history. The guard is the leading returning scorer for the Green and Blue, averaging 14.3 points per game last season, and ranks as the second-leading returning rebounder (4.4 per contest).

Players eligible for the award consist of teams from the following conferences: America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Great West, Horizon, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Summit, Sun Belt and West Coast.

The award was started in 2010 by CollegeInsider.com, with Oakland’s Keith Benson winning the inaugural trophy. Past recipients include Matt Howard, Butler (2011), Kyle O’Quinn, Norfolk State (2012) and Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary’s (2013). If Thompson were to win the award, he would be the first true junior to ever do so as Benson was a redshirt junior and the past three have all been seniors. All four former winners of the award are currently playing professionally, with Benson and O’Quinn being picked in the second round of their respective NBA drafts.

When he left the game in 2005, Henson was sixth all-time in career wins with 779, and is still currently the winningest coach at both Illinois and New Mexico State. He is one of only 12 coaches in the history of college basketball to take two schools to the Final Four.

The honor continues a well-decorated preseason for Thompson already as on Thursday he was predicted to defend his A-Sun Defensive Player of the Year crown. In addition, he was also voted on by the fans to win that title and was also named as one of 10 players to the Preseason All-Atlantic Sun Team. In September, Thompson was named to the College Sports Madness Preseason A-Sun First Team.

The 6-foot-3 shifty wing scored 23 points against both Georgetown and San Diego State in the NCAA Tournament to help FGCU become the first-ever No. 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16. All seven of his 20-point games in the 2012-13 campaign came away from the confines of Alico Arena, where the Eagles went 15-1, including a win over eventual ACC Champion Miami. Thompson and now-graduated Sherwood Brown produced one of the most efficient scoring duos in the conference last year as together they had the third-highest scoring average (29.8 ppg).

Fans in SWFL will have their first opportunity to see Thompson and the rest of the Eagles as part of Dunk City After Dark Presented by Coconut Point Ford, FGCU’s Midnight Madness event which will be shown on ESPNU next Friday, Oct. 18, beginning at 9 p.m. Admission is free, but a large crowd is expected. Fans can ensure a seat by purchasing a discounted $3 volleyball ticket as the Eagles will face Lipscomb at 7 p.m.

Fans will then get to see their first game action at Breakfast at the Beach – FGCU’s home opener which is part of ESPN’s 24-Hour Tipoff Marathon. The game versus Hartford will air live on ESPN2 at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12, and the Sweet 16 banner will be unveiled. Tickets are selling quickly and can be reserved by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets or by calling 239-590-7145.

For up-to-the-minute information and behind-the-scenes access to the men’s basketball program, follow @FGCU_MBB on Twitter and Instagram, and “Like” us on Facebook at /FGCUMBB.

2013-14 men’s basketball season tickets are selling quickly, and only a limited amount remain. New this year are mini-plan packages for all games, with the exception of “Breakfast at the Beach,” and individual-game tickets are now on sale. Fans can reserve their seat(s) by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets.

2013 LOU HENSON PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA TEAM

Cameron Ayers

6-5

Sr.

Bucknell

Travis Bader

6-5

Sr.

Oakland

Jerrelle Benimon

6-8

Sr.

Towson

Sim Bhullar

7-6

So.

New Mexico State

Taylor Braun

6-7

Sr.

North Dakota State

Jason Brickman

6-0

Sr.

LIU-Brooklyn

De'Mon Brooks

6-7

Sr.

Davidson

Glenn Cosey

6-0

Sr.

Eastern Kentucky

Johnny Dee

6-0

Jr.

San Diego

Troy Huff

6-5

Sr.

North Dakota

Anthony Ireland

5-10

Sr.

Loyola Marymount

D.J. Irving

6-0

Sr.

Boston University

Damion Lee

6-6

Jr.

Drexel

Javon McCrea

6-7

Sr.

Buffalo

Elfrid Payton

6-3

Jr.

UL-Lafayette

Rian Pearson

6-4

Sr.

Toledo

Kendrick Perry

6-0

Sr.

Youngstown State

Augustine Rubit

6-7

Sr.

South Alabama

Wesley Saunders

6-5

Jr.

Harvard

Bernard Thompson

6-3

Jr.

FGCU

Lucas Troutman

6-10

Sr.

Elon

Demetrius Treadwell

6-7

Sr.

Akron

Jameel Warney

6-8

So.

Stony Brook

Alan Williams

6-7

Jr.

UC Santa Barbara

Pendarvis Williams

6-6

Sr.

Norfolk State