Thornton answers for Fla. State

Seminoles' leading player is also handling Q&A on a Web site

ACC notebook

December 13, 2006|By Heather A. Dinich | Heather A. Dinich,Sun reporter

Whatever you want to know about Florida State basketball, go ahead and "Ask Al."

He might just answer it.

Senior star forward and NBA prospect Al Thornton is the only player on the Seminoles' roster with his own school-sponsored Web site - www.althornton12.com - and it features a question-and-answer forum.

"The Web site is kind of interesting," Thornton, 6 feet 8, 220 pounds, said. "Sometimes I get some off-the-wall questions I really can't respond to, but it's a success."

It's also one more responsibility that has come with his team-high 15.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Thornton is one of the major reasons Florida State upset national champion Florida on Dec. 3, and why the Seminoles are 8-2 overall and undefeated at home.

Thornton said he's trying to stay "low-key" on campus, but often signs autographs for fellow students.

"I try to wear a hoodie, duck and dodge, you know, leave out the back ways of facilities," he said.

Still, there's no hiding from the 14 NBA scouts who saw him get 28 points and nine rebounds against Florida.

"I can't complain," he said. "I'm enjoying it. I knew [the attention] was something that was going to come with the territory. I'm handling it well. I don't feel overwhelmed. I'm laid-back and enjoying it."

At the end of every question on his Web site, Thornton ends his answer with "thanks for your support." Well, everyone but the last one - it's from Philomenia Thornton.

Her son's response?

A: Hello Mom and Dad! Thanks for raising me right and teaching me right from wrong! You guys deserve all the credit.

Staying put

North Carolina State forward Brandon Costner played in just five games as a freshman last season before he was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left leg and was redshirted. Just when he thought everything was lined up for this season, former coach Herb Sendek accepted the job at Arizona State.

"It affected me because I really liked the old staff," Costner said. "I liked Coach Sendek. They recruited me to go to this school."

Costner said he took a wait-and-see approach with first-year coach Sidney Lowe before he made any decisions about transferring. Now, Costner is leading all ACC freshmen with 15.8 points and 7.4 rebounds and is staying put. N.C. State is 6-2 with one conference loss to Virginia.

"We're only playing with six people because of coaches leaving and [players] transferring," Costner said. "But every game we get closer and we start to gel a little bit more. We're all really young, and I'm really proud of how well we're playing together."

Moving up

During the win against Maryland on Sunday, Boston College senior forward Jared Dudley surpassed Maryland assistant coach and former BC point guard Michael Adams for 10th place on the Eagles' all-time scoring list with 1,654 points.

Adams was part of the Boston College team that advanced to the regional finals in 1982 under coach Gary Williams. He scored 1,650 points at Boston College.

Dudley was named Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Week after averaging 20 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists in two wins in the past week, including a 73-62 victory over Maryland in the league opener for both schools. Dudley shot 73.9 percent from the field in the two games (17-for-23), including 8-for-12 against the Terps.

Et cetera

Every team in the conference except Boston College, Miami and Wake Forest is undefeated at home this season, but Clemson (10-0) is the only undefeated team. ... According to the ACC, the league is the top-ranked conference in the Rating Percentage Index because eight teams are ranked among the top 35. ... North Carolina coach Roy Williams earned his 500th win with Saturday's 94-69 victory over High Point.

heather.dinich@baltsun.com

ACC THIS WEEK

Today

Missouri-K.C. at Maryland, 8, CSN Wake Forest at DePaul, 9

Saturday

Hampton at Virginia, 2 UNC Asheville at North Carolina, 2 Mt. Saint Mary's at N.C. State, 3:30 Stetson at Miami, 4

Sunday

Sacred Heart at Boston College, 1 Wake Forest at Virginia Tech, 5:30

Monday

High Point at Florida State, 7 Centenary at Georgia Tech, 7

Tuesday

Appalachian State vs. Virginia at San Juan Shootout, Puerto Rico, 4 Florida Atlantic at North Carolina, 7 Gardner-Webb at Wake Forest, 7 Kent State at Duke, 7, ESPN Georgia Southern at Clemson, 7:30

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