March 8, 2004
Providence, R.I. – Chris Thomas (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Torin Francis (Boston, Mass.) each earned spots on the BIG EAST All-Conference teams, which were announced today by the league and determined by a vote of the league’s head coaches.
Thomas was named to the second-team for the second consecutive year and earns a spot on one of the all-conference teams for the third straight year. As a freshman, he was named the 2002 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year and was a third-team all-conference selection and all-rookie team honoree. Francis was selected for all-conference honors for the second straight after earning all-rookie honors in 2003.
Thomas leads the Irish in scoring averaging 19.4 points overall and 19.9 in league play. He also is averaging 4.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists. He has scored in double figures in all but two games and has topped the 20-point mark on 15 occasions. Thomas ranks as Notre Dame’s career assist leader with 621 and is the only player in the program’s history to score more than 1,600 points (1,677) and 600 assists.
He was named the league’s player-of-the week once during the season after leading the Irish to victories over Connecticut and Seton Hall. Against the Huskies, he scored a season-high 31 points. Thomas closed out the regular season by scoring 20-plus points in seven of the last nine games.
Francis played in 20 games before a back injury required him to have surgery on March 8. Prior to the injury, he was averaging 14.2 points and 8.8 rebounds. Francis leads the team with seven double doubles. He scored 20-plus points in five games and grabbed 10-plus rebounds in eight contests.
Francis had one of his best outings of the season in Notre Dame’s win at Virginia Tech as he scored 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. In addition, he had 24 points and 19 rebounds in the season opener versus Northern Illinois. He also earned conference player-of-the-week accolades during the season. Notre Dame has had at least one player earn all-league distinction nine straight years since joining the BIG EAST in 1995-96.
The Irish (16-11, 9-7) are slated to play West Virginia in first round action of the 2004 BIG EAST Men’s Basketball Championship on Wednesday night, March 10 at 7:00 p.m.