Thompkins was a unanimous first-team All-SEC selection by the conference's coaches, joining Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall, Vanderbilt's Jermaine Beal and South Carolina's Devan Downey as unanimous vote getters. Patrick Patterson of Kentucky, Tennessee's Wayne Chism and Jarvis Vernado of Mississippi State rounded out the first team.
"It's a blessing. Guys are working hard – harder than we ever have – because we want to reach a level where teams respect us and everyone in the country respects us," Thompkins said. "But it's another thing I have to say thank you and be happy I got it, but we've got the tournament coming up, so I've got a lot of things I've got to worry about."
In his sophomore season, Thompkins has blossomed as the centerpiece to Fox's offense and a stalwart defender on the other end of the court. Thomkins ranks second in the SEC in scoring, averaging 17.7 points per game, fifth in field-goal percentage at 48.6 percent and fourth in rebounding, averaging 8.2 boards per game.
For the season, Thompkins has nine double-doubles and has averaged 33 minutes per game during SEC play.
"It's an honor he deserves," Fox said. "He's worked hard, and when guys work hard and do it the right way, the game's usually fair. I think it's very fair that he's recognized by the league's coaches. When the opposing coaches, that's evident of great respect."
Thompkins is the first Georgia player to earn first-team All-SEC honors since Jarvis Hayes accomplished it in 2003, but Fox said he was a bit disappointed that another of the Bulldogs' stars wasn't given a nod, too.
Guard Travis Leslie had a breakout sophomore campaign as well, averaging 13.9 points per game, 6.9 rebounds and shooting 47.9 percent from the field – all among the top 15 in the conference.
"There were 16 guys named on the first-team and second-team, and he's in the top 16 in both scoring and rebounding, so I'm a little surprised he didn't get that," Fox said. "Travis has had a good year, but not good enough in those other coaches' eyes I guess. But he'll be back."