November 12, 2008 - by
Florida State Women’s Basketball Media Day Highlights

Nov. 12, 2008

Head coach Sue Semrau and her 2008-09 Florida State women’s basketball team met with the local media last week as they gear up for the start of the regular season.

The No. 19 Seminoles are looking to reach the NCAA Tournament for a school-record fifth consecutive time. The team’s opener is this Sunday, Nov. 16 at the Donald L. Tucker Center against Florida Gulf Coast University. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m.

The following are some of the highlights of this year’s Media Day with quotes from Semrau, junior Jacinta Monroe and seniors Mara Freshour and Tanae Davis-Cain.

Head coach Sue Semrau:

On having a strong presence inside:
“That outside threat for us is going to be complimented this year in a big way by our inside presence. When you have 6-5 and 6-5 with Jacinta Monroe and Cierra Bravard you have to decide who you are going to defend.”

On the defense this year:

“I think defensively we will be able to step it up a notch. Defensively we had some stronger players last year that were not getting the kind of minutes that they will get this year on the defensive end. Christian Hunnicutt (and) Angel Gray, they give us a backcourt that is as good as any in the conference with Courtney Ward as well. I think Tanae Davis-Cain is a strong candidate for Defensive Player of the Year.”

On who will back up Courtney Ward at the point guard position with the season-ending torn ACL injury to true freshman Alexa Deluzio:

“We absolutely loved what (Deluzio) was bringing to the table with her headiness, her ability to shoot the ball – she’s very athletic. That’s what we were looking at. (Starting guard) Mara (Freshour) will be somebody that will play some point guard for us. We have actually worked Christian Hunnicutt into the rotation and she has done pretty well. She’s a really heady player. She will tell people what to do. So that really helps us.”

On taking the next step as a program:

“We didn’t have the kind of year we wanted to have last year. Eighteen different starting lineups is a tough thing to juggle for anybody in a program. I look back on the last couple of years when our seed hasn’t been what we wanted it to be in both the ACC Tournament and NCAA Tournament and we lost games we shouldn’t have lost. There has to be a confidence built and a different kind of swagger and it’s got to come from the defensive end. We had some weak links defensively in the past and now I feel like we don’t have that same issue. I am hoping that alone will be something that we can be more consistent with.”

Junior forward Jacinta Monroe:

On the freshmen:

“They’re coming in with open ears and really listening to what the upperclassmen and the coaches have to say. They’re playing hard in practice as well and getting ready for whenever they get on the court.”

Senior guard Mara Freshour

On the early-season schedule:

“It’s kind of like climbing a mountain. We start off and we mix some tough games in there. Coach Sue does a really great job of arranging our schedule so that we play some really tough teams and we play some mid-major teams just to get different looks, different styles of play which are all factors in getting us prepared for the ACC Tournament. Honestly, you want to be playing your best basketball going into the tournament but if you don’t play good basketball before you don’t get there so it’s kind of a mixture of both of preparing in your preseason or your non-conference play of playing a good mixture of teams but also continually getting better and better and better through the ACC.”

Senior guard Tanae Davis-Cain

On the role of the freshmen:

“The freshmen are great. They come in and know their roles and even though they may not be starting or playing as much as they want to, they work hard. They are just glad to be a part of Florida State women’s basketball.”

On the team’s leadership:

“I would definitely say that leadership starts with the coaches but everybody is stepping up this year. Everybody is doing their part. It’s not just me and Mara (Freshour) because we are the captains. Everybody is stepping up.”

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