Sept. 26, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – The Florida State women’s basketball team captured a No. 19 ranking in the 2011-12 Athlon Sports College Basketball Preview magazine that was recently released.
The Noles also earned a No. 19 ranking by Athlon prior to the 2010-11 campaign. FSU is one of five ACC schools featured in the preseason rankings, joining Miami (No. 5), Duke (No. 8), Maryland (No. 13) and North Carolina (No. 15).
The Big East had the most members in the preseason Top-25 with seven, followed by the ACC, SEC (four), Big 12 (three), Pac-12 (two) and Big Ten (two).
Florida State has two other preseason-touted teams on its non-conference schedule. The Seminoles host Louisville (No. 4) on Nov. 25 and face Ohio State (No. 21) in Columbus, Ohio in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Nov. 30.
Last season, FSU finished with a 24-8 overall record and a No. 15 final ranking in the AP Poll and a No. 20 ranking in the USA Today/Coaches Poll. The Seminoles competed in their seventh straight NCAA Tournament, advancing to the second round.
FSU returns nine players, including three starters from the 2010-11 squad. The Noles will be led by senior post Cierra Bravard, who was named honorable mention All-American by the WBCA and First Team All-ACC. She led FSU in scoring (15.0 ppg) and rebounding (7.8 rpg) a year ago.
FSU also returns sophomore forward Natasha Howard (10.6 ppg and 6.6 rpg) and redshirt junior guard Alexa Deluzio (12.0 ppg and 3.9 rpg). Howard captured All-ACC Freshman Team honors, while Deluzio led the ACC in three-point shooting (49.0 percent) in conference play.
The Seminoles, who start practice on Sunday, open the 2011-12 season on Nov. 5 with a 2 p.m. exhibition contest against Florida Southern at Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee.
Athlon Sports 2011-12 Women’s Top 25
5. Miami (Fla.)
7. Notre Dame
9. Texas A&M
15. North Carolina
16. Penn State
19. FLORIDA STATE
21. Ohio State
22. St. John’s
24. Oral Roberts
Bold – 2011-12 opponent