Nov. 22, 2008
The Opening Tip – What You Need to Know:
Win No. 500 Today?
Thanks to a 3-0 start and 88 wins over the previous four seasons, Florida State is on the verge of the program’s 500th victory. FSU’s current all-time record is 499-501 but the Seminoles have gone 103-57 over the last five years. Head coach Sue Semrau, who took over a program before the 1997-98 season that had gone 5-22 the year before, has nearly 200 of those wins with 181 victories to her credit. Heading into the season, Semrau has averaged 16.3 wins per season through her previous 11 years at FSU.
A Look at the Gators
The University of Florida women’s basketball program is coming off its biggest win since the 2006 season Thursday night. The Gators dismantled Stetson University 82-46 and picked up their second win in as many games by a margin of 20 points or more. The last time UF earned back-to-back victories of 20 points or more was last December against Alabama A&M and Florida A&M. The Gators’ big wins have occurred after the team was upset in their season opener by Florida Gulf Coast. Since losing to the Eagles in Ft. Myers, Fla. on Nov. 14 by a score of 86-88, the Gators have outscored Jacksonville and Stetson 156-97. The Gators have bounced back from that season-opening loss by riding a very stingy defense. Overall this season, UF is allowing opponents to shoot just 32 percent from the field. Florida also boasts a plus-10 rebounding margin through three contests.
FSU……………………………. PER GAME………………………….. UF
70.3………………………………. POINTS…………………………. 80.7
.455…………………………………. FG%……………………………. .505
.256……………………………….. 3 FG%………………………….. .360
.605…………………………………. FT%……………………………. .714
40.7……………………………. REBOUNDS……………………….. 45.0
13.7………………………………. ASSISTS…………………………. 17.7
20.0…………………………… TURNOVERS………………………. 22.0
10.3………………………………. STEALS…………………………….. 7.0
2.7………………………………… BLOCKS…………………………… 3.7
The FSU-UF Series
Sunday’s Seminoles versus Gators matchup will be the 69th meeting all-time between the two in-state rivals. UF holds the all-time advantage 40-28 and has experienced a great deal of success against FSU over the last 20-plus years. The Gators have earned 17 victories over the past 21 games. But the Seminoles have started to turn things around. After UF won 16-straight games against FSU from the 1992-93 to 2003-04 seasons, the ‘Noles have won four of the last five showdowns and enter Sunday’s contest riding a two-game winning streak over the Gators. The Seminoles earned an 81-78 victory over the Gators in Gainesville last year. FSU is 13-14 all-time against UF in Tallahassee.
FSU vs. the Southeastern Conference
The Gators are the first of two SEC opponents that the Seminoles will play during the 2008-09 season. Florida State will host the Gators Sunday and will travel to Baton Rouge, La. for a contest against LSU on Dec. 28. FSU historically has struggled against SEC teams. The Seminoles are just 41-91 all-time against teams in the SEC and do not have a winning record against any of the programs in the league that they have played.
Monroe Off to Great Start
Junior Jacinta Monroe is off to a great start this season. The Ft. Lauderdale native currently leads the team in scoring (17.0 ppg) and rebounding (11.3 rpg) and is also shooting a team second-best 65 percent from the floor as she has connected on 16 of her 26 shots this season. Monroe has also made it a habit of getting to the free-throw line on a regular basis. Through three games she is getting to the charity stripe an average of 10 times per contest. Her 30 free-throw attempts is more than double that of teammate Angel Gray, whosse nine free-throw attempts are second on the team. In addition to her ability to get to the free-throw line numerous times per game, Monroe has shown she is capable of earning a double-double each time she steps on to the floor. Thursday against the College of Charleston, Monroe earned the 10th double-double of her career and second this season as she posted 15 points and 15 rebounds.
‘Noles Have Depth
Florida State has some serious depth on the team this season. Through the first three games, eight players are averaging 16.0 or more minutes per game. Senior guard Mara Freshour, one of the most consistent players to don the garnet and gold, is averaging the most minutes at 30.7 per game.
FSU Correcting TO Issues; Still Room for Improvement
Thursday against the College of Charleston, FSU committed just 15 turnovers, which was a drastic improvement from their previous game against UNF. The Seminoles and Ospreys combined for 57 turnovers, including 26 by FSU. Last season, FSU managed 26+ turnovers in three games … all losses on the road … and in a span of four games. FSU had 28 turnovers at Georgia Tech on 2/3/08, had just 14 in a win at home vs. NC State on 2/7/08, and then had 28 again at Virginia (2/10/08) and a season-high 29 at UNC (2/17/08). As a team this season, FSU is averaging 20.0 turnovers per game. Sophomore Courtney Ward, who is in her first season as the starting point guard, is averaging 2.7 turnovers per game but also 3.7 assists per game. Senior Tanae Davis-Cain has recorded the most turnovers this season at 13 (4.3 pg).
ACC in the Rankings
The ACC is once again, one of the toughest leagues in the nation. In the latest ESPN/USA Today poll, five ACC teams, including the Seminoles, are among the Top 25. Only the Big 12 has more teams in that poll than the ACC. FSU will host the Big 12’s Texas A&M, who is ranked No. 7, on January 5th.
# Ranked Teams Conference
6 Big 12
4 Big East
3 Pac 10
1 Atlantic 10
1 Big 10
Seminole Seniors on the Verge of History
Tanae Davis-Cain and Mara Freshour, who are both vying for the career mark in three-pointers, have been responsible for nine of the 10 threes the Seminoles have hit this season. Thursday against the Cougars, Davis-Cain hit the ‘Noles’ only three of the game and is now just seven triples shy of the all-time record set by former Seminole Wendy Hampton. In addition to moving up the career list for 3-pointers, both Davis-Cain and Freshour are steadily climbing in their respective quests to reach 1,000 career points. The updated totals are:
Career Record: Wendy Hampton 134
Tanae Davis-Cain 127
Mara Freshour 120
Tanae Davis-Cain: 866
Mara Freshour: 783
Monroe Also Approaching a Milestone
Junior forward Jacinta Monroe has led the Seminoles in blocked shots over the past two seasons and has steadily climbed the ranks as one of the greatest shot blockers in program history. Monroe has 144 career blocked shots – just 65 swats shy of Brooke Wyckoff’s all-time record of 209 she set from 1997-2001.
The Friendly Confines
The Seminoles are amidst a stretch in which four of five games will be played at the Donald L. Tucker Center. FSU has turned the Tucker Center into a real home court advantage. In the last nine seasons, FSU has enjoyed a winning home court record. Coach Sue is 94-50 at home in her tenure as head coach of the Seminoles, including a a 44-10 mark the past four seasons:
Home Record Season
96-50 12th Season
True freshman Cierra Bravard is already making a strong case to be considered one of the top freshmen in the entire country this year. Through the first three games of her career this season, the Sandusky, Oh. native is second on the team with 15 ppg, second on the team with 6.09 rpg, and has started each game at the center position. She is also averaging 20.3 minutes per contest. Thursday against the College of Charleston, Bravard had the best game of her young career as she scored a game- and career-high 25 points on 11 of 17 shooting while grabbing a team second-best eight rebounds.
Antionette Howard Leaves Team
Sophomore forward Antionette Howard has decided to not play basketball at FSU and has left the team. She will finish the academic semester at Florida State.
Pack the House
It’s the NCAA Pack the House challenge game when the Seminoles host the Florida Gators at the Donald L. Tucker Center. All fans in attendance will receive special garnet and gold women’s basketball t-shirts to wear as they cheer on the Seminoles as they face their in-state rivals.
Florida State follows up its school-record fourth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance with a schedule that gives the Seminoles the opportunity to play 15 teams that participated in the postseason last year, including 10 NCAA Tournament teams.
The Seminoles will play teams from 13 different conferences including the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, Big East and Pac-10.
The non-conference schedule is highlighted by home games vs. rival Florida, Penn State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and Texas A&M, fresh off last year’s Elite Eight appearance – its best in school history.
FSU plays in a tournament in Cancun, Mexico, just before Christmas where the Seminoles will face top-ranked Connecticut.
The Seminoles will face LSU for the third straight year with a meeting in Baton Rouge, La., on December 28.
This year’s squad is one of FSU’s most experienced as the Seminoles return 83 percent of its scoring and 89 percent of its rebounding from a year ago. The four newcomers make up the eighth-ranked recruiting class in the country. All four incoming freshman have earned All-America honors with center Cierra Bravard ranked as the No. 7 player in the country and wing Chasity Clayton was rated 32nd in the nation.
Junior Jacinta Monroe, who averaged 20.5 points and 14.0 rebounds in exhibition play this season, picked right up where she left off with another double-double in the season-opener. In just 20 minutes of play vs. Florida Gulf Coast, Monroe had 15 points and a game-high 12 rebounds to record her ninth career double-double. Tuesday against UNF, Monroe almost made it 10 as she finished with 21 points and seven rebounds. Then Thursday, Monroe tallied 15 points and 15 rebounds to achieve career double-double No. 10. She turned in five double-doubles as a freshman and had three last season during her junior campaign.
Career High for Angel
Junior Angel Gray may have had the most complete game of any Seminole in the Florida Gulf Coast contest. The guard scored a career-high 10 points and had four rebounds and tied her career-high with three steals in 18 minutes of play off of the bench. Her previous career high in points was eight at DePaul last season.
Cougars Have No Answer on the Inside
The College of Charleston played hard, but in the end, the Cougars could not come up with an answer for FSU’s one-two inside punch of Jacinta Monroe and Cierra Bravard Thursday night. In the victory over the Cougars, the Seminoles’ two starting post players combined for 40 points and 23 rebounds.
Florida State shot 53 percent from the field, including 59 percent in the second half, in the win over FGCU thanks to the accurate shooting of post players Jacinta Monroe (5-for-6 83%) and Cierra Bravard (7-10 70%). Last season, FSU opened the season with back-to-back 50 percent shooting games (FGCU and UNF) and in fact, shot 50 percent or better in six of its first 10 games and eight games overall. The Seminoles shot 42 percent from the field for the year last season and have shot 40 percent or better in each of Sue Semrau’s 11 seasons. FSU has shot 50 percent or better in two seasons since 1979-80 … .502 in 1981-82 and .500 in 1982-83.
Semrau Wants to See Increased Defensive Intensity
Florida State head coach Sue Semrau was not pleased with her squad’s defensive effort against the College of Charleston Sunday. In that game, FSU allowed the Cougars to bounce back from a halftime deficit and take the lead midway through the second half thanks to a steady increase in shooting percentage as the game went on. The Cougars shot just 21.9 percent from the field in the first half but spent the game’s last 20 minutes shooting 41.9 percent. Florida State will have to play much better defensively against a talented Gators squad Sunday.
Seminoles Own The Sunshine State
Florida State has a 166-73 record vs. teams from the state of Florida and is riding a 15-game winning streak against Sunshine State foes. The last time the Seminoles fell to an in-state opponent was January 2, 2006 at Florida. After leading 30-25 at halftime, the Seminoles fell 72-62 to the Gators.
Tough Stretch of Games From the Get-Go
The Seminoles’ 2008-09 schedule not only features talented programs from throughout the country, it also keeps FSU very busy to begin the year. Starting with the home opener and ending with a showdown against Colorado State at the Rocky Mountain Invitational in Ft. Collins, Co., the Seminoles will play eight games in a span of 14 days. FSU then gets a bit of a break as the Seminoles only have three games scheduled in the two-and-a-half weeks following the return trip from Colorado.
Year No. 12 Under Semrau
Head coach Sue Semrau is in her 12th season at the helm of the Seminole program. Semrau became FSU’s winningest coach in her ninth season on Feb. 19, 2006 when the Seminoles defeated Clemson 80-72 in overtime. Semrau has a 181-152 career record at FSU. She has guided the Seminoles to double-digit victories in nine straight seasons and to four straight NCAA Tournaments.
Florida State Keeps Streak Alive
Getting off on the right foot has become almost automatic for the Seminoles as they have won their last 15 season-openers, including an 81-62 win vs. Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday. Overall, FSU is 27-8 on opening night since 1980-81 with its last season-opening defeat being an 86-85 loss to UT-Chattanooga on November 26, 1993. FSU is 25-4 in home-openers since the 1980-81 season. Sue Semrau-coached FSU teams are a perfect 12-0 in season-openers and 11-1 in home-openers.
FSU to Face a Host of Preseason Favorites This Year
The Seminoles have a tough slate of games this season that features seven teams that were ranked in the top 25 of the AP and USA Today/ESPN preseason polls. Leading the way is No. 1 UConn, a squad that FSU will face in the Caribbean Classic in December. Conference foes No. 6/4 North Carolina, No. 3/5 Maryland, No. 8/8 Duke, and No. 15/15 Virginia are among the nation’s Top 15 in both polls. Among FSU’s non-conference slate, the Seminoles play at No. 24/22 LSU in December and welcome No. 11/10 Texas A&M to the Donald L. Tucker Center in early January.
Freshmen Make Their Mark
Two of Florida State’s four true freshmen are slated to redshirt this season but that doesn’t mean that Seminole newcomers didn’t make their mark in the opening-day win over visiting Florida Gulf Coast. True freshman Cierra Bravard earned the first of her collegiate career at center for the ‘Noles and didn’t disappoint. The Sandusky, Ohio native poured in 15 points and added a team second-best eight rebounds. Kayli Keough also earned significant minutes in her first regular-season game in the garnet and gold as she came off the bench in the second half and contributed five rebounds.
Seminoles Perfect in the Preseason
Florida State participated in two exhibition contests at the Donald L. Tucker Center in recent weeks and won both contests easily. First, the Seminoles handed Premier Players an 84-68 defeat on Nov. 2 and then followed that up with an 82-53 win over DT3 on Nov. 10. DT3, a team comprised of former standout women’s college basketball players, defeated the University of Florida 71-62 in an exhibition contest against the Gators on Nov. 7.
Back-to-Back Preseason National Rankings
After earning a preseason ranking in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches and Associated Press polls for the first time in program history last season, FSU followed up that achievement by earning another lofty preseason ranking this year. The Seminoles enter the 2008-09 season ranked No. 21 in the Associated Press and No. 24 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ preseason polls.
‘Noles Picked to Finish Fifth in the ACC
Florida State has been picked to finish fifth this season in the very competitive Atlantic Coast Conference. The ACC Preseason Poll was selected by the newly-formed Blue Ribbon Panel, which consists of national and local media members as well as school representatives.
2008-09 ACC Preseason Poll
1. North Carolina (15 first place votes)
2. Maryland (11 first place votes)
3. Duke (14 first place votes)
4. Virginia (two first place votes)
5. Florida State
6. Georgia Tech
7. Boston College
8. NC State
10. Virginia Tech
12. Wake Forest
Florida State Women’s Basketball Program Signs Talented 2009 Prospect
Chelsea Davis is a two-time all-state selection in her home state of Delaware.
A year after signing the best recruiting class in the history of the program, the Florida State women’s basketball staff has picked up right where it left off. FSU head coach Sue Semrau announced Tuesday, Nov. 18 the signing of 6-foot-3 forward Chelsea Davis, a talented post player from Middletown, Delaware, to a national letter of intent.
“We couldn’t be happier to have Chelsea join our Seminole family,” Semrau said. “She has a strong skill set that compliments our current team. Not only does she have great physical tools, but a work ethic and drive that will continue to help build our program into a national power. She has a strong foundation through the support of her family and coaches. That foundation will be the springboard for her to accomplish great things at the next level.”
Davis has been one of the top girl’s high school basketball players in the entire northeast since she burst onto the scene two years ago. She will enter her senior season as a three-year starter and has recorded 1,257 career points and 744 career rebounds. She averaged 21.4 points, 11.5 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game as a junior on her way to leading the team in points, rebounds, steals and blocks per game.
A three-time all-state honoree, including first team honors in each of the last two seasons and honorable mention honors as a freshman, Davis has earned first team all-conference honors the last three seasons and has also been named the MVP of her team three straight years.
Davis is ranked as the 35th-best post-player prospect in the entire country, according to Hoopgurlz.