Oct. 23, 2013
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Florida State women’s basketball team was picked to finish fifth by the Blue Ribbon Panel and sixth by the league’s coaches in the ACC women’s basketball preseason polls, released on Wednesday during ACC Women’s Basketball Media Day at the Grandover Resort and Conference Center.
Despite losing four of five starters and five seniors, the Seminoles are still expected to contend with the top teams in the now expanded 15-team ACC.
The Blue Ribbon Panel of media and Sports Information Directors picked the Noles in a tie with Georgia Tech at fifth in the projected league standings. Both the coaches and the Blue Ribbon Panel selected Duke to win the conference championship followed by newcomer Notre Dame, Maryland and North Carolina – in that order. The coaches picked the Yellow Jackets fifth, just ahead of the Seminoles.
Florida State redshirt sophomore guard/forward Morgan Jones captured a spot on the coaches’ five-player ACC Newcomer Watch List, as well.
Jones is a former McDonald’s All-American from Lake Mary, Fla., who sat out last season after transferring to Florida State from Northwestern. Jones averaged 13.9 points, 6.0 boards and 3.3 assists to capture Big Ten All-Freshman and All-Big Ten honorable mention honors with the Wildcats in 2011-12.
The Seminoles will look to ride the momentum of last year’s 23-win season into the 2013-14 campaign behind First Team All-ACC senior Natasha Howard, senior point guard Yashira “Cheetah” Delgado, Jones and one of the nation’s top freshmen classes.
“I’m excited for this season,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “I love the talent we have on the floor. Now, we just need to develop that chemistry and get some experience in game situations. Our team will evolve over the course of the season. It’s going to be a fun. Our lack of depth will be difficult early, but I do like the fact that we have a tighter knit group and everybody will be relied upon.
“Natasha Howard will lead us. She is such an unsung hero. She is willing to do all the little things. She doesn’t care about who is scoring the most points. She just does what’s necessary. For us, what’s necessary is going to be a little bit more. She’s already taken on a huge leadership role for us.”
Howard, a three-year starter, has 26 career double-doubles – second-most of any active ACC player. The Toledo, Ohio, native has career averages of 11.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.1 blocks in 96 career games.
Freshman Forward Gabrielle Bevillard Out for the Season
Semrau announced on Wednesday that freshman forward Gabrielle Bevillard of the Florida State women’s basketball team will miss the 2013-14 season due to a season-ending right knee injury sustained in practice last week.
Bevillard had recently returned to the court after injuring her left knee during her senior year of high school.
“My heart breaks for Gabby,” Semrau said. “She has been here since the summer working as hard as any of our players. We held her out during our summer overseas trip in preparation for this year. Even though we all know injuries are part of the game, this one is particularly hard to swallow. I have tremendous confidence in her ability to tackle adversity and I know that she will come back strong.”
Bevillard will apply for a medical redshirt this season. She was expected to contribute to Florida State this year after having a strong career at Oconee High School in Bishop, Ga. Bevillard averaged a double-double as a junior in high school, pouring in 17 points and pulling down 12.2 boards while averaging five blocks as well.
Bevillard tallied 26 double-doubles in 30 games played in her junior season at Oconee, nabbing player of the year honors for Region 8-AAA. She was ranked as the 33rd-best player in the 2013 recruiting class by National Basketball Insider.
The hard-working forward was the first commitment of Florida State’s 2013 signing class. She scored over 1,000 points in her standout high school career.
Season Tips Off Nov. 3
FSU women’s basketball begins its 2013-14 season with a home exhibition at the Donald L. Tucker Center against Faulkner on Sunday, Nov. 3, at 2 p.m. The first regular-season game begins on Friday, Nov. 8, at 5 p.m. as the `Noles host UNC Greensboro at 5 p.m. on ESPN3.
Season tickets for the 2013-14 Florida State women’s basketball season are on sale now and can be purchased at Seminoles.com or by calling the Seminole Ticket Office at 1-888-FSUNole.
Season tickets are $50 for adults and $25 for youth and seniors. For the third year in a row, FSU will offer a “Family Pack” for women’s hoops season tickets which includes two adults and two youth tickets for $99. Additional youth tickets can be added $15 each.
For more information on Florida State women’s basketball, follow the Seminoles on Twitter @FSU_WBasketball and like their official Facebook page.