TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Another enticing Caribbean tournament falls on the Florida State Women’s Basketball schedule as FSU is set to play in the 2016 Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands. The three-day tournament takes place Nov. 24-26 at the UVI Sports and Fitness Center.
The Seminoles begin the tournament with a matchup vs. Winthrop on Thanksgiving at 6:45 p.m. On Friday, Nov. 25, FSU faces Gonzaga at 6:45 p.m. and ends the tournament against Michigan on Saturday at 9 p.m. All games times are in Atlantic Standard Time.
This year’s trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands will mark the fifth tournament over the last nine seasons where FSU has played multiple games in the Caribbean. The Seminoles have played in Cancun, Mexico, in 2008 and 2014, the Bahamas in 2010 and Puerto Rico in 2012. FSU also played in Puerto Rico in 2004.
“We’re always looking to give our student-athletes and staff the best experience possible. This trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands marks another stop for us in the Caribbean,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “It once again presents us an opportunity to play some quality competition and further bond as a family in a tropical paradise.”
All three opponents will face FSU for the first time under Semrau. The Seminoles have never played against Winthrop and Gonzaga in their long history, and played Michigan just once in Tallahassee on Dec. 7, 1984.
FSU will play in the Reef Division Tournament, while the separate Island Division Tournament includes NC State, LSU, UTEP and Kansas State.
Since the 2010-11 season, FSU is 6-1 in tournament games played in the Caribbean. It last played at the Cancun Challenge in Riviera Maya, Mexico, on Nov. 27-29, 2014.
In Florida State’s most recent season in 2015-16, it managed to stay in the Top 15 of the USA Today Coaches Poll for the entire year. FSU finished 12th in the final poll, its third-highest ranking ever. The Seminoles went to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the second consecutive year, one of only eight programs in the nation to make back-to-back appearances in the regional semifinals.
Great expectations are abound yet again for FSU, which is ranked 15th in ESPNW’s “way-too-early” preseason Top 25 rankings. Three All-ACC performers return in senior point guard Leticia Romero, senior guard Brittany Brown and junior forward Shakayla Thomas.
Altogether, seven letterwinners come back as well as the nation’s fourth-ranked recruiting class according to ESPNW.
FSU’s full non-conference schedule will be released very soon. In addition to the three games at the Paradise Jam, another game has already been revealed in its road matchup at Minnesota on Nov. 30 as part of the ACC/B1G Challenge.
Paradise Jam Reef Division Women’s Tournament
Game 1: FSU vs. Winthrop (Nov. 24 at 6:45 p.m.)
Game 2: FSU vs. Gonzaga (Nov. 25 at 6:45 p.m.)
Game 3: FSU vs. Michigan (Nov. 26 at 9 p.m.)