Nov. 19, 2008
The Opening Tip – What You Need to Know:
On the Verge of Win No. 500
Thanks to a 2-0 start and 87 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 498-501 but the Seminoles have gone 102-57 over the last five years. Head coach Sue Semrau, who took over a program in 1997-98 that had gone 5-22 the season 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 Cougars
The Cougars are coming off of a 76-62 win it its home opener Tuesday in a game in which three players had double-doubles and four players in all scored in double figures. Last year, the College of Charleston women’s team relied on a rough, rugged defense that held opponents to 36.8 percent shooting from the field but three of the Cougars’ top defensive players are gone from last year’s team. The Cougars, however, return enough players with experience to form the framework of what could be a pretty good basketball team. Key players returning include 5-11 forward Brooke Kotcella, 5-11 guard Erika Williams, and 6-0 center Deidra Jones, all juniors. The Cougars also return a pair of seniors in 6-1 forward Nikki Williams, and 6-0 Sarah Moye. Williams led the Cougars in rebounding last season with 6.9 per game. Another valuable returning player is junior guard Jade Hughes. Hughes sat out last season as the result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident, but the 5-6 playmaker averaged 11.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and a SoCon-leading 4.1 assists during the 2006-2007 season.
FSU…………………………. PER GAME…………………. C of C
70.5……………………………… POINTS………………………… 76.0
.486………………………………… FG%…………………………… .382
.281………………………………. 3 FG%…………………………. .385
.528………………………………… FT%…………………………… .655
40.0…………………………. REBOUNDS…………………….. 61.0
14.0…………………………….. ASSISTS………………………… 13.0
22.5………………………… TURNOVERS……………………. 23.0
11.5……………………………… STEALS…………………………… 8.0
2.5………………………………. BLOCKS…………………………. 2.0
Thursday’s matchup with College of Charleston is just the second between the two schools. C of C holds a 1-0 advantage having defeated the Seminoles 93-61 in the 1975-76 season.
FSU vs. the Southern Conference
College of Charleston is the only Southern Conference team on FSU’s schedule this season. FSU is 11-11 all time against current teams in that league.
Off to a Great Start
Junior Jacinta Monroe is off to a great start this season. Not only is she leading the team in scoring (18.0 ppg) and rebounding (9.5 rpg), she’s also shooting a team-leading .857 from the field having missed just two shots total in her first two games. She’s clearly been aggessive in the lane as well with a team-leading 21 free-throw attempts this season (10.5 per game), which is more attempts than the rest of the starting five combined (16). She is shooting 57 percent from the charity stripe this season, including a much-improved mark of 70 percent (7-of-10) in the win at UNF. Heading into the season, Monroe has a career mark of 62 percent from thefree throw line and averaged just 2.9 free-throw attempts per game.
Florida State has some serious depth on the team this season. Through the first two games, seven players are averaging 18.0 or more minutes per game. Mara Freshour, one of the most consistent players to don the garnet and gold, is averaging the most minutes at 32.0 per game.
Someone must have buttered up the ball in the UNF game because the Seminoles and Ospreys combined for 57 turnovers. As a team, FSU is averaging 22.5 turnovers per game this season. Sophomore Courtney Ward, who is in her first season as the starting point guard, is averaging 3.5 turnovers per game but also 3.5 assists per game. Senior Tanae Davis-Cain has recorded the most turnovers this season at eight (4.0 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.
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 eight of the nine threes the Seminoles have hit this season. Tuesday against UNF, Davis-cain connected on two of her three 3-point attempts, placing her just eight 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 126
Mara Freshour 120
Tanae Davis-Cain: 862
Mara Freshour: 775
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 142 career blocked shots – just 67 swats shy of Brooke Wyckoff’s all-time record of 209 she set from 1997-2001.
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 28th.
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 number seven 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. 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 8 at Depaul last season.
Five Seminoles, including four starters, scored in double figures in the Seminoles’ win over Florida Gulf Coast. Tanae Davis-Cain led the way with a game-high 18 while Jacinta Monroe and Cierra Bravard each had 12 points and Mara Freshour and Angel Gray contributed 12 and 10 points, respectively. The last time FSU had five players score in double figures was February 24, 2008 in a 92-84 overtime loss at Maryland. FSU also had five players score in double figures in the Alabama State and Indiana games.
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.
Struggles at the Line
While the Seminoles shot well from the field, the free throw line was a different story in the opening game. FSU shot just 33 percent (13-for-28) from the charity stripe, which is the lowest for the Seminoles since the .250 outing at Duke on January 11, 2008. FSU had 28 free-throw attempts in the game. Last year, the Seminoles recorded 28 or more free throw attempts in three games. Despite the first-game struggles, the Seminoles showed improvement in game No. 2 as they connected on 60 percent of their free-throw attempts against UNF.
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 foe 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.
Pack the House
It’s the NCAA Pack the House challenge game when the Seminoles host the Florida Gators on Sunday, Nov. 23 at 2 p.m. 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.
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. (AP ranking is first)
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 Stay 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
Busy Night at the Donald L. Tucker Center
Not only is the Florida State women’s basketball team in action against the College of Charleston Thursday night at 6 p.m., but the Seminole men’s squad is also slated to play against Stetson University at 8 p.m. While the women’s game against the Cougars is their second home contest of the season, the men’s team’s showdown with the Hatters will serve as their home opener.
Florida State Women’s Basketball Program Signs Talented 2009 Prospect
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 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.