April 18, 2006
Another successful season concluded just a month ago and the
The 2005-06 season saw the continuation of Phase II of Semrau’s program and the team banquet celebrated the facets of that philosophy. Phase II was introduced before the 2004-05 season. Semrau asked her players to “believe” in an attitudinal shift within the program in which the Seminoles moved to a higher level of personal responsibility, selflessness, and the development of a championship mentality. At the start of the 2005-06 season, Semrau took that philosophy a step further and asked her players to “commit” to Phase II. What resulted was another 20-win season and back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances.
The awards presentation at the banquet was divided into the categories of Phase II:
Dominant Defender: For the first time in her career, senior LaQuinta Neely played in every single game when she saw action in all 30 games in 2005-06. Neely’s aggressiveness allowed her to earn her single-season best with 53 steals and she also averaged 3.8 rebounds per game. Neely often drew the responsibility of guarding the opponent’s best player and she flourished in that role. She held
Phase II: Most Improved Defense: After a season away from the court, sophomore Shante Williams rededicated herself to defense when she returned for the Seminoles in 2005-06. Already an explosive scorer, Williams used her speed and finesse to wreak havoc on opponents. She had 34 steals on the season.
Relentless Rebounder: Junior Alicia Gladden averaged a team-high 6.4 rebounds per game, including a team-high 74 offensive rebounds. She recorded seven double-doubles and led the team in rebounding 10 times and had a season-high 14 rebounds in the overtime win at Clemson.
Ultimate “Money” Player: Senior LaQuinta Neely played inspired basketball in her final season and was perhaps the most aggressive player on the floor. Despite her lean, yet fit, 5-9 frame, Neely played like the biggest player on the court and earned this award for going hard all of the time and doing the “intangibles” – the things that don’t show up on the stat sheet.
Top Free Throw Shooter: Senior Ganiyat Adeduntan shot a team-high 77 percent from the free throw line in 2005-06. She shot 88 percent from the charity stripe in the last eight games.
Most Influential Offensive Player: It wasn’t always how many points senior Holly Johnson got in a game but when and how she got them. Perhaps the most clutch player on the team, Johnson was honored with this award after averaging 11.2 points per game. . She scored in double figures in 11 of the last 12 games of the season, including a career-high 25 points in the NCAA Tournament win over Louisiana Tech. Johnson hit from all over the floor in that game, including some remarkable shots from three-point land. Overall, she scored in double figures 19 times and led the team in scoring in seven games.
Phase II: Most Improved Offense: When freshman Britany Miller was feeling it, there was really no stopping her. The rookie was a force inside for the Seminoles and gave them the much needed post presence they desired. She scored in double figures in 19 games overall, including 10 of the last 15 games, and led the team in scoring six times. The only player to start all 30 games, Miller was named ACC Rookie of the Week three times and earned All-Freshman Team honors. She also had two double-doubles.
1,000 Point Club: With 1,040 career points, senior Ganiyat Adeduntan became just the 19th player in FSU women’s basketball history to become a member of the 1,000 point club. She scored in double figures 18 times, including seven of the last nine games.
Top Academic Achiever: Sophomore Nikki Anthony is majoring in Physical Education and had a team-high 3.875 grade point average this season.
Matt Schmauch Leadership Award: Senior LaQuinta Neely
Matthew Schmauch, who passed away June 13, 2003, was an Assistant Director of Academic Support who worked with the women’s basketball program for four seasons and was instrumental in the academic success of FSU student-athletes. His influence went beyond the classroom. He was an ambassador, a mentor, a friend, a big brother, a fan — truly a shining example of where hard work and determination can take you. This award, established in his memory, is given annually to the women’s basketball player who exemplifies these characteristics of leadership.
Daughter, Sister, Classmate, Teammate, Role Model, Friend, Seminole … former teammate Ronalda Pierce, who passed away June 8, 2004, meant so much, to so many people. Although with us just a short time, Ronalda’s memory will forever be etched in the hearts of the Seminole family. Ronalda represented courage, heart, determination, growth and joy. It was these characteristics that allowed her to blossom into the person that was cherished by all who knew her. The recipient of this award each season exemplifies these same qualities of perseverance.