October 22, 2014 - by
Seminoles Chosen Fifth in ACC

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – The Florida State Women’s Basketball team is predicted to finish fifth in the competitive Atlantic Coast Conference, announced on Wednesday in separate polls of the league’s Blue Ribbon Panel and its 15 head coaches.

The Seminoles return three starters in sophomore guard Brittany Brown, sophomore forward Ivey Slaughter and redshirt junior guard Morgan Jones. FSU is loaded with quality depth up and down its roster, highlighted by a talented newcomer class and six other returnees who are expected to contribute largely this season.

One of those newcomers is athletic freshman forward Shakayla Thomas, a 5-foot-11 slasher who is a difficult one-on-one matchup. The Sylacauga, Ala., native was named to both ACC Newcomer Watch Lists, and is one of seven McDonald’s All-Americans entering the league this season.

“I’m very excited about this year’s team,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “With the addition of Louisville and having already added Notre Dame, Syracuse and Pitt last season, the ACC has proven it is the toughest league in women’s basketball. We have an athletic bunch that can hold its own in this league. It’s great to see Shakayla (Thomas) get a spot on the ACC Newcomer Watch List. I think she will be someone our fans will want to look out for this season.”

Defending ACC champion Notre Dame was named as 2014-15 Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Basketball preseason favorite in both polls. The Fighting Irish, who welcome back two starters and 10 monogram recipients from last year’s 37-1 team that reached NCAA title game, received 38 votes from Blue Ribbon panel voters to emerge as the clear-cut favorite. Duke received one first-place vote and placed second in the balloting, followed by ACC newcomer Louisville (two first-place votes) and North Carolina.

Florida State placed fifth in the Blue Ribbon voting, while Syracuse was sixth, Georgia Tech seventh, Miami eighth and NC State ninth. Virginia (10th), Wake Forest (11th), Virginia Tech (12th), Boston College (13th), Clemson (14th) and Pitt (15th) rounded out the voting.

Notre Dame received 14 first-place votes in the ACC coaches’ balloting, while Duke received one. The top eight teams in the coaches’ preseason poll matched those of the Blue Ribbon panel. The ACC coaches voted Virginia ninth, followed by NC State (10th), Wake Forest (11th), Virginia Tech (12th), Clemson (13th), Pitt (14th) and Boston College (15th).

Junior guard Jewell Loyd of Notre Dame was named the 2014-15 ACC Preseason Player of the Year in both the Blue Ribbon Panel and the coaches’ votes.  A Wade Trophy and Wooden Award finalist as a sophomore and the MVP of last season’s ACC Tournament, Loyd averaged team-high 18.6 points, plus 6.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and team-high 1.6 steals per game.

Loyd is joined on the 2014-15 Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason All-ACC Team by Duke’s Elizabeth Williams, Georgia Tech’s Kaela Davis, Louisville’s Sarah Hammond, North Carolina’s Allisha Gray, Stephanie Mavunga and Xylina McDaniel, Notre Dame’s Lindsay Allen, Syracuse’s Brittney Sykes and Wake Forest’s Dearica Hamby.

Loyd, Williams, Davis, Hammond, Gray, Mavunga, Allen, Sykes and Hamby were also named to the Coaches’ Preseason All-ACC team, along with Clemson’s Nikki Dixon.

The Blue Ribbon Panel’s Newcomer Watch List features the Duke tandem of Sierra Calhoun and Rebecca Greenwell, FSU’s Shakayla Thomas, Louisville’s Mariya Moore and Notre Dame’s Brianna Turner.

Calhoun, Greenwell, Thomas and Turner were also named to the ACC coaches’ Newcomer Watch List, along with Louisville’s Myisha Hines-Allen.

Semrau has sparked a prominent era in FSU Women’s Hoops over the last 10 years and looks for that to continue in 2014-15. Over the last decade, the Seminoles have been the only ACC school besides UNC or Duke to win multiple regular season titles (2009, 2010). Overall, the Noles are 224-103 (.685) during that time span, and have appeared in the AP Top 25 poll in 77 weeks since the 2004-05 season.

The Seminoles play their first and only exhibition of the season on Sunday, Nov. 9, at 2 p.m. against Faulkner at the renovated Donald L. Tucker Center. FSU’s season opener is set for Friday, Nov. 14, against UAB at 7 p.m. in Tallahassee.

Season tickets for the 2014-15 season are on sale and can be purchased on Seminoles.com. The Family Pack plan is a package that includes two adult season tickets and two youth season tickets for only $99. Additional youth tickets to the family pack can be added for only $15.

Fans can also purchase individual season tickets, with the costs being just $50 for an adult, $25 for seniors and $25 for youth.

For more information on Florida State women’s basketball, follow the Seminoles on Twitter at @FSU_WBasketball and like their official Facebook page (Facebook.com/FSUWomensBasketball).

Blue Ribbon Panel ACC Preseason Poll

  1. Notre Dame (835 points, 38 first place votes)

  2. Duke (733, 1 first place vote)

  3. Louisville (724, 2 first place votes)

  4. North Carolina (707)

  5. Florida State (545)

  6. Syracuse (536)

  7. Georgia Tech (508)

  8. Miami (421)

  9. NC State (407)

  10. Virginia (334)

  11. Wake Forest (295)

  12. Virginia Tech (184)

  13. Boston College (178)

  14. Clemson (169)

  15. Pittsburgh (144)

 

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason All-ACC Team

Elizabeth Williams, Sr., C/F, Duke

Kaela Davis, So., G, Georgia Tech

Sara Hammond, Sr., F, Louisville

Allisha Gray, So., G, North Carolina

Stephanie Mavunga, So, F, North Carolina

Xylina McDaniel, Jr., F, North Carolina

Lindsay Allen, So., G, Notre Dame

Jewell Loyd, Jr., G, Notre Dame

Brittney Sykes, Jr., G, Syracuse

Dearica Hamby, Sr., F, Wake Forest

 

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason ACC Player of the Year

Jewell Loyd, Jr., G, Notre Dame

 

Blue Ribbon Panel ACC Newcomer Watch List

Sierra Calhoun, Fr., G/F, Duke

Rebecca Greenwell, R-Fr., G, Duke

Shakayla Thomas, Fr., F, Florida State

Mariya Moore, Fr., G, Louisville

Brianna Turner, Fr., G, Notre Dame

 

ACC Head Coaches Preseason Poll

  1. Notre Dame (223 points, 14 first place votes)

  2. Duke (196, 1 first place vote)

  3. Louisville (194)

  4. North Carolina (193)

  5. Florida State (152)

  6. Syracuse (149)

  7. Georgia Tech (136)

  8.  Miami (117)

  9. Virginia (98)

  10.  NC State (87)

  11. Wake Forest (82)

  12. Virginia Tech (54)

  13. Clemson (44)

  14. Pittsburgh (43)

  15. Boston College (32)

 

Coaches Preseason All-ACC Team

Nikki Dixon, Sr., G, Clemson

Elizabeth Williams, Sr., C/F, Duke

Kaela Davis, So., G, Georgia Tech

Sara Hammond, Sr., F, Louisville

Allisha Gray, So., G, North Carolina

Stephanie Mavunga, So, F, North Carolina

Lindsay Allen, So., G, Notre Dame

Jewell Loyd, Jr., G, Notre Dame

Brittney Sykes, G, Syracuse

Dearica Hamby, Sr., F, Wake Forest

 

Coaches Preseason ACC Player of the Year

Jewell Loyd, Jr., G, Notre Dame

 

Coaches ACC Newcomer Watch List

Sierra Calhoun, Fr., G/F, Duke

Rebecca Greenwell, R-Fr., G, Duke

Shakayla Thomas, Fr., F, Florida State

Myisha Hines-Allen, Fr., F, Louisville

Brianna Turner, Fr., G, Notre Dame

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