TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – The 12th-ranked Florida State Women’s Basketball team begins its 2016-17 season with a 12:30 p.m. tip-off vs. Jacksonville State on Veteran’s Day at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
The season opener is Military Appreciation Day, which includes pre-game activities such as making thank-you cards for veterans, bringing in donated goods for military kits and a coin exchange involving FSU’s captains and the FSU Women’s Veterans of STEM.
“It’s really important, and it’s actually very important for me,” senior center Kai James said. “I have a brother who served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, so I have a great appreciation for those guys.”
“It’s about the people who have gotten us to this point,” added junior forward Shakayla Thomas. “The people who fight for our country, it’s best to show our appreciation.”
Florida State head coach Sue Semrau approaches two special milestones on Friday – she enters her 20th season leading the Seminoles, and will coach in her 600th game vs. Jacksonville State. Coach Sue owns a career record of 373-226 (.623).
“For every game I coached I wish I had put a dollar in a jar,” Semrau said. “I could have done something pretty fun.”
Friday’s game will be live streamed on the ACC Network Extra with Tom Block and Melissa Bruner on the call. Jonathan Schillace and Bob Thomas will broadcast the game on WQTL 106.1 FM.
When opening the season at home, Florida State is 21-1 all-time. It currently holds a 15-game win streak in season-opening home games. Overall, FSU is 34-10 in season openers.
FSU owns a 32-game non-conference win streak at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Its last home loss to a non-ACC team came against Nebraska on Nov. 27, 2011.
Florida State is 2-0 in Veterans Day games, which falls annually on Nov. 11. They include wins over USF (62-49 in Daytona Beach in 2011) and Samford (77-42 in Tallahassee in 2012).
Two high-profile transfers make their FSU debuts on Friday. Junior center Chatrice White is a preseason ACC Newcomer Watch List player who led the Big Ten with 18 double-doubles last season at Illinois. Redshirt junior guard Imani Wright was an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention performer who led Baylor with 42 3-point field goals as a sophomore in 2014-15.
Florida State was predicted to finish third in the Atlantic Coast Conference as selected by both the league’s Blue Ribbon Panel and the conference’s 15 head coaches. Senior point guard Leticia Romero and Thomas were both chosen to the two 10-member preseason All-ACC teams, while White was selected to the two five-member newcomer watch lists.
Jacksonville State returns three starters from a squad that finished 10-18 overall last season. The Gamecocks have 14 available players this season after having a roster of just seven players in 18 of their 28 games last season.
Redshirt senior guard Destany McLin returns following a season where she sat out due to injury. She was an All-Ohio Valley Conference performer in 2014-15.
Senior guard Briana Benson paced JSU in its 89-46 exhibition win against Miles College last Sunday, scoring 19 points with six rebounds and two assists.