October 16, 2019 - by
WOMEN’S HOOPS PREDICTED THIRD IN THE ACC

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Carrying a roster that includes everyone from a season ago, a strong returning cast has the ACC Women’s Basketball prognosticators high on Florida State. The Seminoles are predicted to finish third in the conference according to preseason polls by the league’s 15 head coaches and the Blue Ribbon Panel.

The preseason rank is Florida State’s highest since the start of the 2016-17 season when it was also projected third in both polls. FSU wound up making its third NCAA Elite Eight appearance that season.

Since the ACC’s preseason predicted order of finish began in 2004, FSU’s projected third ranking is tied for its second highest in program history. The 2019-20 Seminoles only trail the 2015-16 team that was picked to finish second in the league by both polls.

WOMEN’S HOOPS PREDICTED THIRD IN THE ACC

“We embrace the expectations that are placed on us,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “At the same time, there’s plenty of work to be done to meet those expectations. We have our starters back, but we are going into the season without four players who add tremendous depth. Our freshmen will need to grow quickly and play key roles.”

Earning preseason individual accolades are redshirt senior Kiah Gillespie and senior Nicki Ekhomu, with both being picked to the 10-member Preseason All-ACC Teams by both the coaches and the Blue Ribbon Panel. Freshman center River Baldwin was selected to the ACC Newcomer Watch List by both panels as well.

“All of our players are making strides,” Semrau added. “It’s always encouraging to see some of them recognized individually for this. Nicki and Kiah, along with fellow captain Nausia Woolfolk, have an excellent opportunity to fulfill their leadership roles on and off the court. Someone like River, who will give in many ways to our program, will thrive from all she learns from our captains.”

Gillespie has already been chosen as a second-team All-American by Lindy’s and Athlon Sports, as well as a third-team selection from Street & Smith’s. She became FSU’s 19th All-American last season and was an All-ACC First Team selection, becoming the first Seminole to lead her team in points (16.2), rebounds (9.3) and 3-point field goals (53).

Ekhomu has handled point-guard duties for the second straight season in replacement of the injured Izabela Nicoletti. The Bolingbrook, Ill., native averaged 15.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.7 steals per game in her junior campaign, and is poised for an even bigger senior season. She also led last year’s squad in 3-point field goal percentage (32.6 percent), free throws made (127) and minutes played (34.1).

Baldwin has already earned high praise from her coaches, blending in seamlessly to a group with loads of returning experience. The 2019 McDonald’s All-American and Jordan Brand Classic participant has a chance to earn significant time in the post this season. Hailing from Andalusia, Ala., Baldwin is just the ninth player in Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State basketball history to be named a five-time All-state player.

In four of the last five seasons, the Seminoles have finished above their ACC preseason predicted order of finish. Last year, FSU faced its lowest projections since 2004 with a seventh (B/R Panel) and eighth-place (Coaches) ranking, but managed to finish sixth in the conference and reach the NCAA Second Round.

Louisville was predicted to finish first in both polls, while Miami center Beatrice Mompremier was the choice by both the head coaches and the Blue Ribbon Panel to earn preseason player of the year.

Florida State plays its lone exhibition of the preseason on Sunday, Oct. 27, at 2 p.m. against Florida Southern at the Donald L. Tucker Center. FSU’s season opener occurs at home on Tuesday, Nov. 5, vs. Charleston Southern at 7 p.m.

Season tickets for the 2019-20 season are on sale now on Seminoles.com, or can be purchased by calling the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at 1-888-FSU-NOLE.

Head Coaches & Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason Player of the Year
Beatrice Mompremier, Miami

Head Coaches Preseason All-ACC Team
Kobi Thornton, Clemson
Haley Gorecki, Duke
Nicki Ekhomu, Florida State
Kiah Gillespie, Florida State
Elizabeth Balogun, Louisville
Beatrice Mompremier, Miami
Elissa Cunane, NC State
Aislinn Konig, NC State
Janelle Bailey, North Carolina
Jocelyn Willoughby, Virginia

Head Coaches Newcomer Watch List
River Baldwin, Florida State
Nyah Green, Louisville
Jakia Brown-Turner, NC State
Sam Brunelle, Notre Dame
Anaya Peoples, Notre Dame

Head Coaches Predicted Order of Finish
Louisville (13, first-place votes) – 223
NC State (2, first-place votes) – 201
Florida State – 190
Miami – 185
Notre Dame – 159
Syracuse – 150
Duke – 143
Clemson – 105
North Carolina – 92
Virginia Tech – 91
Georgia Tech – 70
Virginia – 67
Boston College – 58
Pittsburgh – 41
Wake Forest – 25

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason All-ACC Team
Kobi Thornton, Clemson
Haley Gorecki, Duke
Nicki Ekhomu, Florida State
Kiah Gillespie, Florida State
Dana Evans, Louisville
Elizabeth Balogun, Louisville
Beatrice Mompremier, Miami (FL)
Elissa Cunane, NC State
Janelle Bailey, North Carolina
Jocelyn Willoughby, Virginia

Blue Ribbon Panel Newcomer Watch List
River Baldwin, Florida State
Nyah Green, Louisville
Jakia Brown-Turner, NC State
Sam Brunelle, Notre Dame
Anaya Peoples, Notre Dame

Blue Ribbon Panel Predicted Order of Finish (49 voters)
Louisville (34, first-place votes) – 713 points
NC State (8, first-place votes) – 637 points
Florida State (3, first-place votes) – 623 points
Notre Dame (4, first-place votes) – 580
Miami – 578
Syracuse – 497
Duke – 432
Clemson – 353
North Carolina – 343
Virginia Tech – 291
Virginia – 229
Georgia Tech – 225
Boston College – 168
Pittsburgh – 122
Wake Forest – 89

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