Florida State's Natasha Howard returns to the hardwood after posting a league-high 12 double-doubles in the 2011-12 season.
The Blue Ribbon Panel selected Natasha Howard to its Preseason All-ACC Team.
Natasha Howard was selected to the ACC Coaches Preseason All-ACC Team
One of six ACC teams with four starters returning from last season.
FSU's streak of seven straight NCAA Tournaments ended in 2012, but FSU is looking to bounce back behind All-ACC forward Natasha Howard, fifth-year seniors Chasity Clayton and Alexa Deluzio and a healthy Morgan Toles -- a senior point guard who played in four games last year after transferring before suffering a season-ending injury. Clayton, Deluzio and Toles are all captains this season.
Howard led the ACC in double-doubles last season with 12 and was a third-team All-ACC pick and an ACC All-Defensive Team selection. She is one of just two players returning this year that was named all-conference and ACC all-defense in 2011-12. In conference-only games last season, Howard averaged 9.4 rebounds per game to lead the ACC.
Sue Semrau begins her 16th season as the head coach of the Seminoles. She is the all-time winningest coach in school history and a three-time ACC Coach of the Year.
Deluzio shot 91.9 percent from the free throw line in ACC games to lead the conference and shot 84 percent overall from the charity stripe to set an FSU single-season record. She started at point guard last season but will move to shooting guard. Deluzio averaged 13.1 ppg last season -- fifth-most in the league among returnees in the conference.
Toles led the SEC in assists per game two years ago (5.15 apg) while a sophomore at Auburn. Junior Yashira "Cheetah" Delgado will back her up and is expected to share the court with her. Delgado led all of JUCO in assists last year at Hillsborough Community College and had a quadruple double in a game.
Over the past three seasons, FSU has been the best shooting team in the ACC – making a conference-best 44.8 percent of its shots in ACC games over that span (44 games).
Over the past four years, Florida State has shown no fear away from home, winning over 75 percent (22-7) of its road games in conference play. The Seminoles' 22 ACC road wins are the most in the conference over that span. The Garnet and Gold are 34-12 (74 percent winning percentage) in all away games since 2008-09.
The Seminoles will employ an uptempo offense this season as FSU will look to utilize its athleticism and versatility. Howard and Clayton are both expected to play on the wing and in the post.
Senior forward Chelsea Davis is expected to start in the post after averaging 9.2 ppg in just 19.2 mpg off the bench a year ago.
Senior guard Leonor Rodriguez led the Seminoles in assists last season (2.8 apg) and is again expected to play a vital role. She appeared on Spain's national team this summer, competing in the FIBA 3x3 World Championships.
Freshman Jakelle King-Gilchrist (Teaneck, N.J.) was ranked one of the Top 50 guards in the country by ESPN HoopGurlz and is expected to contribute right away this season – especially on the defensive end -- where coaches have said she reminds them of 2011 ACC Defensive Player of the Year and former Seminole Christian Hunnicutt.
The Seminoles will have arguably the nation's top practice player on its squad with sophomore transfer Morgan Jones redshirting following her move from Northwestern. She averaged 13.9 ppg and 6.0 rpg while earning honorable mention All-Big Ten and Big Ten All-Freshman accolades in 2011-12.
Schedule-wise, the Seminoles have another challenging slate. FSU welcomes Iowa in November as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and also hosts Florida during the non-conference schedule. The Seminoles open on Nov. 11 against Samford in Tallahassee and will also travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico for the San Juan Shootout tournament in late November. The ACC schedule begins on Dec. 30 and will be 18 games in the conference for the first time ever.
Sue Semrau, Florida State Head Coach
Sue Semrau enters her 16th season as the all-time winningest coach in Florida State women's basketball history ...The 2011-12
season saw Florida State earn a 14-17 mark ... The Seminoles finished the 2010-11 season with a 24-8 record and reached
the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year…In 2010, Florida State set several program records,
including total wins (29), national rankings (No. 6 USA Today/ESPN and No. 7 AP) and longest postseason run (NCAA Elite
Eight) … The Seminoles finished tied for first in the league with 12 victories ... The 2009 season saw the Seminoles have one
of the most successful seasons in Semrau's career as Florida State reached the NCAA Tournament for a school-record fifth
consecutive time and achieved what was then the highest national rankings in program history (No. 11 AP and No. 12 USA
Today/ESPN) ... En route to collecting the 2009 ACC Coach of the Year nod, her Noles tallied the second-most wins in program
history with 27, and set a new school record for highest NCAA Tournament seeding at No. 3 ... FSU finished in a tie for first
place in the Atlantic Coast Conference for the first time ever as both the Seminoles and Maryland Terrapins finished with 12
league victories, the most in program history ... On Feb. 13, Semrau coached barefoot in observance of the Samaritan's Feet
campaign and her Seminoles pulled off a 77-70 defeat of a UNC squad that was ranked No. 7 in the country at the time ... The
game's outcome also marked Semrau's illustrious 200th career victory ... Before coming to Florida State, Semrau served three
years as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Wisconsin under former Badger head coach Jane
Albright (1993-97) ... She also coached with Albright at Northern Illinois from 1990-93 ... Semrau served as head coach and
assistant athletic director at Occidental College in Los Angeles for four years (1987-90) ... At Occidental, Semrau also coached
soccer for two seasons and was responsible for fundraising and promotions at the Division III institution ... She was also a
member of the NCAA regional selection committee and chaired the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference for
women's basketball ... Semrau played basketball at the University of California at San Diego, where she ranks 13th in all-time
scoring and fourth in all-time assists ... Semrau graduated from UC-San Diego in 1985 and earned her master's in athletic
administration from Southern California in 1988.