FSU women’s hoops: 2019-20 preview

Coach: Sue Semrau (429-249 in 22 seasons at FSU)

Last year: 24-9, 10-6 ACC

Season opener: Tuesday vs. Charleston Southern, 7 p.m. (Stream live on ACC Network Extra)

Top returners: 6-2 Sr. F Kiah Gillespie (16.2 points, 9.3 rebounds), 5-9 Sr. G Nicki Ekhomu (15 points, 3.5 rebounds), 5-9 Sr. G Nausia Woolfolk (13.5 points, 4.2 rebounds), 6-2 Jr. F Iho Lopez (did not play due to injury in 2018-19), 6-3 So. F Valencia Myers (8.9 points, 5.8 rebounds).

Key losses: FSU returns every player from last season. Guards Izabela Nicoletti and Sayawni Lassiter suffered preseason knee injuries and are out for the 2019-20 season.

Newcomers to know: 6-5 Fr. C River Baldwin and 6-1 Fr. G/F Sammie Puisis were McDonald’s All-Americans. 6-2 F/C London Clarkson also joins the team. G Bianca Jackson, a transfer from South Carolina, will be eligible to play in 2020-21.

Key to the season: FSU has had injury troubles the last few years. But depth should allow Semrau to rotate in players off the bench and maximize minutes on the court.

Quoting: “Valencia has an opportunity to be one of the best in the business. Last year she got thrown into the starting lineup as a freshman and did well but didn’t understand what elite really meant. And now she wants to get to that place. And so we’ve been pushing her a lot harder in every area, physically, defensively, rebounding the ball better. She has another companion in that spot with River Baldwin in that she won’t have to play the length of minutes.” Semrau on Myers 

NCAA Tournament history: FSU has played in 14 NCAA Tournaments in the last 15 seasons at the school. The Seminoles were the youngest NCAA Tournament team in March 2019, at an average age of 19.4 yards (all of the players return for 2019-20).

Impress your friends: Florida State has won 20 or more games for seven consecutive seasons … The Seminoles hold a record of 62-18 (.775) over the last five years in ACC play, and has five consecutive years of 10+ wins in the conference. Only FSU, Louisville, Notre Dame and Syracuse have done that in the ACC. … FSU is ranked No. 12 in the AP preseason poll. … The Seminoles have out rebounded opponents in 81.4 percent of games over the last six years. … FSU is 20-5 vs. Miami (15-4) and Florida (5-1) since 2013.

‘Noles in the WNBA: Natasha Howard, Seattle Storm


  1. Bob Ferrante Reply

    Tough to argue with tacos and basketball:

    The first 250 fans at the Donald L. Tucker Center on Tuesday evening will each receive a free taco

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