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FSU women picked sixth in ACC by media vote

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Florida State Women’s Basketball has been predicted sixth by the ACC’s Blue Ribbon Panel and eighth by the league’s coaches in the predicted order of finish, announced on Tuesday by the conference.

Graduate transfer point guard Tiana England was FSU’s lone representative on the preseason accolades, being named to the Blue Ribbon Panel’s five-member newcomer watch list. On Monday, she was selected to the Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List, and was ranked as the 16th-most impactful newcomer in the country by ESPN.

Since both the ACC coaches poll and the Blue Ribbon Panel were instituted in the 2012-13 season, FSU’s eighth-place selection by the coaches matches the 2018-19 team for the lowest prediction in that time span. In that 2018-19 season, in which FSU’s current junior class was freshmen, the Seminoles wound up having a stellar season by finishing 24-9 overall, 10-6 in the ACC and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

FSU has a penchant for rising above expectations according to the league’s predicted order of finish. Since the 2012-13 season, the Seminoles have finished above their expectations in five of those years.

Louisville was predicted to finish first in the league in both of the polls, while Cardinal senior guard Dana Evans was projected to repeat as the league’s player of the year.

Returning for Florida State are several core players from that 2018-19 freshmen class who have earned significant time, including guards Morgan Jones, Kourtney Weber, Amaya Brown and forward Valencia Myers.

Another bonus for the Seminoles is the emergence of redshirt sophomore guard Izabela Nicoletti, a highly-touted guard in the 2018 signing class who was injured the first two seasons. She is back at full strength and is ready to help lead FSU as one of Brazil’s best young players.

The contributions of current sophomores Sammie Puisis and River Baldwin will also be beneficial. Last season, Puisis led FSU with 49 3-point field goals and shot nearly 40 percent from beyond the arc, while Baldwin led the Seminoles with 31 blocked shots.

Redshirt juniors Bianca Jackson, Sayawni Lassiter and Savannah Wilkinson also provide FSU’s core with plenty of talent, as Jackson makes her Seminole debut this season after being an SEC All-Freshman with South Carolina.

The ACC schedule has not been announced yet but is expected to be released soon.

Head Coaches & Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason Player of the Year
Dana Evans, Louisville, Sr., G

Head Coaches Preseason All-ACC Team
Taylor Soule, Boston College, Jr., F
Dana Evans, Louisville, Sr., G (12 Preseason Player of the Year Votes)
Janelle Bailey, North Carolina, Sr., C
Jakia Brown-Turner, NC State So., G
Elissa Cunane, NC State, Jr., C (3)
Kiara Lewis, Syracuse, Sr., G
Tiana Mangakahia, Syracuse, Gr., G
Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech, So., C
Aisha Sheppard, Virginia Tech, Sr., G
Ivana Raca, Wake Forest, Sr., F

Head Coaches Newcomer Watch List
Hailey Van Lith, Louisville, Fr., G
Kianna Smith, Louisville, Jr., G
Deja Kelly, North Carolina, Fr., G
Maddy Westbeld, Notre Dame, Fr., F
Kamilla Cardoso, Syracuse, Fr., C

Head Coaches Predicted Order of Finish
Louisville (13 first-place votes) – 223
NC State (2) – 210
Syracuse – 193
North Carolina – 157
Georgia Tech – 146
Notre Dame – 138
Virginia Tech – 125
Florida State – 124
Boston College – 120
Miami – 99
Duke – 74
Wake Forest – 73
Clemson – 56
Pittsburgh – 37
Virginia – 25

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason All-ACC Team (57 voters)
Taylor Soule, Boston College, Jr., F (3)
Dana Evans, Louisville, Sr., G (40)
Janelle Bailey, North Carolina, Sr., C
Elissa Cunane, NC State, Jr., C (11)
Sam Brunelle, Notre Dame, So., F
Kiara Lewis, Syracuse, Sr., G
Tiana Mangakahia, Syracuse, Gr., G (3)
Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech, So., C
Aisha Sheppard, Virginia Tech, Sr., G
Ivana Raca, Wake Forest, Sr., F

() Indicates preseason player of the year votes

Blue Ribbon Panel Newcomer Watch List
Tiana England, Florida State, Gr., G

Hailey Van Lith, Louisville, Fr., G
Deja Kelly, North Carolina, Fr., G
Maddy Westbeld, Notre Dame, Fr., F
Kamilla Cardoso, Syracuse, Fr., C

Blue Ribbon Panel Predicted Order of Finish (57 voters)
Louisville (45 first-place votes) – 840 points
NC State (10) – 797 points
Syracuse (2) – 724 points
Notre Dame – 555 points
North Carolina – 547 points
Florida State – 516 points
Virginia Tech – 482 points
Boston College – 468 points
Georgia Tech – 452 points
Duke – 385 points
Miami – 359 points
Wake Forest – 258 points
Clemson – 183 points
Virginia – 149 points
Pitt – 125 points

Editor’s note: The Osceola’s Bob Ferrante and Ariya Massoudi are among the voters in the Blue Ribbon panel