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FSU women picked to finish third in ACC

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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.

“We embrace the expectations that are placed on us,” FSU 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.”

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.

Florida State plays its lone exhibition of the preseason on Oct. 27, at 2 p.m. against Florida Southern at the Donald L. Tucker Center. FSU’s season opener is at home on 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 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, ClemsonHaley 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