#13 Florida State Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Florida State Seminoles

Overall Rank: #13
Conference Rank: #4 ACC
#13 Florida State Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview
Florida State Team Page


Florida State had a superb 2014-2015 campaign and they hope to build on it this year. The Seminoles lost one non-conference game to Washington in what was not the easiest of non-conference slates. In ACC action, they just kept winning. Their only two conference losses came at Notre Dame and at North Carolina. FSU lost again to Notre Dame in the ACC Tournament final. Heading into the NCAA Tournament with a 29-4 record, Florida State earned a #2 seed and took care of business against Alabama State and Florida Gulf Coast in the first two rounds. After that, they knocked off Arizona State in a thrilling Sweet 16 contest before falling to one seed South Carolina 80-74 in the Elite Eight.

2014-15 Record: 32-5, 14-2
2014-15 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Sue Semrau
Coach Record: 348-218 at Florida State, 348-218 overall

The Seminoles return four of their top five scorers, including 6-4 senior center Adut Bulgak. She led the team with 12.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. Bulgak is a consistent scorer in the paint, but she can also step outside and knock down some three-pointers. That is not easy for anybody to defend. Ivey Slaughter will rejoin Bulgak in the starting frontcourt. Slaughter averaged 10.8 points per game and was second on the team behind Bulgak in rebounding and blocked shots. The post will need to get some more depth from sophomore center Ama Degbeon and junior center Kai James. Shakayla Thomas was one of the best sixth players in the country last season, averaging 10.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game despite starting just three games. Coach Sue Semrau’s super sub could step into the starting lineup at the small forward spot this year. Thomas is not a shooter whatsoever, but the 5-11 sophomore has proven to be a good scorer and a strong rebounder.

The problem with starting Thomas is that Florida State will not have many shooting options left to put into the lineup. Yet, they do not have many shooting options left on the team with Maegan Conwright and Morgan Jones gone. Conwright started all 36 games last year and was easily the most prolific three-point shooter on the team. Jones was the second most prolific shooter on the team. That leaves Leticia Romero and Brittany Brown as the top players on the perimeter. Once Romero was eligible after the conclusion of the first semester last season, she made an immediate impact. In 24 games, the Kansas State transfer averaged 11.0 points and 5.3 assists. She is an amazing playmaker and by March the junior was obviously more comfortable taking over the team. Brown is certainly a candidate to boost her scoring output without Conwright and Jones on the perimeter. She did make 37.5 percent of her 56 three-point attempts and FSU will be happy if she can keep up that clip and take about twice as many attempts. Senior Emiah Bingley should emerge as the top shooter off of the bench.

Final Projection:
The potential lack of outside shooters is a big deal for this Florida State team. Last year they did not hit a ton of long balls, but they were very consistent and took advantage of the open looks when the opposition concentrated too much on Bulgak in the paint. This group will have to find shooters who can at least be a threat so the opposing defense cannot slack off and defend against the bigs and the slashers. Without a couple shooters, this is still a good team, but they will not advance beyond their Elite Eight appearance of a year ago, nor will they take the ACC title chase down to the last week of the season.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Leticia Romero, Junior, Guard, 11.0 points per game
Brittany Brown, Junior, Guard, 6.9 points per game
Shakayla Thomas, Sophomore, Forward, 10.0 points per game
Ivey Slaughter, Junior, Forward, 10.8 points per game
Adut Bulgak, Senior, Center, 12.3 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.5 (23rd in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 57.3 (34, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.0 (13, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.4 (54, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.8 (120, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.5 (38, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 65.3 (283, 15)
Rebound Margin: 12.3 (3, 1)
Assists Per Game: 15.8 (26, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 16.9 (216, 11)

Madness 2016 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#11 Adut Bulgak


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