#14 Florida State Women's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Florida State Seminoles
Overall Rank: #14
Conference Rank: #3 ACC
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Florida State returns everybody to a team that reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year. The Seminoles also bring in some very talented freshmen and an experienced transfer in Bianca Jackson. As a freshman at South Carolina, Jackson averaged 7.3 points per game and earned SEC All-Freshman team accolades. With Notre Dame having a year where they need to completely reload, the Seminoles have a rare opportunity to win an ACC title, which would be their first since back-to-back shared titles in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010.
2018-19 Record: 24-9, 10-6
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Sue Semrau
Coach Record: 451-249 at Florida State, 451-249 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Kiah Gillespie, Senior, Forward, 16.2 ppg
Nicki Ekhomu, Senior, Guard, 15.0 ppg
Nausia Woolfolk, Senior, Guard, 13.5 ppg
Valencia Myers, Sophomore, Forward/Center, 8.9 ppg
Kourtney Weber, Sophomore, Guard, 3.1 ppg
Morgan Jones, Sophomore, Guard, 5.2 ppg
Savannah Wilkinson, Junior, Guard, 3.1 ppg
Amaya Brown, Sophomore, Guard, 3.1 ppg
Sayawni Lassiter, Sophomore, Guard, 2.1 ppg
Iho Lopez, Junior, Forward, DNP last season
Key New Players
River Baldwin, Freshman, Center
London Clarkson, Freshman, Forward/Center
Bianca Jackson, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from South Carolina
Izabela Nicoletti, RS Freshman, Guard
Sammie Puisis, Freshman, Guard/Forward
The senior trio of Kiah Gillespie, Nicki Ekhomu and Nausia Woolfolk will be the heart and soul of this team. Gillespie, a 6-2 senior, led the squad with 16.2 points and 9.3 rebounds and she can stretch the defense by knocking down some three-pointers. Along with Gillespie, Ekhomu and Woolfolk will be asked to be more efficient shooting the basketball. FSU as a team ranked dead last in the ACC in three-point field-goal percentage. The Seminoles will not take too many long balls, but they do need to at least be able to keep the opposition honest and not waste too many possessions by missing a bunch of three-pointers. Ekhomu will again run the show after dishing out 4.0 assists last season. Valencia Myers had a very productive freshman campaign in the paint, averaging 8.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. With sophomores Kourtney Weber, Morgan Jones, Amaya Brown and Sayawni Lassiter all earning valuable experience last season, Florida State has plenty of options. And throw in three top 75 recruits and Coach Sue Semrau has a ton of depth to work with. Keeping everybody happy with their playing time could be an issue, but that is not a bad issue to have. If Florida State can find their rotation and maybe keep their seniors more well-rested this time around, they will be right in the mix for a conference title.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.5 (103rd in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 61.2 (98, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 40.9 (134, 11)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.4 (250, 13)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.5 (214, 12)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 27.7 (309, 15)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.5 (64, 7)
Rebound Margin: 5.2 (51, 4)
Assists Per Game: 12.6 (191, 11)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.6 (60, 3)
Madness 2019 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#26 River Baldwin
#36 Sammie Puisis
#75 London Clarkson