#13 Florida State Women's Basketball Preview

Florida State Seminoles

Overall rank: #13
Conference rank: ACC #3
Florida State Women's College Basketball Logo

Florida State Team Page

One 3-point basket was all that stood between Florida State and a trip to the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament, but the Seminoles missed the trip. Still, there is no denial that veteran coach Sue Semrau had one of her finer seasons at the Tallahassee institution, and there is every indication the 2011-12 season may be even better thanks to an influx of new talent and minimal graduation losses. Florida State only lost two players off its roster, and both were seniors.

2010-11: 24-8, 11-3
2010-11 Postseason: NCAA (lost in second round to Georgia, 61-59)
Coach: Sue Semrau, 309-224 overall, 258-174 at Florida State

Who’s Out:
The C&C Basketball Factory had its final run on the court in March as Christian Hunnicutt and Courtney Ward played their last games as Seminoles. Hunnicutt, a 5-10 guard, did not score much on the court (5.5 points per game) but she was second on the team in assists (119) and unselfish with the basketball. At 4.9 rebounds per game Hunnicutt was also one of those guards who could compete effectively on the boards. The bigger scoring loss is Ward, a 5-7 guard who was second on the team with 12.1 points per game and first in assists with 132. Florida State’s roster otherwise returns intact for the 2011-12 campaign thanks to no transfers or dismissals.

Who’s In:
To fill the void left by Hunnicutt and Ward’s departures, Semrau recruited a guard and two forwards to join the roster. Guard Emma Loucks, a 5-10 in-state prospect from Clearwater, was a four-year starter at Clearwater High School and is the latest in a line of Loucks family to join Florida State. According to her official bio, senior point guard Luke Loucks is Emma’s brother; their father, Lincoln, was a football walk-on during the 1980s. Kristi Mokube, a 6-2 forward, was the top-ranked post player in Alabama according to the website Bamaprepgirls.com. The Phenix City recruit averaged 13.1 points and 8.6 rebounds per game as a high school senior. Ebony Wells, a forward who also stands 6-2, averaged 19.8 points, 13 rebounds and 5.3 blocks as a senior at Grovetown (Ga.) High School, and Wells led her team to the state playoffs for the first time in the school’s history.

Who to Watch:
Three of the four double-digit scorers return to action, giving Semrau plenty of scoring to shape her game around. Keep an eye on leading scorer Cierra Bravard, a 6-4 forward who averaged 15 points per game and also led the team with 7.8 rebounds a contest. Alexa Deluzio, a 5-11 guard, had 11 points against Georgia in the NCAA tournament and finished with an average of 12 points per game. Natasha Howard, a 6-3 forward, was one of the leading freshmen in the country last season, and Full Court Press named Howard a third-team All-American. Howard was the team’s second-leading rebounder at 210.

Final Projection:
Florida State needs to find someone who is capable of distributing the ball. It’s all right to keep it and take a shot if you’ve got one, but the team lost 248 assists with the departures of Ward and Hunnicutt. Close to 18 points a game are missing, but the return of three of the four leading scorers and a decent recruiting class should spell success for the Seminoles.

The Seminoles’ non-conference slate doesn’t feature too many top-tier opponents. The toughest tests should be against Louisville (Nov. 25), Ohio State (Nov. 30) and Vanderbilt (Dec. 22); only the Louisville game is at home so it will be interesting to see how Florida State fares on the road.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Cierra Bravard, Forward, Senior, leading rebounder and scorer
Alexa Deluzio, Guard, Junior, top returning 3-point shooter
Natasha Howard, Forward, Sophomore, 10.6 points per game
Chasity Clayton, Forward, Junior, top option off bench
Emma Loucks, Guard, Freshman, DNP last season

Madness 2012 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#15 Cierra Bravard