Oct. 24, 2007
GREENSBORO, N.C. - A spot in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 and four returning starters was enough to warrant the Florida State women's basketball team its highest ranking in the preseason ACC Poll. The Seminoles were picked fourth by the media in attendance at Tuesday's ACC Women's Basketball Media Day.
Despite finishing in the top four in five of the last seven seasons, the highest Florida State had been tabbed prior to this year was fifth in 2006 and 2003. In six of the 10 seasons under head coach Sue Semrau, the Seminoles have exceeded their preseason ranking by an average of three spots.
Maryland was picked to win the league with 27 first-place votes. North Carolina was second with Duke ahead of Florida State and Georgia Tech a spot back. Rounding out the poll was: Virginia, NC State, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Miami, Boston College and Wake Forest
Florida State is coming off a 24-10 season - marking the program's first run of three-straight 20-win seasons - and the team's first appearance in the Sweet 16. The Seminoles knocked off No. 5 Stanford on its home court to advance in the tournament.
This year the Seminoles bring back four of the five starters from last year's team and two more players that saw time in the starting line-up. Leading the charge for Florida State is junior center Brittany Miller (Tallapoosa, Ga.) who average 12.6 points per game and 6.1 rebounds per game. Joining her in the middle is sophomore center Jacinta Monroe (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) - a 2007 ACC All-Freshman Team selection - who was sixth in the country last year among freshmen with 1.85 blocks per game.
On the perimeter, junior Mara Freshour (Nashville, Ind.) can play at both the point guard and wing positions. She is automatic from the free throw line and had one of the top assist-to-turnover ratios in the ACC last year. Classmate Tanae Davis-Cain (Dawson, Ga.) set a school record for three-point attempts and came just two short of tying the record for makes. Senior Shante Williams (Jacksonville, Fla.) will be making a run at the school's all-time assist record in her senior year.
A trio of freshmen will have a big impact on the team. Forward/guard Antionette Howard (Snellville, Ga.) and guard Courtney Ward (Montgomery, Ala.) were both top 75 players in the country coming out of high school. Guard Christian Hunnicutt (Jonesboro, Ga.) was a two-time all-state selection.
Florida State will be in action for the first time this year on October 31 when it takes on Michael T. White Exhibition at 6 p.m. The first regular season game is November 9 at Florida Gulf Coast and the home opener is slated for November 11 against North Florida.