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The Press Newspaper

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The Florida State women’s basketball team was picked to finish fifth by the Blue Ribbon Panel and sixth by the league’s coaches in the ACC women’s basketball preseason polls, released on Wednesday during ACC Women’s Basketball Media Day at the Grandover Resort and Conference Center.

Despite losing four of five starters and five seniors, the Seminoles are still expected to contend with the top teams in the now expanded 15-team ACC.

The Blue Ribbon Panel of media and Sports Information Directors picked the Noles in a tie with Georgia Tech at fifth in the projected league standings. Both the coaches and the Blue Ribbon Panel selected Duke to win the conference championship followed by newcomer Notre Dame, Maryland and North Carolina – in that order. The coaches picked the Yellow Jackets fifth, just ahead of the Seminoles.

Howard2-Coach
Florida State basketball coach Sus Semrau and player Natasha
Howard. (Waite).(Photo courtesy FSU SID)

The Seminoles will look to ride the momentum of last year's 23-win season into the 2013-14 campaign behind First Team All-ACC senior Natasha Howard, senior point guard Yashira "Cheetah" Delgado, redshirt sophomore guard/forward Morgan Jones and one of the nation’s top freshmen classes.

“I’m excited for this season,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “I love the talent we have on the floor. Now, we just need to develop that chemistry and get some experience in game situations. Our team will evolve over the course of the season. It’s going to be a fun. Our lack of depth will be difficult early, but I do like the fact that we have a tighter knit group and everybody will be relied upon.

“Natasha Howard will lead us. She is such an unsung hero. She is willing to do all the little things. She doesn’t care about who is scoring the most points. She just does what’s necessary. For us, what’s necessary is going to be a little bit more. She’s already taken on a huge leadership role for us.”

Howard, a three-year starter, has 26 career double-doubles – second-most of any active ACC player. The Toledo native has career averages of 11.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.1 blocks in 96 career games.

Jones captured a spot on the coaches’ five-player ACC Newcomer Watch List, as well. She is a former McDonald’s All-American from Lake Mary, Fla., who sat out last season after transferring to Florida State from Northwestern. Jones averaged 13.9 points, 6.0 boards and 3.3 assists to capture Big Ten All-Freshman and All-Big Ten honorable mention honors with the Wildcats in 2011-12.

For more information on Florida State women's basketball, follow the Seminoles on Twitter @FSU_WBasketball and like their official Facebook page.

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