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FSU's Natasha Howard Named Preseason All-Conference

By: FSU MEDIA RELATIONS
By: FSU MEDIA RELATIONS

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Florida State junior forward Natasha Howard nabbed preseason All-ACC honors and the Seminole women’s basketball team was picked to finish sixth by the ACC coaches and seventh by the Blue Ribbon Panel on Tuesday at ACC Women’s Basketball Media Day held at the Grandover.

The ACC’s 12 coaches and a 47-member Blue Ribbon Panel made up of media, radio and sports information directors voted on separate preseason all-conference teams and predictions.

Howard was named to both the Coaches and the Blue Ribbon Panel 10-member Preseason All-ACC squads.

Howard led the ACC in double-doubles with 12 a year ago and is one of just two returning players in the conference who captured all-league and ACC All-Defensive Team accolades in 2011-12. The Toledo, Ohio, native averaged 12.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks per game last season, while shooting 48.7 percent from the floor. The 6-3 combo forward became the first Seminole to lead FSU in boards, steals and blocks since current assistant coach Brooke Wyckoff accomplished the feat in 1998-99.

Florida State was picked to finish in sixth-place by the league’s coaches – in a tie with Virginia, while the Blue Ribbon Panel picked the Noles seventh. Duke, Maryland and Georgia Tech were picked to finish 1-2-3 in that order in both preseason polls.

“I’m really not a fan of rankings,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “I want to see our progression on a daily basis and see where we finish at the end of the season. I’m excited about the potential of our team this year. Natasha as well as our seniors will be our leaders this year.”

The Seminoles finished 14-17 and 6-10 in the ACC last season, missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven years. FSU returns four starters and eight overall letterwinners, including Howard and seniors Alexa Deluzio, Chasity Clayton, Leonor Rodriguez and Morgan Toles.

Deluzio is the fifth-leading returning scorer in the ACC (13.2 ppg), while Toles is ready to start at point guard after playing in just four games last year because of injuries following her transfer from Auburn. She led the SEC in assists (5.2) in 2010-11.

Maryland junior forward Alyssa Thomas joined the Duke duo of sophomore center Elizabeth Williams and junior guard Chelsea Gray as the Coaches Preseason Player of the Year. Thomas, the 2012 ACC Player of the Year, was named the Preseason Player of the Year by the Blue Ribbon Panel.

Florida State begins the season on Nov. 3 when it hosts Shorter College (Rome, Ga.) in an exhibition and starts the regular season against Samford on Nov. 11 in Tallahassee.

Season tickets are on sale now at $40 for adults and $20 for youth and seniors. Please visit http://www.seminoles.com/sports/w-baskbl/tickets.html or call the Seminole Ticket Office at 1-888-FSUNOLE to purchase tickets.

Fans are also encouraged to visit the official Florida State Seminoles Women’s Basketball Facebook fan page (http://www.facebook.com/FSUWomensBasketball) and to follow @FSU_WBasketball for more information.

Coaches Preseason Poll (first place votes in parentheses)

1. Duke (9)

2. Maryland (3)

3. Georgia Tech

4. North Carolina

5. Miami

6. Florida State

6. Virginia

8. NC State

9. Wake Forest

10. Clemson

11. Virginia Tech

12. Boston College

Preseason Coaches All-ACC Team

Alyssa Thomas (Maryland)

Elizabeth Williams (Duke)

Chelsea Gray (Duke)

Tyuanna Marshall (Georgia Tech)

Natasha Howard (Florida State)

Tianna Hawkins (Maryland)

Laurin Mincy (Maryland)

Ataira Frankli (Virginia)

Marissa Kastenek (NC State)

Stefanie Yderstrom (Miami)

Preseason Coaches Players of the Year (3-way tie)

Alyssa Thomas (Maryland)

Elizabeth Williams (Duke)

Chelsea Gray (Duke)

Preseason Coaches Newcomer Watch List

Alexis Jones – Duke

Malina Howard – Maryland

Jonquel Jones – Clemson

Xylina McDaniel – North Carolina

Uju Ugoka – Virginia Tech

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason Poll (first place votes in parentheses)

1. Duke (29)

2. Maryland (18)

3. Georgia Tech

4. Virginia

5. North Carolina

6. Miami

7. Florida State

8. NC State

9. Wake Forest

10. Clemson

11. Virginia Tech

12. Boston College

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason All-ACC Team

Alyssa Thomas (Maryland)

Elizabeth Williams (Duke)

Chelsea Gray (Duke)

Tyuanna Marshall (Georgia Tech)

Natasha Howard (Florida State)

Tianna Hawkins (Maryland)

Laurin Mincy (Maryland)

Ataira Franklin (Virginia)

Mariss Kastenek (NC State)

Stefanie Yderstrom (Miami)

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason Player of the Year

Alyssa Thomas (Maryland)

Blue Ribbon Panel Newcomer Watch List

Alexis Jones – Duke

Malina Howard – Maryland

Jonquel Jones – Clemson

Xylina McDaniel – North Carolina

Uju Ugoka – Virginia Tech


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