TALLAHASSEE -- Coming off a season in which it went 23-10 and returned to the NCAA Tournament, the Florida State women’s basketball team enters the 2013-14 campaign with a slightly different look.
Four of the team’s five starters are gone — and gone with them are 46.9 points per game and 17.3 rebounds. In their place is the nation’s seventh-ranked recruiting class, which is loaded with potential but light on experience.
Natasha Howard, FSU’s senior captain, has a good shot to be an All-American. The 6-3 forward averaged 12.7 points and 7.5 rebounds last season and was named Blue Ribbon First Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference.
In addition to Howard, senior Yashira “Cheetah” Delgado — who averaged 4.7 points and a team-leading 4.5 assists per game off the bench last season — should help shoulder the leadership duties.
If they can get FSU’s talented group of newcomers to follow their lead, the Seminoles have the potential to go places this season. Led by 6-5 freshman center Kai James, there are three women over 6-2, and Morgan Jones — who averaged 13.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists at Wisconsin in 2011-12 — is eligible after sitting out last season.
FSU was picked to finish fifth in the ACC by the panel and sixth by the coaches.