© St. Petersburg Times, published February 19, 2003
Despite its impressive third-place standing in one of the nation's strongest leagues, the Florida State women's basketball team is hardly sitting pretty for the postseason.
The Seminoles (15-8, 7-5 ACC) have lost three straight, including to struggling Maryland at home last weekend. Their RPI (a ratings index), once in the low 40s, has fallen to 62 -- prime bubble bursting territory.
And now they play on the road, at Georgia Tech today and at Virginia on Sunday, before closing the regular season at home against ACC-leading and No. 2-ranked Duke and Clemson.
"We feel like we've had some breakdowns defensively ... and we've got to do a good job of making some adjustments," coach Sue Semrau said.
It will help that sophomore forward Genesis Choice is back. A family emergency forced her to miss the past two games. She leads the team in blocks (20) and is second in scoring (7.8 ppg) and rebounding (5.3 rpg).
"We hit a little stretch of adversity playing without Genesis," Semrau said. "We had to play (injury-plagued) Lauren (Bradley) not only more minutes in the games, but more minutes in practice. Now getting Genesis back, that will give us a little bit of boost."
WILSON UPDATE: Sophomore basketball guard Andrew Wilson, who had surgery on his right (shooting) hand in mid December, had his cast taken off Feb. 7 and began rehabilitation the next day. Doctors predicted up to a month for rehab, which would keep him out until the ACC Tournament.
Do not be surprised if FSU petitions the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility for the hard-luck Wilson, who injured his right knee after playing seven minutes in the opener last year and did not return.
WEEKLY AWARD: Junior catcher Tony Richie, who went 5-for-11 with two homers and nine RBI in a weekend series sweep of Evansville, was named the ACC's baseball player of the week. Richie is hitting .324 for the Seminoles (8-1), who play host to Appalachian State Friday through Sunday.
LOOKS AREN'T EVERYTHING: Despite the gutted facade, Dick Howser Stadium can still pack them in for baseball games. FSU's home opener against Evansville on Friday drew an announced 3,751.
IN THE SWING OF THINGS: The softball team had been struggling offensively to start the season, but hit .394 in last weekend's Sunshine State Tournament. Nine players hit .333 or better in the four games. Overall, the team's batting average soared 47 points to .299 entering Tuesday's game against Florida A&M.
Good timing, too. The No. 9-ranked Seminoles head to Columbus, Ga., for the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Leadoff Classic Friday through Sunday and will face three ranked teams in pool play: No. 21 Pacific, No. 23 Oregon State 23 and No. 25 UMass. Eighteen teams in the NFCA poll will be there.
GARNET & GOLD GAME: The football team begins spring practice on March 18 and will play its annual spring game April 12.
THE LAST WORD: "I see him as a game-breaker." -- FSU coach Bobby Bowden on Plant City receiver/running back Joslin Shaw, a recent signee.
-- Brian Landman covers Florida State athletics. He can be reached at (813) 226-3347 or by e-mail at email@example.com