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Center's offense provides unexpected boost

By BRIAN LANDMAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 10, 2001


When Florida State women's basketball coach Sue Semrau recruited Levys Torres, she was told to expect plenty of rebounds and blocks.

Points?

Well, did we mention the rebounds? The blocks? Torres, a 6-foot-4 senior center, has supplied the rebounds, averaging a team-high 10.5, up from 4.0 in her first season at FSU after transferring from Chipola Junior College in Marianna. She has 11 blocks through 13 games, two more than in 29 games last season.

"Levys just has an amazing radar for the basketball when it goes off the glass," Semrau said, "And she's continued to hone and develop that."

But Torres has worked as hard on offense. She is averaging 10.7 points, up from 3.8, on 59.5 percent shooting. She already has scored more points than last season.

"That's gravy," Semrau said. "That's not the thing we talk about as her role."

At least not when Torres figured to split time with sophomore Lauren Bradley, a former Class 6A Player of the Year and Miss Florida runner-up out of Lake Mary High. Bradley, who missed nine games last season with a stress fracture, has missed the past seven with a nagging foot problem that trainers are trying to diagnose.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW: The women's team is defying the preseason prognistations. Picked eighth in the ACC, FSU is off to its best league start (2-1) entering tonight's home game against Maryland. That includes a win against then-No. 12 North Carolina State.

Should the preseason voters re-think their ballots?

"It's been a year of recounts, hasn't it?" Semrau quipped.

YOUTH MOVEMENT: With forward Michael Joiner starting every game for the men's basketball team, the Seminoles lead the ACC in games started by freshmen. Five teams -- Duke, Wake Forest, Virginia, Maryland and N.C State -- haven't had a freshman start. N.C. State is the only one not ranked in the Associated Press' top 15.

SOFTBALL CLASS: Softball coach JoAnne Graf has added five prospects for the 2001-02 season: Casey Hunter, one of the top pitchers in Illinois; outfielders Shundra and Shandra Colzie, co-captains at Sante Fe Community College in Gainesville who are related to former FSU football star James Colzie; and third baseman/shortstop Bryttani Lindheim and shortstop/second baseman Tatiana George, both of southern California.

- Brian Landman covers Florida State. He can be reached at (813) 226-3347 or by e-mail at landman@sptimes.com.

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