FORT MYERS, Fla.- With one of the top returning players in the country coming back to lead the way and a group of talented newcomers taking the floor for the Buccaneers, the Florida SouthWestern Women's Basketball program has been ranked #3 in World Exposure Report's Way-Too-Early NJCAA D1 Women's Basketball Top 25.
The Bucs are coming off of a 24-7 campaign in which they finished the season ranked 12th in the country. They earned the #10 seed for the NJCAA National Tournament before it was cancelled due to Covid-19. FSW is led by Sheslanie Laureano who was a 1st Team All-Conference selection and a finalist for World Exposure's National Freshman of the Year a season ago when she averaged 15.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game as a rookie. The Bucs also return Geovana Rios who played in all 31 games as a freshman as well as a much improved A'Moni Waiters and Kyriaki Taylor. The Bucs starting lineup will be young, with at least three newcomers projected to break into the starting five. FSW will also gain a boost from a pair of Division I transfers joining them at the break in time for the 2021 campaign.
The rankings are dominated by the FCSAA with four of the top seven and five total teams from the Sunshine State in the top 25. Northwest Florida topped the rankings after their FCSAA State Championship season from a year ago with Jones County behind them and Gulf Coast, Trinity Valley, Casper and Chipola following the Bucs.
FSW's road back to Lubbock won't be an easy one in 2021 as they open the season on the road at Wallace State before taking on Chipola, Gulf Coast, and Northwest Florida, all ranked in the top seven of World Exposure's rankings, the next two weekends.