University of Miami

UM Hurricanes women expect two new international players to contribute immediately

Katie Meier during media day for the University of Miami women's basketball team at the BankUnited Center arena on Tuesday, October 13, 2015.
Katie Meier during media day for the University of Miami women's basketball team at the BankUnited Center arena on Tuesday, October 13, 2015. adiaz@miamiherald.com

They might consider having fans drop the green and wear just orange for University of Miami women’s basketball games this season, in honor of the “Double Dutch’’ freshman duo of Laura Cornelius and Emese Hof.

The pair of Dutch youth national team players is expected to have an immediate impact on the Hurricanes program. After seeing them play, UM fans may start wearing clogs to games and throwing tulips on the court.

“I think a lot of people are going to be really, really, really shocked by our Double Dutch girls,’’ said Michelle Woods, a redshirt senior guard. “They bring a lot to the table. I really don’t want to spill any beans, but they have a lot of experience. Everybody is going to be really surprised by how they make us a better team.’’

Cornelius, a 5-8 guard, was considered one of the top international prospects at her position by several recruiting services. In July, she led all players in the Under-19 World Championship with 6.7 assists per game. She is a big reason Netherlands won the bronze medal at the 2015 Under-20 European Championship, that country’s first major medal in women’s basketball. Cornelius chose UM over Duke, Gonzaga, Iowa St. and Kansas St.

Hof also played for Netherlands in the U19 World Championship and the U20 European Championship. She ranked Top 5 in six categories in the world championship, and was also recruited by Syracuse and Vanderbilt.

UM coach Katie Meier said she was hoping to get one of the two Dutch players, and is delighted she got both.

“We’re all shocked at how quickly they’ve picked everything up,’’ Meier said. “It’s nice because we don’t have to slow things down to make progress. They’re just nodding their head in another language, and they just get it. It’s been a lot of fun. They don’t keep the ball too long, so we can play at a really high pace. They just have this vision, and they’re making very high-level plays for us.’’

Their Hurricane teammates have watched with wonder as the Dutch freshmen master the plays with relative ease.

University of Miami women's basketball coach Katie Meier talks about players the upcoming season. Video by Al Diaz / Miami Herald Staff

“It’s surprising and it’s very, very impressive that the second week of practice and they’re already getting all these plays,’’ said junior guard Adrienne Motley, who was voted to the preseason All-ACC team. “It took me my entire freshmen year and into my sophomore year to understand why, when how; and they’ve already gotten it the second week.

“I have a lot of confidence stepping out on the floor with them, and they’re going to make this team really fun to watch.’’

The Hurricanes return eight players, three of them starters, from the 2014-15 team that went 20-13. They were picked to finish sixth in the ACC. Last season they were eighth in the conference with an 8-8 record. Motley led scoring with 16.9 points per game, followed by Jessica Thomas (9.3) and Woods (8.5).

▪ UM opens the season with an exhibition game against Nova Southeastern on Nov. 4. The regular-season opener is Nov. 13 against Wright State. Their non-conference schedule includes a Dec. 2 home game against Illinois in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, and a Dec. 19 game against Baylor at the Florida Sunshine Classic in Winter Park. The ACC schedule features heavyweights North Carolina, Florida State, Duke, Notre Dame and Louisville.

ROSTER

G/F Shaneese Bailey, Jr., 5-9; G Laura Cornelius, Fr., 5-8; F/C Erykah Davenport, Soph., 6-2; G Nigia Greene, Soph., 5-10; F Keyanna Harris, Soph., 6-0; F Keyona Hayes, R-Jr., 6-1; F/C Emese Hof, Fr., 6-3; G Adrienne Motley, Jr., 5-9; F Khaila Prather, Soph., 6-1; G Jessica Thomas, Jr. 5-6; F/C Zada Williams, Fr., 6-2; G Michelle Woods, R-Sr., 5-8.

SCHEDULE

Nov. 4 (Exhibition) Nova Southeastern; Nov. 13 Wright State; Nov. 15 Bethune-Cookman; Nov. 17 @ Old Dominion; Nov. 21 @Loyola-Chicago; Nov. 23 @ Charlotte; Nov. 27 (Miami Thanksgiving Classic) UW-Milwaukee; Nov. 29 (Miami Thanksgiving Classic) La Salle; Dec. 2 @ Illinois; Dec. 4 @ Coppin St.; Dec. 6 @UMass-Lowell; Dec. 19-20 (Florida Sunshine Classic in Winter Park) vs. Baylor, Indiana; Dec. 22 FIU; Dec. 30 NC State; Jan. 3 @Virginia; Jan. 7 Pittsburgh; Jan. 10 @Clemson; Jan. 14 Wake Forest; Jan. 17 @North Carolina; Jan. 24 FSU; Jan. 28 @Virginia Tech; Feb. 1 Syracuse; Feb. 4 @Boston College; Feb. 7 Duke; Feb. 11 @Georgia Tech; Feb. 14 @Notre Dame; Feb. 21 Virginia Tech; Feb. 25 Louisville; Feb. 28 @FSU; March 2-6 ACC Tournament.

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