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Miami Women Add Three in Early Signing Period

Miami Women Add Three in Early Signing Period

The University of Miami women’s basketball program has signed three players to the 2011 incoming class, as announced Wednesday by head coach Katie Meier.

The three members of the class are Michelle Woods of Naples, Fla., junior college transfer Jessica Capers of Gastonia, N.C. and Tyler Hobgood of Oxford, N.C.

“I think we have reached the point in our recruiting where we can narrow down our classes and recruit to very specific needs,” said Meier. “This class addresses a lot of our future needs in that all three young ladies are tremendous defenders and rebounders, as well as prolific scorers. We have added tremendous size – in the post and perimeter – and all of these young ladies play with a certain grit and physicality that you need to win ACC ballgames.”

Woods, out of Naples Community School has been ranked as high as the No. 44 overall prospect by ESPN HoopGurlz and as the 10th best shooting guard by All Star Girls’ Report.

Several minor injuries limited her playing time as a junior, but following her sophomore season, Woods was named the Florida 2A Player of the Year – leading her school to a state title after scoring 20.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 4.4 steals per game.

“It is nice to sign yet another young lady from Florida that brings player of the year honors. We like to `make statements’ in our own backyard and keeping Michelle Woods `home’ is a huge moment in our program’s development,” added Meier. “Michelle is very well-coached by her father Mitch. They are a basketball family (her brother is a freshman at Appalachian State) and as a result, Michelle brings one of the highest basketball IQ’s of any young lady we have signed. She’s a fierce competitor on both ends of the floor and goes into every ballgame expecting to be the reason her team wins. She’s going to carry on our recent tradition of dynamic, all-purpose guards.”

Originally from Gastonia, N.C., Capers signed to play at West Virginia in 2007, but a knee injury sidelined her for her freshman season. During the Mountaineers’ 2009-10 campaign, the 6-2 forward saw action in 18 games, but she decided to transfer to Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, Fla. at the conclusion of the season.

Two games into her Indian River career, Capers has already led her squad to the Daytona Tournament Championship after posting a combined 28 points and 18 rebounds. At Forestview High School, Capers averaged 18.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. She became the first person in school history to score over 1,300 points and grab over 1,000 rebounds.

Capers is ranked as the No. 3 overall junior college power forward in the country and 10th overall JC prospect according to the Dan Olson Collegiate Report.

“The signing of Jessica Capers will really turn some heads nationally. Although she will have just one year of junior college ball, we believe she will have an incredible impact this year and be `ACC-ready’ next fall, said Meier. “She is extremely physical and competitive and brings NCAA tournament experience to us from her time at West Virginia. We love her maturity, her versatility and her drive to be great. She’s capable of being a double-double performer and we expect her to come in and have a major impact on both ends of the floor.”

Hobgood, a 6-1 power forward from JF Webb High School enters her senior season with a long list of accolades. She has already been named an all-conference performer on three occasions and has led her league in rebounding each of the last three seasons. Behind her aggressive play, JF Webb has won its conference’s regular season championship three straight years.

“Tyler is not on a lot of scouting services’ radars, but she will be a big surprise here at Miami before her career is over,” added Meier. “She has a natural length and athleticism that meshes well with our multiple defensive schemes and she will be able to run the floor and make some special plays in the open court. We love having an aggressive shot blocker – and Tyler is just that. Her timing is special and I am certain that she will develop quite well in our system.”

In addition to this year’s signees, Miami’s Shawnice `Pepper’ Wilson will be eligible to play during the 2011-12 season as she will sit out the 2010-11 campaign to comply with the NCAA’s transfer requirements. At 6-6, Wilson will provide the `Canes with a formidable post presence. A member of the BIG EAST’s Pitt Panthers for two seasons, Wilson averaged 6.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game and was named to the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team in 2009.

“Having Pepper with us for a year has already paid huge dividends. She’s a natural leader and just an incredibly bright young lady. She will be an absolute force in the paint for us and will totally change the way teams have to prepare in facing Miami. Pepper is one of the few truly dominant centers in the country, yet she possesses surprising speed as well. She’s a huge piece of our vision and plan for continued success on the national level,” concluded Meier.

The Hurricanes open their 2010-11 season on Friday, Nov. 12 at the BankUnited Center as they play host to Kennesaw State at 12 p.m. as part of UM’s Fifth-Annual Youth Day.

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