Canes Draw High Preseason Rankings
Sept. 26, 2011
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The 2011-12 women’s basketball season is fast approaching and never before has there been so much hype for the Hurricanes.
Just six short months ago, the Canes earned their first ACC regular season crown and were invited to the NCAA Tournament as a No. 3 seed – the highest since the 1991-92 season.
UM returns all of its players from a season ago, including reigning ACC Player of the Year and State Farm All-American Shenise Johnson, as well as First Team All-ACC performer and the conference’s leading scorer Riquna Williams. The Canes also return Third Team All-ACC junior forward Morgan Stroman, who like Johnson was a McDonald’s All-American coming out of high school.
CANES IN THE PRESEASON RANKINGS
Italics – 2011-12 Opponent
It comes as no surprise that national publications are starting to take notice.
Slam Magazine has named its Top 10 Preseason List and has ranked the Hurricanes as the country’s No. 4 team.
Athlon Sports has Miami as the fifth-ranked team heading into the season and The Sporting News previews the Canes at No. 10 nationally.
Here is what some publications have to say about Katie Meier’s Hurricanes:
The Skinny: The ACC has a new boss, as the one-two punch of Williams and Johnson, both seniors, combined for 41.3 ppg, 13.6 rpg and 6.7 apg last season. The 6-6 Wilson, a transfer from Pitt, is the key, however. She has to give the Hurricanes (28-5 last year) the inside presence they lacked.
It has been a precipitous rise for the Hurricanes, who went from two ACC wins in 2008-09 to runner-up in the WNIT the next season to claiming a share of the conference title last year. It would be hard to argue against Miami as the ACC favorite in 2011-12, especially with the return of a dynamic tandem in Riquna Williams and Shenise Johnson.
The two seniors make up one of the most dangerous scoring combos in the country. Neither is afraid of hoisting it up from the outside, with Williams the biggest long-range threat after hitting 75 3-pointers last year. Johnson is willing to drive to the basket against anyone and is also an exceptional rebounder for a 5-11 guard. Junior forward Morgan Stroman’s 13.6 points and 8.2 rebounds a game add balance to the dangerous backcourt duo.
As high-powered as the Hurricanes can be with the ball, they are also capable of earning extra possessions. Second to only Oral Roberts in thefts last year, Miami can take it to opponents on either end of the court.
Senior guards Riquna Williams and Shenise Johnson will form the nation’s best backcourt, and that duo could lift the Miami program to new heights. Morgan Stroman, a 6’1″ junior forward, is also back. The final piece of the puzzle for the Hurricanes may be 6’6″ junior Shawnice “Pepper” Wilson, who sat out last year after transferring from Pittsburgh.