@CanesWBB Signs Dutch National Program Stars
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami women’s basketball team signed two players from the Dutch National Talent Program, CTO Amsterdam, head coach Katie Meier announced Monday.
Guard Laura Cornelius and forward Emese Hof both inked National Letters of Intent to attend Miami and join the Hurricanes for the 2015-16 season.
“This is a great moment for our program, being able to sign two really experienced and composed international players,” Meier said. “The recruiting process was interesting because each player came separately on their visit and their lists of schools were very different. We were the only school that both of them had in common. So, to be able to attract both of them with separate decisions was a real coup for us.”
The 5-foot-8 Cornelius is rated by ProspectsNation.com as the top international point guard in the class of 2015. She is tabbed as a five-star prospect by the website, which ranks her as the third-best international prospect in the class regardless of position. Keil Moore, the International Director of Scouting for ProspectsNation.com, called her “a glue kid with a star-type skill set.”
Cornelius is listed by CTO Amsterdam as the all-time leader in program history in points, assists and steals, as well as third in rebounds. She played 73 games for the organization and was named the Rookie of the Year in the Dutch Eredivisie in 2012.
At the 2013 FIBA U18 European Championship Division A, Cornelius posted 12.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. She led the tournament in free throw percentage, ranked No. 11 in scoring and poured in 26 points while shooting 64.3 percent from the field in a win over Italy.
“The first time I saw Laura play I was so impressed with her leadership, her command of the game, and her vision,” Meier said. “She can play multiple positions in the backcourt. Miami is known for guards that can play the point guard, but can also swing to shooting guard and threaten off the bounce. She’s a triple threat guard with an incredible passion for the game and our fans are just going to love watching her play.”
Hof, at 6-foot-3, also has her name littered throughout the CTO Amsterdam record books, after playing in 79 games. She ranks first in the program’s history in rebounds and blocks, second in points and steals, and fourth in assists.
The frontcourt standout is the No. 14-ranked international prospect in the class of 2015 according to ProspectsNation.com, including fifth among post players. Moore noted that he thinks Hof will “be able to make a contribution early” at Miami.
Hof averaged 7.8 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game at the 2014 FIBA U18 European Championship Division A. She finished sixth in rebounding at the tournament and recorded a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds in the team’s finale against Belgium.
“Emese has a great skill level from the post position. She is comfortable as a face-up post player and she’s got great back to the basket moves. She’s mobile, and she can extend the court with her three-point shooting as well,” Meier said. “Emese is going to be somebody that we can plug into multiple positions as well within our system, and is going to give us a real nice high-low game, which is essential to be successful in the ACC.”
Hof is the second player over six feet tall to sign with Miami in the class of 2015. Zada Williams, a 6-foot-2 forward from Lake Wales (Fla.) High School, inked with the Hurricanes in November.
Miami’s three signees will join seven returning players from a 2014-15 season in which the Hurricanes won 20 games and made the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The team will also add a pair of players who sat out last season due to injury.
“I really believe we return an incredibly talented team, but we absolutely needed to add some more dynamic threats on the offensive and defensive ends.” Meier said. “Having coached against both of these young ladies in the 2013 U19 FIBA World Championship, I know their talent level and I know that they can play against high-level athletes that you will find in the ACC.”
The Hurricanes will trip to Cornelius and Hof’s home country in August when the team visits Amsterdam, Belgium and Paris during a 10-day foreign tour.
“Miami is getting two of the best five players to come out of Europe this class,” Moore said. “I think that’s a major haul when you talk about how good Europe is getting, to get two of the best five . . . Hats off to Katie Meier and her staff for being able to pull that off.”
For more information on University of Miami women’s basketball, follow @CanesWBB.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT CORNELIUS
“Laura is a real floor leader and will always try to lead the team to the next achievement. I think her ability to score and court awareness will be a contribution to any team.” –Remy de Wit, Head Coach, CTO Amsterdam
“I think a big thing with her is obviously she comes in with as much international experience in a player as you’ll find. She . . . has won multiple medals and honors with the Dutch National Team, has competed at the European Championship level and the World Championship level and just as a player I think she gives Miami something different than what they’ve had last couple years . . . A kid I’ve always compared her to is Ashley Houts, who played at Georgia and left Georgia with her name all over the record books. She’s just a tough hard-nosed kid and when you need a play she’s going to be involved in the play.” –Keil Moore
“Laura is a tough player that is very skilled and will keep defenses honest. Her ability to push the ball in transition and make great decisions in the half court, paralleled with her ability to knock down open shots or create for herself off the dribble, is impressive.” –Dan Bowmaker, President, Blue Star Europe
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT HOF
“Emese is a very athletic player who people love to watch because sometimes it looks so easy what she does, with her big smile and great finishes at the rim.” –Remy de Wit
“She’s a kid that’s played a ton of international basketball. She’s been on a lot of the same teams that Cornelius has been on, so just that in terms of playing club and country together you’re going to have two kids that have a feel for each other, kind of have a bond. As far as what she’ll bring to Miami, she’s a 6’3 kid with a great body, chiseled physically. She’s continued to improve, every summer I’ve seen her she’s getting better and better. Offensively, she’s stepping away from the rim, she’s comfortable with the ball in her hands. She’s always been a solid defensive player.” –Keil Moore
“Emese is a player who can back her defender down and score in the low block, but is equally effective taking players off the bounce from the perimeter and cuts very well without the ball. A player with a great basketball IQ, she makes a high percentage of the good shots she takes.” –Dan Bowmaker