Women’s basketball season kicks off with six new members

Head Coach Katie Meier is ready to build on the positives from last season while welcoming six new faces to the Miami Hurricanes women’s basketball team.

The Canes added four freshmen to the roster: Laura Quevedo from Madrid, Spain; Keyanna Harris from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; Khalia Prather from Baltimore, Maryland; and Erykah Davenport from Tucker, Georgia.

“We just have so many newcomers that are so important, and so we are still learning the system,” Meier said.

All four stand six feet tall and are poised to receive solid playtime.

One of the freshmen who will have to wait to don the orange and green is guard, Aisha Edwards. She will redshirt this upcoming season because of a torn ACL in her left knee. There was much anticipation for Edwards to play on the hardwood after she enrolled early and spent spring semester with the team.

Also, Michelle Woods and Nigia Greene will both be back in action this season after redshirting last year. Woods broke her sternum and Greene tore her ACL. Greene will now have four years of eligibility and can grow with the other freshman.

Meier said that she was pleased that Woods and Greene will be back.

“There is so much joy for me to just see those two out there,” Meier said.

Last year, Adrienne Motley was the breakout star as a freshman, averaging 11.1 points per game. The point guard was a member of the ACC All-Rookie team and will be expected to lead the Hurricanes to victory.

Fellow sophomore, Jessica Thomas will also provide some experience for the team. She played in all 31 games last year and averaged 5.1 points. Her brother, Lamar Thomas, won two national championships with the Hurricanes as a wide receiver and is a member of the UM Sports Hall of Fame.

Greene is excited for the season and is looking forward to playing as a team. Though the team is young, they are working together and getting along well.

“We gel together. We’re all like sisters, so we have a lot of chemistry on the court,” Green said.

The Hurricanes lost Krystal Saunders and Maria Brown to graduation. Saunders is now on the coaching staff as coordinator of player development. She was the only Hurricane to start every game last season and averaged 8.8 points. Brown was a defensive force with 17 blocks and 27 steals in her senior year.

Last year, Miami finished over .500 with a record of 16-15. The team experienced a few heartbreakers, losing six regular season games by five points or fewer, four of which were Atlantic Coast Conference matchups. The ACC Tournament ended with an overtime loss to Florida State University.

This season, the Hurricanes will seek to garner some of the diligence from last year. The season tips off with an exhibition game against Nova Southeastern Thursday in the BankUnited Center.

Meier is looking forward to the exhibition game.

“If we look good, I’ll be really excited,” Meier said.

Regular season play starts when the Oakland Golden Grizzlies come to town Friday.