Dutch duo adds dynamic element to Miami women’s basketball

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Esme Hof

The Hurricanes added some flair to their lineup this past spring with the signings of Dutch natives guard Laura Cornelius and forward Emese Hof. The freshmen played together at Caland Lyceum high school in Groningen, Netherlands and on the Dutch youth national squad.

“They’re awesome adults,” Head Coach Kate Meier said. “They are amazing people that will bring a new wrinkle.”

The duo already has extensive experience to bring to the team. Along with playing in the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Under-19 World Championship and the 2015 FIBA Under-20 European Championship, Cornelius is the all-time leader in points, assists and steals in the Dutch National Talent Program (CTO Amsterdam). She helped the Netherlands win bronze at the 2015 Under-20 European Championship and was considered the top international point guard by various recruiting services.

Hof also played in the Under-19 World Championship as well as the Under-20 European championship and is first in rebounds and blocks in the CTO Amsterdam record books.

“They do not play like freshman,” Meier said. “There’s a play we’ve run for a million years and they’ve already had me tweak it a little bit based on some of the experience and success they had. Those kinds of things are happening and it’s awesome.”

Cornelius and Hof will help Miami primarily with their flexibility and dynamic styles of play. Cornelius is comfortable playing both guard positions and has been praised for her ability to lead, something that is essential to playing the point.

Although she is only 19 years old, Hof is already a savvy player down low. She is skilled at making smart moves near the rim in order to get a solid shot off. She is also capable of playing a variety of positions and drawing defenders away from the basket, which helps the team implement the high-low game Meier strives for.

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Laura Cornelius

“They will get a lot of playing time,” Meier said. “We’re all really comfortable with them. They make us a lot more settled.”

While it looks like the duo will be sure to see the court, it is not yet clear what their roles will be.

“Do you put [Erykah] Davenport and Hof in together?” Meier wonders. “If we can get there, that’s going to be good for us. That’s a great defensive rebounding team, but then does the offense slow down? So those are the things that we’re just still working through.”

Catch the Dutch duo and the rest of the team’s first regular season game against Wright State at 11 a.m. on Friday in the BankUnited Center.