Miami women’s basketball 2020-2021 preview: Freshmen

Freshman forward/guard Nyayongah Gony drives to the basket during practice this fall. Photo credit: Twitter, @CanesWBB
Freshman forward/guard Nyayongah Gony in the practice facility.
Freshman forward/guard Nyayongah Gony drives to the basket during practice this fall. Photo credit: Twitter, @CanesWBB

The Miami women’s basketball team will be back competing on the court in just a few days. The Canes are resuming game play for the first time since March, when the coronavirus pandemic shut down college athletics. However, the team will look a little different this season after adding a couple of fresh faces to its roster. In the offseason the Canes welcomed two high-prospect freshmen to the team.

Despite the small recruiting class, the Hurricanes bring in a wealth of talent. Joining the Canes from Olesa de Montserrat, Spain is Paula Fraile Ruiz, who adds to the international experience on the team. Standing at 6-foot-4, Ruiz adds a lot of height to this Canes roster and her length makes her a naturally gifted power forward.

She spent four seasons competing in the Liga Femenina 2 de Baloncesto, the second division league of women’s basketball in Spain. She also spent time representing her country in multiple competitions hosted by the International Basketball Federation. Her international playing experience should transition to a high level of play in the ACC.

Nyayongah Gony, a 6-foot-2 freshman from Lincoln, Nebraska also joined the Canes this offseason. Gony is listed on the roster as a forward and a guard, however her versatility on the court makes her more of a position-less player. Head coach Katie Meier described her as a “perimeter player” on ACC women’s basketball media day and says that the team is aiming to play a more position-less game.

“We don’t have a specific post player,” Meier said. “But we have a lot of length.”

Gony was the No. 56 overall player in her recruiting class and is listed as a four-star prospect by espnW HoopGurlz. Her constant presence around the perimeter will help contribute to the new fast pace and position-less offense the Canes are trying to implement this season. Under the guidance of the veteran players, both of these freshmen should be able to make a considerable impact on the team.