CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The University of Miami women's basketball 2013 early signing class is ranked No. 11 in the nation by the All Star Girls Report.
Head Coach Katie Meier officially announced the program's signees on Thursday. The group, comprised of three high school standouts, is Adrienne Motley (Newport News, Va.), Nigia Greene (Atlanta, Ga.) and Jessica Thomas (Gainesville, Fla.). The trio will join the Hurricanes for the 2013-14 academic year.
"This signing class will be another Top 20 class and I think that has become the norm at the University of Miami," head coach Katie Meier said. "That is a total credit to my staff for the efforts they have committed to recruiting, in addition to the success we have been having on the court.
"Recruiting is the lifeline of any major program. We went up against some big time programs this year and were successful in getting three very dynamic, athletic and threatening guards."
Motley, a 5-9 guard from Woodside High School, has been ranked the No. 27 overall prospect and the seventh best point guard in the nation by ESPN HoopGurlz.
Averaging 24.3 points per game in her junior season, Motley lead the Wolverines past tournament favorite DFW-Elite 2012 for an upset win. Despite a broken nose, she delivered timely free throws and defensive stops to secure the victory. As the undisputed team leader, Motley was recognized by ESPN as being a court-aware, athletic penetrator with a knack for scoring.
"Adrienne is a complete player," Meier said. "She is polished, smooth and has a very high basketball I.Q. She loves our style of play and is a perfect fit for our system. She is also that multidimensional guard that can play the point and bring you the cerebral game, while being able to move off the ball and score in bunches.
"She is a floor leader, and she and I have a 'like mind'. I'm really excited to have someone that can think the game and play fast. She will be a very successful player at the University of Miami."
Nigia Greene is a four-star prospect according to ESPN HoopGurlz. She is ranked No. 41 overall, and the ninth-best guard in the nation.
The 5-10 guard transferred from Southwest Atlanta to St. Francis High School before her junior season, in which she averaged 18.6 points, 2.0 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game. She led the Knights to the third round of the 2012 Georgia Girls State Basketball Playoffs.
"Nigia is very athletic, but also is a high I.Q. wing player who will give our fans some of the same athleticism and open-court play that we have gotten used to at Miami," Meier said. "She is extremely skilled and fundamental, which is rare in a player that is known as a slasher.
"Defensively, I think she has a chance to be one of the best players we have ever signed. I think she will shore up that wing position for us. She comes from a super background and is another special person that we are excited to have."
Jessica Thomas is ranked the 48th best point guard in the nation by ESPN HoopGurlz. In 2011, the 5-6 guard led the Buchholz High School Bobcats to the semifinals of the Florida Girls State Basketball Playoffs. She is the younger sister of Hurricane legend Lamar Thomas.
"Jessica is already a Cane, with her brother, Lamar, having his history at The U," Meier said. "She is so excited to be a part of the family, but I think she is going to surprise everybody. She is a little bit under the radar, but we have had our eye on her for a long time and have been able to see her grow and develop.
"We have had her at our camps and she's very hard to guard. She's a little reminiscent of Renee Taylor, in that she pushes tempo, is always in attack mode and can also play off the ball and get herself free for some shots. She has an incredible motor. She was one of the most competitive kids I saw all summer in the recruiting circuit.
"This combination of these three guards is quite a statement for where our program is going. They are all very different from each other, but they all share passion for the game and play with an extremely high level of intensity, which has me the most excited."
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
McCormick of All Star Girl's Report Recruiting Service
Miami comes in with the No. 11 recruiting class in the country. The ACC dominated the top recruiting classes across the country. Miami has definitely replenished their backcourt. They have had extraordinary guards in the past and will continue for the future. They are set for four years.
Green is a big time guard with great all-around game. She is a big guard and can score. Will impact the program from Day One.
Motley is great athlete and is tremendous with the ball in her hands. She will run the show for the Canes.
Thomas is explosive to the rim, understands the game with a good skill set. Thomas is a sleeper.
Moore of PeachStateBasketball.com
With their 2013 recruiting class, University of Miami coach Katie Meier and her staff looked to add quality perimeter scoring options. The additions of Nigia Greene of Atlanta, Ga., Adrienne Motley of Newport News, Va., and Jessica Thomas of Gainesville, Fla., will do just that.
In 2012, Meier and her staff focused on post play with their recruiting class, which earned a No. 19 ranking nationally. This year, in an effort to balance the roster Miami focused on the perimeter when they went up to Atlanta, Ga., to score a 5-foot-10 wing like Greene who plays the game with a smoothness and brings a nice shooting touch every time she takes the floor. Greene has the size and athleticism to play both wing positions at the next level and should be able to contribute early in her career.
Joining Greene in the backcourt will be 5-foot-9 point guard Adrienne Motley who is coming off an excellent summer playing on the club basketball circuit. Motley should be an excellent fit in Coral Gables as she has the ability to push the ball and make quality decisions in transition, but can also orchestrate the pick and roll and make plays in the halfcourt.
The third addition to the University of Miami for the class of 2013 is Jessica Thomas, Thomas is an instate pick up who seems to be a great fit for the style of play at the University of Miami. The 5-foot-6 point guard likes to push the ball in transition and look for teammates early in the break. The Gainesville, Fla., resident will give Miami quality depth in their backcourt and a point guard that they can count on to take care of the basketball and run the offense.
Olson of Collegiate Girl's Report
Jessica Thomas, the sister of Miami great Lamar Thomas, is a very tough point guard. UM has a knack to find the sleeper in a class. She has had a great high school career to this point. She may not be the highest rated, but I'm well aware of who she is. She exhibits speed and athleticism and is a good fit to run Miami's style of play.
Adrienne Motley is a big ultra-athletic combo guard that can fill it up. She plays up-tempo, can create her own shot and knocks down mid-range jumpers. Katie Meier has made Miami a national name to be able to attract players of this caliber.
Nigia Greene, like Motley, is another guard with good size and athleticism. If not for a knee injury last season, would have been a Top 30 player. She is clearly one of the nation's top guards.The Hurricanes have addressed their backcourt needs, as all three are capable of competing at a high level in the ACC.