#16 Miami (FL) Women's Basketball 2016-2017 Preview

Miami Hurricanes
Overall Rank: #16
Conference Rank: #5 ACC
Miami was a very consistent team throughout the 2015-16 season, winning 24 games and earning a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The postseason run for the Hurricanes ended prematurely as they were upset by South Dakota State 74-71 in the first round out at Stanford. A veteran team returns for head coach Katie Meier for the 2016-17 season led by guard Adrienne Motley, who will make the Hurricanes a force to be reckoned with this season.
2015-16 Record: 24-9, 10-6
2015-16 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Katie Meier
Coach Record: 207-143 at Miami, 283-188 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Michelle Woods, Guard, 6.5 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Adrienne Motley, Senior, Guard, 15.7 ppg
Jessica Thomas, Senior, Guard, 11.7 ppg
Keyanna Hayes, Senior, Forward, 9.1 ppg
Erykah Davenport, Junior, Guard/Forward, 6.2 ppg
Emese Hof, Sophomore, Forward/Center, 8.6 ppg.
Laura Cornelius, Sophomore, Guard, 5.7 ppg
Keyona Harris, Junior, Forward, 2.9 ppg
Nigia Greene, Senior, Guard, 2.9 ppg
Khaila Prather, Junior, Forward, 1.9 ppg
Zada Williams, Sophomore, Forward, 1.9 ppg
Key New Players
Shaneese Bailey, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Florida Atlantic
Serena-Lynn Geldof, Freshman, Center
Sarah Mortensen, Freshman, Guard/Forward
Joining Motley in the backcourt will be Jessica Thomas. Together they form one of the stronger guard combinations in the ACC. Motley and Thomas combined to score just over 27 points per game and shot well from behind the three point line. The season opener on November 11th at Kentucky will be a great opportunity for Miami to make an early statement nationally by knocking off the Wildcats in Lexington. Ohio State will be the opponent in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on December 1st in Columbus and will be another big test as the Buckeyes will push the tempo and try and get the game into the 80’s and 90’s. If the Hurricanes can get great production from Motley and Thomas, along with Keyanna Hayes and Emese Hof down low, they should create matchup problems all season long. Florida State and Norte Dame visit Coral Gables within the first couple weeks of ACC play and it will be important for Miami to get a split at least of those two games to stay in the ACC race all season long. Look for the Hurricanes to win around 23-25 games and make their way back to the NCAA Tournament with a shot to make a deeper run this season.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.7 (61st in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 60.7 (103, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.1 (45, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.4 (112, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.6 (77, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.7 (56, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 63.6 (324, 14)
Rebound Margin: 2.3 (100, 8)
Assists Per Game: 15.6 (38, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.6 (145, 7)