Lincoln - Nebraska's 2013-14 women's basketball roster will include four starters from its 2013 NCAA Sweet 16 team, four more significant contributors and three talented freshmen, Coach Connie Yori announced June 18.
The Huskers, who were able to begin summer practice sessions for the 2013-14 campaign on Tuesday, will open the season with an 11-player roster that features returning starters Jordan Hooper, Emily Cady, Hailie Sample and Rachel Theriot.
Hooper, a 6-2 senior forward from Alliance, Neb., returns as a two-time All-American and first-team All-Big Ten selection. The three-year starter enters her senior season on track to become just the third player in school history with 2,000 points and 1,000 career rebounds, while smashing the school's three-point record. Hooper averaged 17.9 points and 8.8 rebounds per game as a junior for a Nebraska team that went 25-9 overall and 12-4 in the Big Ten. She has started 98 consecutive games and is a two-time academic All-Big Ten selection.
Hooper will split her time this summer between Nebraska and the U.S. Basketball World University Game Team. Hooper, who will participate in training camp in Colorado Springs June 25-July 1, will travel with U.S. Basketball to Kazan, Russia, July 8-15.
Cady, a 6-2 junior forward from Seward, Neb., has earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten selections in her first two seasons as a starter for the Husker. Cady averaged 9.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game as a sophomore in 2012-13.
Sample, a 6-1 junior forward from Flower Mound, Texas, has joined Hooper and Cady in Nebraska's starting five for each of the past 67 games. Sample averaged 4.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game as a sophomore, including her first career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds at No. 9 Texas A&M to send Nebraska to its second NCAA Sweet 16 in the past four years.
Theriot started Nebraska's final 28 games as a true freshman. The 6-0 guard from Middleburg Heights, Ohio, captured a spot on the Big Ten All-Freshman Team by averaging 7.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists in conference action. She finished her freshman season with 6.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per contest, despite playing the entire season with a foot injury.
In addition to Nebraska's four solid returning starters, the Huskers welcome the return of juniors Brandi Jeffery, Tear'a Laudermill and Katie Simon, and sophomore Sadie Murren.
Jeffery, a 5-7 guard from Vacherie, La., started Nebraska's first six games of 2012-13, before battling adversity and injury. She finished the season with 3.5 points and 1.9 rebounds per game, and has played in 63 games in her first two seasons with NU.
Laudermill, a 5-9 guard from Riverside, Calif., was one of Nebraska's most improved players throughout 2012-13. She averaged 5.9 points and 1.9 rebounds while playing in 33 of NU's 34 games. She has played in 61 games in her first two years in Lincoln.
Simon, a 6-2 forward from Roseville, Calif., enters her fourth season in the Husker program. She has appeared in 56 games, averaging 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds. Simon is also a two-time academic All-Big Ten selection.
Murren enters her second season with the Huskers after playing 18 games as a true freshman. The 5-8 guard from Colon, Neb., provided solid contributions for NU early in her rookie season before being sidelined by a back injury.
Fellow 2012-13 freshman Courtney Aitken from Dannebrog, Neb., chose not to return to the Husker team for her second season. The 5-9 guard appeared in six early season games before being sidelined by injury in December. She plans to continue her academic career at Nebraska.
The Huskers will try to make up for the loss of 2012-13 seniors Lindsey Moore and Meghin Williams with the addition of three freshmen. Moore, a 2013 first-round WNBA Draft pick, set school records for career assists, starts and minutes played as the top point guard in school history. Williams joined Moore as a four-year contributor to three NCAA Tournament teams and Nebraska's first two NCAA Sweet 16 squads.
Seward High School star Hannah Tvrdy has joined the Huskers for summer workouts to get a head start on her collegiate career. The 5-9 guard was a two-time second-team Super-State and first-team All-Class B selection for three-time state champion Seward. She averaged 15.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and more than four assists per game as a senior.
Nebraska's two other incoming freshmen will join the team later in the summer. Three-sport Michigan high school standout Allie Havers was a finalist for state player-of-the-year honors in basketball, volleyball and softball. She is one of Michigan's top prep pitchers and has led her Mattawan team to the state championships this summer.
The 6-5 forward from Paw Paw, Mich., was a two-time first-team Michigan Class A selection and the two-time Kalamazoo Area Player of the Year. Ranked among the top 80 players in the class of 2013 nationally, Havers averaged 19.3 points, 11.4 rebounds, 3.3 blocks and 2.5 steals per game as a senior.
Esther Ramacieri rounds out the group of NU newcomers. The 5-8 guard from Repentigny, Quebec, Canada, averaged 7.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 3.6 steals for Dawson College in 2012-13. It was her second season in CEGEP at Dawson College after graduating from Felix Leclerc High School.
Nebraska will hold eight practice sessions during the summer to begin preparations for its first season at Pinnacle Bank Arena in 2013-14.