Lincoln - A pair of top-50 national recruits led by Nebraska Super-Stater Emily Cady and California star Tear'a Laudermill headline a top-25 recruiting class announced by Nebraska women's basketball coach Connie Yori on Thursday.
Nebraska's four-player class of Cady (Seward, Neb.), Laudermill (Riverside, Calif.), Hailie Sample (Flower Mound, Texas) and Brandi Jeffery (Vacherie, La.), was ranked No. 24 nationally by Collegiate Girls Basketball Report.
In addition to Nebraska's first top-25 recruiting ranking under Yori, the four-player class also adds to the Huskers' coast-to-coast flavor.
"We feel like as a coaching staff we continue to expand our national reach in recruiting, while continuing to attract the top players in the state of Nebraska," Yori said. "We think Emily Cady is going to be the best player in the state of Nebraska this year, and she is a proven winner. Tear'a Laudermill has some outstanding potential both offensively and defensively as a guard, and we also think Hailie Sample and Brandi Jeffery can bring explosiveness and athleticism to both ends of the court for us.
"We are very excited about the potential of this recruiting class, and we are hoping all the players in it have outstanding senior seasons in high school this year."
Cady's journey to Lincoln will be a short one, as her home in Seward is just 30 minutes from the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The 6-2 forward has starred for Coach Tom Tvrdy's Bluejay team that has won 50 consecutive games on its way to back-to-back Nebraska Class B state championships.
A versatile, skilled and team-first player, Cady averaged 9.4 points and 7.2 rebounds per game in 2009-10 on a senior-laden Seward team that featured several current collegiate players. Cady is ranked as the No. 49 player in the nation by Blue Star Basketball, the No. 84 player in the nation by ESPNU/HoopGurlz and the No. 96 player in the nation by the All-Star Girls Report.
Cady is joined in the top-100 national player rankings by Laudermill, who is ranked No. 26 overall by Blue Star. Laudermill is also ranked No. 95 by All-Star Girls Report.
Last season at Canyon Springs High School in Moreno Valley, Calif., Laudermill averaged 16.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 2.8 steals per game. She earned first-team All-California Interscholastic Federation 1A honors.
Sample brings even more versatility and athleticism to the Husker class. A big wing player at 6-1, Sample averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists per game as a junior at Marcus High School in Flower Mound, Texas. In addition to her success on offense, Sample was also a tough, aggressive defender who earned District 6-5A Defensive Player-of-the-Year honors the past two seasons. Sample was an MVP and all-tournament selection at Coach Connie Yori's Nebraska Women's Basketball Camp this summer, and she was an all-tournament pick at the adidas Top 10 camp in Atlanta. She is ranked as the No. 41 wing player in the nation by ESPNU/HoopGurlz.
Jeffery, a native of Vacherie, La., completes the talented Husker class. The 5-7 guard was the leading scorer in the New Orleans metro area as a junior at St. James High School. Jeffery averaged 22.3 points per game while earning first-team Class 3A all-state accolades in 2010. Jeffery is listed as the No. 45 player in the nation at her position by ESPNU/HoopGurlz. Nebraska projects Jeffery as a shooting guard because of her ability to stretch defenses with three-point range that extends well beyond the arc.
6-2, Forward, Seward, Neb. (Seward)
A 2010 Lincoln Journal Star Super-Stater, Emily Cady is a front-runner for Nebraska High School Player-of-the-Year honors in 2011. The 6-2 forward from Seward, Neb., was ranked as the No. 49 prospect in the nation by Blue Star Basketball, and No. 84 overall on the ESPNU/HoopGurlz Top 100. Cady was also No. 96 on the All-Star Girls Report Top 100, right behind future Husker teammate Tear'a Laudermill, who came in at No. 95.
Cady has helped lead Nebraska Class B high school power Seward to back-to-back state championships and a 50-game winning streak her sophomore and junior seasons. Playing for Coach Tom Tvrdy, Cady averaged 9.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game for the Bluejays as a junior in 2009-10.
"Emily Cady comes to our program as a winner. She is an extremely athletic and versatile player who could make an immediate impact for us next year. She is the best player in the state of Nebraska in the class of 2011. At 6-2, Emily is not only a great three-point shooter, she also has all-around guard skills. We're confident Emily will be a great representative of our program and the state of Nebraska."
A versatile and selfless team player as a junior in 2010, Cady was a role player on a senior-laden Bluejay bunch that featured several players who have gone on to play collegiately. Although she has not been relied on as a scorer in her first three seasons at Seward, Cady demonstrated her skill and explosiveness playing for the Cornhusker Shooting Stars select team in the summer of 2010. Cady averaged 20 points per game for Coach Dan Lesoing's team.
Cady has also developed into one of the state's top volleyball players as a senior middle blocker, leading Seward to the Class B state tournament with a 33-1 record.
Cady received scholarship offers from many Big Ten and Big 12 schools before choosing Nebraska over Iowa State and Kansas State.
5-7, Guard, Vacherie, La. (St. James)
Brandi Jeffery is expected to bring some explosive offensive potential to the Nebraska program in 2010-11. The 5-7 shooting guard from Vacherie, La., averaged 22.3 points per game as a junior and 21.9 points per game as a sophomore at St. James High School. A first-team Louisiana Class 3A all-state pick in 2010, and a first-team Class 2A pick in 2009, Jeffery was also a member of the Times-Picayune All-Metro team both seasons after leading the New Orleans metro area in scoring as a sophomore and junior. She was ranked as the No. 45 guard in the nation by ESPNU/HoopGurlz, and was a two-time all-district selection.
A tremendous three-point shooter with the ability to extend the floor with her exceptional range, Jeffery is also an aggressive defensive player. An excellent all-around athlete, she also helped St. James' 4x100-meter relay team to a third-place finish at the 2009 Class 2A state track and field championships.
"A two-time all-state selection in Louisiana, Brandi comes into the Nebraska program with a great scorer's mentality," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "She has the ability to shoot well beyond traditional three-point range and the ability to put the ball on the floor and knock down mid-range jumpers. She could also have a big impact for us on the defensive end of the court because we feel she has the athleticism to guard anyone."
Jeffery chose Nebraska over Mississippi.
5-9, Guard, Riverside, Calif. (Canyon Springs)
One of the top guards in the Class of 2011, Tear'a Laudermill joins the Huskers as one of the best players in the state of California. As a junior at Canyon Springs High School in Moreno Valley, Calif., Laudermill averaged 16.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 2.8 steals per game. She earned first-team All-California Interscholastic Federation 1A honors for a team that finished 27-5 and ranked among the top 25 teams in California, while being ranked as the No. 26 overall player in the nation by Blue Star Basketball.
Laudermill was ranked immediately ahead of future Husker teammate Emily Cady on the All-Star Girls Report Top 100, coming in at No. 95 overall. Laudermill was a first-team CIF All-Southern Section pick, and a first-team All-Inland Empire selection. She produced seven 20-point scoring efforts as a junior, including a season-high 35 points against Hanford. She also scored 30 against Dana Hills. An extremely quick and athletic defensive player, Laudermill also produced seven games with five or more steals, including a season-best eight steals against Moreno Valley. She also used her athleticism to pull down five or more rebounds in 13 games.
In addition to her explosiveness, Laudermill hit 53 three-pointers last year, while also producing 17 games with five or more assists. She notched season highs of nine assists on two occasions for Coach Gail Hale at Canyon Springs.
Laudermill comes from an athletic family, as her father Theron played college basketball at UC Riverside, and is currently an assistant coach on Tear'a's high school team. Her brother, Theron II, is also playing collegiately at Cal State San Bernardino.
"Tear'a could be one of the quickest players to ever wear a Nebraska jersey," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "We will look to her to be a lock-down defender for us, which could give her a chance to have an instant impact on our program next year. Not only is she an outstanding defender, but she can also create shots for herself because of her quickness, which puts a lot of pressure on a defense, while also being able to hit the three. We think Tear'a is the kind of player who can be a difference-maker in our program for years to come."
Laudermill chose Nebraska over Arizona State, Kansas and Vanderbilt.
6-1, Guard/Forward, Flower Mound, Texas (Marcus)
A talented wing player from Texas, Hailie Sample will join the Nebraska program after an impressive career at Marcus High School. Sample averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists per game as a junior in 2009-10. In addition to her success on offense, Sample is also an aggressive and tough defensive player, who was named the District 6-5A Defensive Player of the Year the past two seasons. She helped Marcus to a 23-13 overall record as a junior.
The 6-1 guard/forward is a three-time first-team District 6-5A selection, while also being named an all-star at the adidas Top 10 camp in Atlanta. Sample also attended Coach Connie Yori's Nebraska Women's Basketball Camp over the summer and was named the camp's Most Valuable Player and a member of the all-tournament team. She was ranked as the No. 41 wing player in the nation by ESPNU/HoopGurlz.
"Hailie is a big guard who is very versatile and can score in many different ways," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "She can shoot the three, and at 6-1 can handle the ball with the ability to create shots for herself and her teammates. She is the kind of player that creates some major mismatches for the defense because of her ability to score on the low block as well. Along with her offensive upside, Hailie was a two-time district defensive player of year in Texas. She is a tough player who competes hard on both ends of the court."
Sample also competed for the North Texas Shockers club team coached by John Shields. She averaged 20 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists per game for the Shockers, who won the Deep South Classic in April and the Run for the Roses in July.
A talented all-around athlete, Sample will also be a four-year letterwinner in track and field, competing in both the shot put and discus. She set Marcus High School records on her way to winning the 6-5A District title in both events in 2010. Sample is also a member of the English Honor Society, an officer on the student council, and a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Sample chose Nebraska over North Carolina State.