Second-year Utah women’s basketball head coach Lynne Roberts has signed a great class for next season with four very talented players: wing Jordan Cruz, guard Dru Gylten, guard Tori Williams, and center Maurane Corbin. Corbin continues the Canadian basketball pipeline to the Utah women’s basketball team. Coach Roberts is doing a great job rebuilding a team that won only seven Pac-12 games in the two years prior to her arriving at Utah.
Below is the complete press release from the University of Utah:
SALT LAKE CITY – The University of Utah women's basketball program announced the singing of four student-athletes to National Letter of Intent, Ute head coach Lynne Roberts announced Wednesday.
"Our program is thrilled to be able to announce the signing of these four outstanding student-athletes. All four were highly recruited and we anticipate them to make a significant impact in our program as we move forward.," coach Roberts said. "Not only are they all fantastic basketball players, they are all great students who take just as much pride in their academics as their athletics."
Jordan Cruz, a 5'10" wing from California playing under Coach Kelly Sopak with the Cal Stars AAU team, will expand the Ute's offense with her ability to shoot the basketball. Cruz averaged 16.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3 steals per game at McClatchy H.S. last season. She broke her school record with 13 made 3-pointers in a game, one shy of the state record.
"Jordan is, without question, one of the best shooters in the country in the 2017 class," Roberts said." She has an extremely quick release and is confident in her ability. She has toughness, can rebound and she runs the floor well. Jordan will be a player we rely on to stretch defenses, as she can score the ball in bunches."
Dru Gylten joins the Utes from Minnesota as an athlete able to play several roles for the program. The 5’11" guard plays with the North Tartan AAU squad under Bill Larson and Coach Brandon Kandolin at St. Thomas Moore H.S. where she averaged 7.8 points per game, 4.3 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 2.1 blocks per contest as a junior.
"Dru is one of the savviest basketball players I've recruited. She has a basketball IQ that is off the charts – she sees plays develop and is able to read, react, and make the right play," Roberts explained. "She is a tremendous passer, but Dru can also score and defend at an elite level. Dru can play the 1, 2 or the 3 and her versatility will allow her to be a valuable contributor immediately.
Another guard, Tori Williams plays under Coach Chambrick Williams with the Idaho Flash AAU program and her high school coach Cassie Bro. At 5'9", Williams is an ESPN 2017 Top 100 player and is expected to being an immediate flare to the perimeter. She was named First-Team 5A All-State in 2016 and USA Today First-Team All-Idaho in 2015.
Williams led her school to a second-place finish at the stat tournament, averaging 16.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.4 steals and 3.3 assists while shooting 44 percent from the floor and 42 percent from 3-point range.
"Tori has a true feel for the game, which is fun to watch. She has a scorer's mentality, in that she can really knock down the 3 and can also create off the dribble, get to the basket, and pass or finish, Roberts said."
Roberts added height to her second singing class with 6'5" post player Maurane Corbin. The Canadian plays in Montmorency, Quebec under coach Martin Fortier. Corbin spent 2016 as a member of the Development National team, averaging 12.2 minutes and 2.8 rebounds in five exhibition games in the Prague Open. She played in 17 games in the 2015-16 season scoring 9.7 points per game, while grabbing 8.8 rebounds and dishing out 2 assist per contest.
"Maurane is a tremendous 'get' for our program. She is tall, long, extremely mobile, athletic and active. She played this past summer with 3 current Utes on the Canadian National Developmental team, and her signing with us keeps our Canadian recruiting as strong as ever," Roberts proclaimed. "Maurane is a true post player, but also has potential to play on the perimeter with her shooting ability. She brings experience and a maturity to our program and we are confident she will be an impact player in the Pac-12."
"My staff worked really hard for us to be able to sign a class of this caliber. All four of these players have a passion for basketball and they all strive to be the best at everything they do. Simply put, they fit our program's culture." Roberts said. "I'm excited for these players to officially be Utes!"
The women’s basketball team opens the 2016-17 season on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 2:00 p.m. MDT against Montana State at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.