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Bradbury: Lobo women’s recruits ‘can really play’

Sandia senior Viane Cumber, right, is one of three recruits for the University of New Mexico women’s basketball program from the high school Class of 2021. (Greg Sorber/Journal)

Mike Bradbury doesn’t mind at all if his 2021 recruiting class flies just under the national radar. He’s confident it will soar when the time comes.

Bradbury, the University of New Mexico’s fifth-year women’s basketball coach, was in high spirits Wednesday after his program officially signed three high school guards. All three bring intangibles to go with their obvious talents, he said.

The Lobos received signed national letters of intent from Albuquerque’s Viané Cumber and Californians Mackenzie Curtis and Aniyah Augmon.

“It’s a high-character, high-motor group,” Bradbury said, “and it’s absolutely a class that packs a lot of s punch. If you look at the whole package, this is a great class. I’m really happy.”

It’s also an unusual class.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, neither Curtis nor Augmon visited UNM’s campus before committing. Both players viewed the school, its facilities and Albuquerque through a virtual tour — something many schools have been forced to adopt during the pandemic.

Cumber, meanwhile, is plenty familiar with UNM but became a Lobo only after decommitting from Texas Tech when that program’s head coach was dismissed after charges of player mistreatment during the summer.

Bradbury does not expect this recruiting class to rank overly high on national scouting service rundowns, but he believes the group will punch above its perceived weight.

“These girls didn’t play on big-name club teams,” Bradbury said. “They may not have been on everyone’s radar, but they were definitely on ours. They can really play, I’m telling you.”

Here’s a quick look at Wednesday’s signees.

■ Cumber (5-foot-10, Sandia High School): New Mexico’s Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior, Cumber had a variety of Division I programs from which to choose. A matchup nightmare for opponents, she averaged 22.6 points, 10.6 rebounds and 3.4 steals per game for the Matadors. Cumber’s older brother, Adam, played men’s basketball at UNM.

“Viané brings versatility and size to the guard spot,” Bradbury said, “and her ability to score is tremendous.”

■ Augmon: (5-8, Woodside Priory HS, Portola, California): The speedy cousin of former UNLV and NBA standout Stacey Augmon, Aniyah is adept at attacking the basket and playing lockdown defense. She averaged 14.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and a whopping 4.6 steals per game as a junior.

“Aniyah is a very good defender who has a chance to be an elite defender,” Bradbury said. “She can score in a number of ways and brings great athleticism.”

■ Curtis: (5-10, El Capitan HS, Lakeside, California): Curtis brings instant offense to the court and is considered a difficult matchup because of her abilities to score inside and from beyond the 3-point arc. She ranked among the national scoring leaders as a junior, averaging 24.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 3.2 steals.

“Kenzie is one of the best shooters I’ve ever seen,” Bradbury said.

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