When you have won back-to-back league championships, and were just named the favorite to win the regular season title again, you do not rebuild, instead you reload. Such is the case for the defending champions of the America East Conference, the Vermont Catamounts. Head coach John Becker did have some work to do with his roster for the 2023-24 season. Eight new players will wear the uniform this season. Five guards and three forwards, with four of them being transfers and four being first-year players. Here is a look at the new arrivals to the program.
Noah Barnett is a 6-9 forward from Poughkeepsie, NY who played last season at Don Bosco Prep, a team that was ranked #1 in New Jersey and #30 in the country by MaxPreps. Barnett averaged 11.3 points last year, one of two players who averaged double-figures. He is a versatile player with a skill set that is still developing. Coach Becker believes he has a bright future with the Catamounts.
Shamir Bogues is a 6-4 guard from Killeen, Texas who spent three seasons at Tarleton State. He was the captain and defensive MVP of last year’s squad. Over the past two campaigns, Bogues has earned All-Wac defensive honors. In 2022-23 he averaged 9.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, and two steals. The steals led the league. He is considered an elite defender.
Seth Joba is a 6-9 forward from Orchard Park, NY played at Brighton Academy in Maine last season. He was named the top player in the state after being named to the first team of the All-NEPSAC league. Thought to be a very good offensive player that still needs some work on the other end of the floor.
TJ Long was the Sixth Man of the Year in the MAAC a year ago playing for Fairfield. In two seasons for the Stags, Long shot 35.7% from deep and averaged 8.8 points a game. Last season off the bench, Long averaged 11.8 points and was #5 in the league in three-pointers per game at 2.1.
Brenton Mills is a 6-3 guard who transfers to Vermont after two seasons in the backcourt of Bowling Green State. Before that, he spent some time at Binghamton University. Coach Becker thinks Mills can score at all three levels. He hopes to provide him with an important role on the team.
Michael Mora came 3,000 thousand miles to play at Vermont. The 6-6 forward from Palo Alto California graduated from the Asheville School in North Carolina. He was a two-year captain and won three NCISAA championships while there.
Another Californian from Santa Monica is Charlie Moore who came north to play hoops. The 6-4 guard played at New Hampton School. Charlie is a hard-working player who can shoot the ball.
Jace Roquemore earned his communication degree last spring at UC San Diego. The 6-5 guard decided to come to Vermont for one more year of basketball. Over the last two years at UCSD, he started every game and averaged 6.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.9 assists. His ability to play multiple positions could be a real key for the Catamounts this season.
Vermont has already played one exhibition game. Last Saturday, they played Catholic and won the game by an 85-59 score. Ten players scored in the game, and three finished in double-figures. The Catamounts shot 56.6% from the field (30-for-53) and 40.7% from deep (11-of-27) TJ Long dropped a game-high 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Vermont will play one more preseason game vs St. Michaels on November 1. They open their season on the 6th of November when they host Merrimack.
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