2023-24 St Thomas More School Season Preview
St. Thomas More School is a college-preparatory school in Oakdale, CT. The school serves grades 8–12 and postgraduate courses. It was established in 1962 by James Hanrahan, a former Fairfield University D1 basketball coach. Over the years, the athletics program at St. Thomas More gained national relevance, especially in basketball, with athletes joining the school to improve their grades and get better opportunities to play at DI level. Last year their basketball team was a Top 15 team in the New England Prep School computer rankings, competing in the NEPSAC Class AAA. They were recently voted #2 in the NEPSAC AAA Preseason Coaches Poll.
The team is head coached by the Basketball Hall of Fame Nominee Jere Quinn , who is in his fifth decade at the helm. He is ably assisted by Milo Luciano and Taylor Mulvey. Their 2023-24 roster is loaded as follows:
#1 Dante Green (2024) 6’2 guard - Ranked #8 in New York Class of 2024 by Prep Hoops. Brother of NBA player Danny Green. He is a persistent downhill guard with incredible positional strength. He has a very stable base and a wide frame which allow him to maintain his driving lines through traffic and contact. Green has shown the ability to knock down shots from various spots on the floor, especially with a fresh lower half, and seems most comfortable shooting off the bounce. He is explosive and comfortable playing above the rim in the open floor or half court.
#2 Justin Menard (2024) 6’3 guard (Iona University commit) - Ranked #18 in New England by NERR. Ranked Top 150 nationally by Rivals. A scorer who also creates for others. Menard is a hardworking point who controls game speed and flow. He is one of the better shooters on any floor and can use his shooting gravity to get into the paint and create rotations. Menard has a wide frame and good length at his size and is often able to use his physicality to create advantages deep downhill. He is developing rapidly as a processor and is a productive live-dribble passer with either hand.
#3 Shamiere Green (2024) 6’3 guard - Green is an explosive downhill athlete who can make plays going both right and left. He is a very efficient rhythm shooter and has demonstrated the ability to string several makes together in short bursts. He has a quick first step and possesses the ability to play above the rim in transition or in traffic. Green has proven he can be a productive secondary ball handler, and his length allows him to defend multiple positions.
#5 Tyler Betsey (2024) 6’8 (University of Connecticut commit) - Ranked # 15 nationally by On 3. Ranked #2 in New England by NERR and Prep Hoops. 2022-23 Gatorade Connecticut Player of the Year. Betsey was one of the most prolific shooters on Nike’s EYBL Circuit, shooting 40% from beyond the arc. Betsey is a zero-gap shooter who provides a ton of spacing as a C&S threat. He has been developing his off the bounce and has shown an ability to attack closeouts and settle in the midrange as well as rely on his touch and length to make plays at the rim. Betsey can defend most positions on the floor and is comfortable defending in space.
#10 Will Davies (2024) 6’4 - 2022-23 Maine Player of the Year at Thorton Academy where he averaged 20ppg, 7rpg, 7 apg and 1.5 spg. Davies is a sturdy and long point with really nice feel and the ability to make threes from the catch and dribble at a high volume. He plays with nice pace in the PNR and uses his shooting gravity as he progresses downhill to pull dropping bigs. Davies creates nicely for others and is often conscious of the entire floor.
#11 London Jemison (2025) 6’8 forward - Ranked as a Top 20 Player in New England by NERR in the 2024 class, prior to reclassing. Recently offered by George Mason. Jemison is a quickly developing wing who has the ability to attack closeouts, handle the ball in PNR/DHO in small samples, and score off the catch as a shooting threat. He is an involved defender who can agitate guards on the perimeter as opposed to just absorption. Jemison has a nice physical makeup and should be able to add mass comfortably throughout the year. He is capable of creating consistent advantages downhill and is trending upward in terms of maximization.
#12 Izaiah Pasha (2024) 6’4 guard - Pasha is a well-rounded offensive combo who can play out front and alleviate ball-handling responsibilities or attack floor tilts outside of the slots. He changes directions well on his gather/pick-ups to manipulate help defenders and has been steadily improving as a processor in order to maximize advantage creation. Pasha has a fluid shot from both C&S and off the bounce.
#13 Abdur De Leon (2024) 6’5 (St Michaels College commit) - Ranked #36 in New England by NERR. De Leon is a knockdown three-point shooter with a good frame to add weight. He has demonstrated at the NEPSAC level that he is capable of making a variety of shots from a variety of places on the floor with minimal space. Additionally, De Leon is a solid secondary ball handler and can attack closeouts to create scoring opportunities for himself inside the line. N
#15 Roy Igwe (2024) 6’6 small forward - Igwe is in from Tokyo, Japan. He was a solid 20ppg and 12rpg man in AAU this summer. He can handle the ball well for his size, and has good feet. He is a great offensive rebounder, and a high academic.
#23 James LaFrance (2024) 6’2 guard - LaFrance averaged 18ppg in Live Period AAU this past season. He can and will shoot it from everywhere. He is powerful going downhill, and competes every possession. LaFrance routinely shuts down scholarship level opposing guards.
#24 AJ Rodriguez (2024) 6’5 guard - Third Team All New York State at Iona Prep. Rodriguez is a steady offensive threat who has demonstrated shot making abilities from several spots off the catch and has a fluid motion off the dribble. He has a nice frame that helps his versatility on both ends of the floor. Rodriguez rebounds well at his position and has shown the ability to create advantages by consistently beating his primary.
#25 Jack Nierado (2024) 6’9 forward - Nierdako is a vertical and wide big who provides steady and aggressive rim protection. He occupies a large amount of interior space and is consistently prepared for dunker spot touches. Nierdako has a good appetite for rebounding and uses his frame and mass well to displace other bigs. He is an incredibly capable C&S threat from three—and his ability to stretch the floor as well as his vertical spacing in the PNR opens many opportunities for creators.
#33 Ben Defty (2024) 7’0 center (Boston University commit) - Defty comes to STM from Germany where he played on the U18 German 18u National team that played for the in European 18u Championship. He uses his D1 high major length and mobility to routinely rack up double doubles,
#35 Ayato Tokunaga (2024) 6’1 guard - Tokunaga is also in from Tokyo, Japan. He is a skilled shooter, who is excellent at moving without the ball finding his spots. He also has a good jump stop bag of tricks when attacking D1 sized rim protectors in the paint. He can handle the ball and run the offense.
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