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A senior class that will be missed

2008 grads changed the face of ’Deis basketball

Published: March 21, 2008
Section: Sports


the_hoot_3-21-08final_page_11_image_0004.jpgThis year, we say good bye to eight members of the Men’s and Women’s varsity basketball squads. In their collegiate careers, their efforts have helped turn Brandeis hoops from laughing stocks to title contenders. Coaches Brian Meehan and Carol Simon will have some sizable shoes to fill in the next year, and they must quickly look ahead to the 2009 campaign. In the meantime, though, we’ll take a look back at each senior, and we give our thanks for the memories.
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Jaime Capra

The number two all time leading scorer for the Brandeis Judges, Jaime Capra proved to be a true pillar for Coach Simon’s squad. The fiery Capra would leave it all on the court, sacrificing her body on the floor to get the basket and grab the rebound. Capra made her presence felt from the very beginning, starting in 24 games in her rookie year and being named UAA Rookie of the Year for 2004-05, averaging 12.9 points and 5.3 rebounds. In each year of her career, Capra has averaged over ten points and five boards each year and for the last three years has played a large role in leading the Judges to the NCAA’s. This year was no exception, as she finished third in the UAA with 14.7 points per game in the regular season and fifth in rebounds with 6.8 per game. Her 25 points helped fuel Brandeis’s opening round upset of Southern Maine in the NCAA tournament. Capra was named the UAA’s Co-Player of Year and All-UAA first team; Coach Simon will have her work cut out for her replacing such a dynamo for the team.
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Kiersten Holgash

Where Capra is a fiery player, Holgash approached the games with more of a “cool” demeanor. Holgash had the difficult position of stepping in as starting point guard following the graduation of All-Time assists leader Amanda DeMartino ’06 and in her two years as a starter, she has not disappointed. Holgash finished fourth in the UAA in assists with 3.32 per game in the regular season. While Holgash was not as prolific a player as Capra, her steady leadership and all around consistency helped guide the Judges, and she played just as big a role in the Judges’ last two NCAA appearances. Holgash was recognized by the UAA with an Honorable Mention.

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Courtney Tremblay

Working off the bench, Courtney Tremblay provided size and defensive presence for Coach Simon to utilize. When summoned to action, she was always a threat to go for the outside shot and stop the opponent’s best shooters.

Kwame Graves-Fulgham

Brandeis’ all-time assist leader, Graves-Fulgham provided leadership and stability for the Judges’ at the point. Graves-Fulgham finished out his career averaging 6.5 points, 4.1 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game. His assist total was fourth highest in the UAA. While not a flashy player, Kwame’s impact was made beyond the stat sheet. A sturdy defensive threat, he could always be counted on to bring order back on the court when needed. How the Judges will continue without the steady hand of Graves-Fulgham leading the attack remains to be seen.

Joe Coppens

When Steve DeLuca went down with an injury, someone had to step up and become “the guy” as Coach Meehan put it. That man was Joe Coppens. A very good player in his own right, Coppens stepped his game up to new heights in his final year, earning First Team All-UAA honors with the sixth highest scoring average (15.0), second in free throw percentage (87.1 percent) and fifth in three point percentage (43.0 percent). Coppens also finished second on the team in rebounds with 5.2 per game. Brandeis owes a lion’s share of its Elite Eight run to the inspired play of Coppens. Inside, outside, offense and defense, it was rare that he could be stopped. Coppens finished 21st on the all-time scorers list with 1,098.

Stephen Hill

Doing the dirty work down low, Hill stepped up big for the Judges this season, earning All-UAA Honorable Mention, and averaging 7.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. His clutch rebound against Plattsburgh helped secure Brandeis’ advancement into the Elite Eight.

Florian Rexhepi

2005 UAA Rookie of the Year, Rexhepi proved to be a valuable reserve for Coach Meehan, starting in 10 games, and averaging 4.9 points and 1.5 rebounds per game. A true player of character, Rexhepi’s journey took him from Macedonia to Kosovo and Greece before coming to the U.S. as a high school student. His 19 points propelled the Judges past Lasell in their first round NCAA tournament game.

John Saucier

Coach Meehan’s equivalent to Red Auerbach’s cigar, as his appearance usually meant a big victory. Although not getting much playing time, the big man was quite the fan favorite with his enthusiasm and determination. Brandeis was 1-0 when he started; his lone start occurred against NYU back in March. “Sauce” finished his career with one block and a .500 free throw percentage.

Thank you all for building up Judges Basketball. Good luck with your future endeavors, on and off the court.