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"We had one of the best classes to ever attend UVM in my opinion.
We all worked very hard and played the best we could every day.
-Taylor Coppenrath, Former Univ. of Vermont Basketball Star
 VTSN Partner:
Joseph Brings His Mojo, Leadership to Vermont PDF Print E-mail
Written by VT Sports Network News Feed   
Saturday, 16 August 2008
By Chris McManes, MikeLonergan.com
Saturday, August 16, 2008

Maurice Joseph was ranked highly by major Division I programs when he left Canada three years ago. So Vermont Coach Mike Lonergan knew he was getting a multi-talented player when Joseph decided to transfer to UVM. What would have been harder for him to distinguish, however, was what type of character Joseph possessed and whether he was more interested in himself or the success of the team.

Joseph, who had to sit out last year per NCAA transfer rules, helped to answer those questions during the America East men’s basketball tournament in March. Asked whether he wished next season was starting right then and there, he said his focus was on helping the Catamounts qualify for the 2008 NCAA tournament.

“I’m looking at this weekend right now,” Joseph said. “Once our season’s over, I’ll start looking forward to next year, but we’ve still got some work to do here.”

After winning on Binghamton University’s home court in the first round of the America East tournament, UVM’s season ended at 16-15 the next day. With senior Kyle Cieplicki having graduated, the shooting guard position he vacated is wide open. This is where the 6-foot-4, 190-pound Joseph hopes to step in.

While Joseph looks to bring a lot of athleticism to the Cats, his contributions should extend beyond statistically measured skills.

“I think I’ll contribute more so from a leadership aspect,” said Joseph, who will be a junior athletically. “I think I’ve been around and seen a lot of basketball and been coached by very different coaches. I just feel like I bring a lot of leadership, a lot of experience to guys that maybe haven’t had that, like [incoming freshmen] Garvey Young and Jordan Clarke. I think they’re going to come in and help us, by the way.

“I want to help them transition, and be able to bring an emotional boost to this club.”

Recruiting a Top Student, Top Player

Joseph’s decision to transfer from Michigan State helped to take the sting out of Joe Trapani’s unexpected departure from UVM following his stellar freshman campaign. Trapani will play at Boston College next season.

“We were all shocked by Joe Trapani’s departure, namely the timing of it,” Lonergan said. “Our staff was highly motivated to find someone to give that scholarship to, which is hard to do in April and May. We worked hard to convince Maurice that Vermont is the best place for him. So we were overjoyed when he decided to join us.

“He’s everything we look for in a recruit.”

After transferring from Michigan State, Joseph was diagnosed with a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Following surgery on Sept. 10, 2007, his rehabilitation regimen kept him from practicing last season. So he turned his attention to his class work and took a heavier course load during the fall semester.

An English and psychology double major and ethnic studies minor, Joseph was one of nine Catamounts who earned a spot on the 2007-08 winter/spring America East Academic Honor Roll.

“He’s a great kid, a true student-athlete,” Lonergan said. “I haven’t even coached him yet and he’s already one of my favorite players.”

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