Prep Profile: St. Benedict's

J.R. Smith and Alex Galindo may be gone, but Dan Hurley still has plenty of talent at St. Benedict's (N.J.). Look for Lance Thomas to take on the scoring and leadership role for Hurley's Gray Bees this year.

St. Benedict's was based primarily on the talents of two players a year ago – J.R. Smith, who is now in the NBA, and Alex Galindo, a freshman at Kansas. Expect far more balance out of Dan Hurley's club this season.

The Gray Bees lost just two games last season, both coming at the hands of Lawrenceville Prep (N.J.).

``We'll be better defensively and will be more aggressive on the defensive end," Hurley said. "We'll extend the floor a lot more and we'll have more balance offensively. Last year we had two guys who could get us 25. This year we'll have four, five or even six guys who can score 25."

This year Hurley won't rely on just one or two players, but he does have a big-time player in 6-7 ½, 205-pound junior Lance Thomas, a former teammate of Derrick Caracter's who came over from Scotch Plains High (N.J.).

Thomas is getting interest from all the high-majors, including Duke, Arizona, Georgia Tech, North Carolina and UConn, partially due to his abilities – but coaches also ooze over how hard he plays.

Hurley will also have 6-8 East Carolina-bound physical power forward Dwight Burke and 6-8 ½ senior big man Frank Tchuisi up front – along with 6-6, 220-pound senior Ismaila Traore and 6-9 freshman Frederick Dominguez.

The backcourt will be solid as well with 6-foot guard Eric Moore, who has signed with Buffalo and is a quality shooter from the perimeter, 6-1 junior floor leader Eugene Harvey, who is receiving interest from Pittsburgh, 6-foot Venezuelan junior guard David Cubillan and 6-4 ½ sophomore wing Corey Stokes, who just may be the most talented player on the entire team.

``Cubillan has so much heart, he just needs to learn how to play more like a point guard," Hurley said. "Corey Stokes has been terrific and has probably been the best player in our gym so far."

Hurley will also use 5-11 junior guard Michael Johnson, 6-4 sophomore Leonel Liriano and 5-10 freshman Terril Holloway off the bench.

``We have so many young players in prominent roles," Hurley added. "They have great upside, but their still young and inexperienced."

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