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Four Hoopcats seniors to return for next season

Seniors Shungu, Patella, Mazzulla and Murphy announced they will return for 2021-22 season.
Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 10:37 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The UVM men’s basketball team will have a very familiar look to it next season.

The program announcing Monday afternoon that that seniors Ben Shungu, Bailey Patella, Justin Mazzulla and graduate senior Tomas Murphy have all decided to return for next season.

The NCAA granted a blanket extra year of eligibility to all student-athletes this season due to the pandemic.

The other senior on this year’s squad, star guard Stef Smith, announced two weeks ago that he is entering the transfer portal and will play his extra year as a grad transfer at another school.

However, the return of Shungu, Patella, Mazzulla and Murphy represent a big boost for the Cats. Shungu, the former Rice start who was the conference Defensive player of the year as a junior, and Mazzulla started every game for Vermont this season, while Murphy and Patella was the Cats’ top two scorers off the bench.

They figure to form an experienced core around reigning America East player of the year Ryan Davis.

Barring any other potential transfers, UVM is likely to return it’s entire team outside of Smith.

Dealing with multiple starts, stops and delays, the Hoopcats played just fifteen games this season going 10-5. They won a share of the America East regular season title, but were upset by Hartford at home in the conference semifinals.

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