Celebrating the careers of Judges Basketball seniors
Congratulations to the seniors on their successful Brandeis careers!
As the 2022-23 basketball season comes to a close, seniors on both men’s and women’s Brandeis Judges basketball teams have played their final college basketball games. To pay tribute to these players and show gratitude to their contributions, this article will go through their amazing Brandeis careers with some of my personal insights.
Women: Francesca Marchese, Tathiana Pierre, Emma Reavis, and Shannon Smally
Francesca Marchese ’23 (Staten Island, N.Y.) is one of the three captains, and is an outstanding shooter for the Judges. Her distinctive shooting form allowed her to be a fantastic catch-and-release style shooter. Easily one of the best perimeter powerhouses in school history, Marchese concluded her three seasons at Brandeis — the 2020-21 season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic — with 131 three-pointers made. This places her fourth in all-time career three-point field goals made in Judges history. Her ability to space the floor and sink clutch baskets made her a go-to option for after-timeout plays for Head Coach Carol Simons. Outside of the gym, she is also a Business and Psychology double major with two University Athletic Association All-Academics honor selections.
Tathiana Pierre ’23 (Jericho, N.Y.), a co-captain with Marchese, was the definition of hustle. She did a little bit of everything on the court, from making open threes and crashing the boards to finishing at the basket through contact. Her outstanding performance in this season’s Brandeis Invitational helped the Judges survive against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and placed her on the All-Tournament Team. Like Marchese, Pierre is a Business and Psychology double major and has two UAA All-Academics honors as well.
Emma Reavis ’23 (Miami, Okla.), the third co-captain, was central to the Judges’ offense since coming to campus. Her ability to push the ball with pace, drive, and ambition often forced the opposing defenses to collapse on her, resulting in strong finishes or open shots for other teammates coming from a Reavis signature kick-out pass. Reavis started all 74 games in her three-year Brandeis career, often taking a lead-by-example approach. Reavis had many near triple-doubles and consistently found ways to fill the stat sheet. In addition, she totaled 264 career assists, seventh in Judges history. In the last two seasons, Reavis received honorable mention for All-UAA.
Shannon Smally M.A. ’23 (Foxborough, Mass.), a master’s student of the International Business School, persisted throughout her Brandeis career despite battles with injuries. Her presence in the paint provided the Judges with some well-needed size, especially with absences of freshmen bigs due to injuries during this season. Smally also had the capability to shoot from long distances, being a 5-foot-11-inch forward/center, giving coach Simon more versatility in the Judges offense.
Since these four seniors were all starters for the Judges, their graduation symbolizes a dramatic change in the upcoming season for the team. Brandeis fans can look to sophomore star Caitlin Gresko ’25 who is also an All-UAA honorable mention selection this season to play an even bigger role and lead the young squad with nine rising-sophomore talents next winter.
Men: Terrell Brown, Darret Justice, and Dylan Lien
Terrell Brown ’23 (Lowell, Mass.), the senior captain of the team, played his heart out every minute on the court. Transferring to Brandeis after playing as a walk-on for a Division I basketball program, he was known for his lockdown defense and drawing charges against whoever he matched up against. Brown was a vocal leader as he often gathered his teammates for discussions whenever possible. He also had a thirst for rebounds and loose balls and was always ready to sacrifice his body for extra possessions. Off the court, Brown is an African and African American Studies major with a minor in legal studies.
Darret Justice ’23 (Haymarket, Va.) was an impactful player beyond the stat sheet. His exceptional wingspan at his height, accompanied with his athleticism, made him a nightmare on the defensive end. Justice might not have been known for his shooting ability but this did not make him any easier to guard as he often bodied his matchup with his size and strength. His drive-and-kick action usually drew attentive help-defense and opened up for fluent ball movements and open shots for the team. Justice is a Sociology major.
Dylan Lien ’23 (Northborough, Mass.) was a shooter with skill sets to create his own shots. Lien shot a stellar 37.8 percentage from the downtown in his three seasons with the Judges and made 290 three-pointers — passing his former teammate Chandler Jones ’22 by two and ranking 15th in school history. He was also a qualified ball-handler and helped share some pressure off his point guard counterparts. Lien made some of the biggest buckets in the close games that I attended. His ability to not only catch-and-release but also pull up from distance after dribbles posed serious problems for opposing defenses. Off the hardwood, Lien is a Business and Sociology double major.
Young stars had already entered the spotlight for Judges men’s basketball this season. Sophomore Toby Harris, averaging 19.2 points and 6.2 rebounds, was selected to the All-UAA first team. Ethan Edwards ’26 was huge off the bench as he provided almost 15 points per game before an injury ended his 2022-23 season. With other talents such as Waltham native Ryan Power ’24 and Quron Zene ’26, the future looks bright for the Judges Men’s Basketball program.