La Verne






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Colton Joseph
Colton Joseph - SF

Team: La Verne Leopards [ID #709] Bookmark La Verne Leopards

Location: La Verne, CA (West)

Conference: I.1 [Division 1]

President: Baggins send message
          [since April 07th 2021 | last seen July 01st 2022]

Coach: Devon Cline

Arena: Sports Pavilion

Rating: 244.70 - Overall Position: #58

Fan Mood: 143.67

Alumni Mood: 107.00

Prestige: 102

Team Notes:

• Sep 03 2026: Promoted to conference I.1.
• Mar 15 2026: Made the national tournament field.
• Mar 15 2026: Won the II.1 conference playoffs.
• Jan 01 2026: 3-star prospect Jalen Thomas committed.
• Nov 19 2025: 3-star prospect Colton Joseph committed.
• Aug 28 2025: Promoted to conference II.1.
• Mar 09 2025: Made the national tournament field.
• Mar 01 2025: Won the III.2 conference.
• Jan 02 2025: 3-star prospect Pedro Munoz committed.
• Nov 02 2024: 4-star prospect Larry Durant committed.


Record:

Wins: 0 Losses: 0 Pct: .000     Conf Wins: 0 Conf Losses: 0 Conf Pct: .000     Last10: 8-2 Streak: L1

Pts Ave: 0.0 - 0.0     Pts Diff: 0.0     Team Power Index: 153.3

Press Releases:

Oct 12 2023: - by Baggins on January 18th, 2022




Oct 13 2022: The McCrary War Tour: 2023 Season Preview - by Baggins on November 23rd, 2021

The 2033 season will showcase the best that the Deft Leopards can offer for one glaring reason: Herschel McCrary is a senior. The near seven footer has been a star all three years he's been on campus, earning all-conference honors twice (should have been three ahem) as well as freshman of the year. Fans are dubbing this season the 'McCrary War Tour' because they feel he is a man possessed - by one goal: lead the Leopards to division 1 basketball for the first time in team history. If he can do that, McCrary will be a Leopard legend.

2022 Recap
The goals this year are to win the conference, promote, and make the national tournament. - from the Leopards 2022 season preview.

And they did it. The team won 37 games, three more than their second best outing, won the conference title, and advanced to the elite 8 in the LL6 national tournament. However they freaking lost in the first round of the conference tournament in embarrassing fashion; still no one can believe it.

SG Martin Livingston had an interesting season. He started out awfully, as if he'd discovered some new passion in the off-season and forgotten about basketball. But Coach Cline worked with him through it, and midway through conference play Livingston turned it up. He ended up averaging just over 15 points a game (Cline's goal for him) at 1.01ppp (up from .91 the season prior), and taking home all-conference honors.

Redshirt freshman Monte Breaux was also a standout, blossoming into the glue guy the coaching staff envisioned when he committed. However, glue guy is just the first step for our man Monte. No one trains harder than him, and while he doesn't say he's going to be a superstar, you can see it. His confidence in his game has grown. Many expect him to leapfrog McCrary as the best player on the team, perhaps early in the season.

'First Aid', Aiden McNulty, also played above expectations as a RS FR starting PG. He used his size to his advantage well, and proved to be a very good distributor. Most mornings he was in the gym training with Breaux, possibly because he knew that he'd be in LL5 this season, playing higher caliber talent.

Chet Low is the last of the fab five to get a mention here. He gained 10 needed pounds over the off season. He was good in 2022, but everybody wants more. He needs to be more aggressive, he needs to work harder. He has the potential to be a big impact player, the team just needs him to want it.

New Additions
Gregory Cooper has already been written about, you can read the separate PR for him on the team page. However the buzz on campus is that he's grown to a massive 6'11.5" inches, the same height as McCrary, and he gained 15 pounds as well. There is a belief he may even grow slightly more.

Calvin Parkinson is another big man who signed on the line. He also showed up to campus clocking in at 6'11", giving the Leopards an intimidating future front line. Parkinson has one elite skill: scoring the ball. He can score it at the level of Cooper himself, or maybe a guy like UMF's Rufus Steele. He has all the post moves in the world but can also stretch it out to 20 feet. He also shows promise as a post defender, and flashes some passing ability. He averaged nearly 15 and 10 as a senior at Johnson High School in Garden Grove, CA, earning 15 POTG awards.

Frank Stewart, SG, was the 10th ranked prospect in CA, and 137th overall. He comes in as the most polished recruit in the Baggins era. A sniper with range, Stewart pairs perfectly with his high scoring big men cohorts. They create a pick-your-poison scenario for opponents: let Cooper and Parkinson feast below, or pack the paint and let Stewart have a field day? As a HS senior, Stewart averaged 15.4ppg on nearly 50/43% shooting splits, winning POTG honors 11 times.

All three will be redshirting.

Season's Goals
While the Leopards on paper appear to be a middle of the pack team in V.7, hopes are still high for promotion. Lots of size, length, speed, and McCrary on this team. But there are challenges.

Backup big Ken Crook has graduated, and replacing him is the raw RS FR Floyd 'Neverland' Knowles. Knowles has incredible physical dimensions but he'll need to learn the game fast or else second units will take advantage of him.

Likewise, SF defensive stalwart K.J. Ramsey has graduated, along with SG Cedric McClean. These guys all played important roles last season and their absences will be felt.

The depth this year is all in RS FR guard Scott Rossi, SR wingman Doug Sommer, and Knowles. 8 man rotation all year. So guys are going to have to step up, there will have to be good injury luck, and maybe a few V.7 teams will have to falter for the Leopards to promote. But don't bet against the McCrary War Tour!


Dec 16 2021: Gregory Cooper Earns His Spots - by Baggins on October 16th, 2021

La Verne welcomes big man Gregory Cooper to the pride. It was a dogged pursuit for Cooper, who comes from Valdosta, Georgia. "It became an obsession," said Leopards head coach Devin Cline. "I started on him as a freshman but began truly stalking him his junior year. It weighed on the team's budget and, probably my players mind's, as I was constantly catching red-eyes to Georgia after our games."

Cline is generally regarded as one of the best recruiters in the game, but Cooper proved a challenge. "Well, being frank, he simply didn't seem interested in La Verne. And look, we get it. We play at the lowest levels of HW, and he's a big man that shows tremendous promise. He could have been a contributor to any team at any level."

Adding to the complication was that Cooper had academic troubles. "All those ticket prices and nights away from my wife to convince this kid to sign, and then he can't remember his ABC's. Trust me though, he's super smart on the court." Cooper, with the help of a tutor dubiously funded by Leopard alumni, managed to up his grades.

Cooper currently averages 16.5 points and 10.1 rebounds for Central Valdosta High School. He already shows big game as an inside scorer, and coaches are thrilled with his rebounding and defensive potential. But he is more than that. "It's rare you find a guy that size (possibly 7 feet tall when all is said and done) who can handle and pass like that. He can shoot. He puts on strength fast," said Cline.

Cooper is likely to take the mantle from Leopard sensation Herschel McCrary after a redshirt season, by which time McCrary will have graduated. Look for him to be a four year starter. Coach Cline hopes that Cooper will lead the Leopards to the highest levels of Hardwood Basketball.


Oct 12 2021: The Deft Leopards Poised to Pounce - Abridged - by Baggins on September 27th, 2021

It has been three seasons since Baggins took over as president, and yet the Leopards have not been able to escape the lowest league level in Hardwood. However the fans have been given reason to hope. The team rating has risen each year. RPI has risen, rank and TPI have risen, and most importantly, wins have risen each year as well.

To read the full PR, check our team page.


Oct 12 2021: The Deft Leopards Are Poised to Pounce - by Baggins on September 27th, 2021

It has been three seasons since Baggins took over as president, and yet the Leopards have not been able to escape the lowest league level in Hardwood. However the fans have been given reason to hope. The team rating has risen each year. RPI has risen, rank and TPI have risen, and most importantly, wins have risen each year as well.

But the real reason for hope has been twofold. First, star center Herschel McCrary, a beast who has captured two consecutive All Conference mentions, as well as Conference Freshman of the Year. He has averaged over 17 points and 11 rebounds in each of his first two seasons, and as he's matured, his game has rounded out. He held opponents to 38.4% shooting last season, a spectacular number for a player who defends the paint.

And secondly, the recruiting class of 2020. Monte Breaux, Chet Low and Aiden McNulty - three prospects with tantalizing size, ability and potential, committed that season, and have now served their redshirt sentences. They are ready and eager to take the floor, and each will be starting from day one. Their emergence gives the Leopards an unfair height advantage, especially for their league level. Breaux, small forward, is the shortest starter at 6'7". Point guard McNulty is 6'8", SG Martin Livingston grew over the summer to a whopping 6'9.5", power forward Chet Low is 6'9" and McCrary stands 6'11.5". With wingspans that could hug the world, coach Cline is salivating at the thought of zones and pressure defense.

But all the promise in the world means nothing if you can't capitalize. There are no more excuses for Cline and president Baggins. The Leopards, or Deft Leopards as they are now calling themselves, have lofty expectations, sitting third in the conference in TPI. They need to promote or else fans will start getting antsy. And with three freshmen in the starting lineup, promotion is not a guarantee.

Further complicating matters is that Coach Cline is restructuring the team's playbook. "We're gonna be a little faster this year," said Cline. "Seems the guys wanna play fast, except Herschel. He struggles a bit in a fast paced offense, but it seems the rest of our guys like it. So sorry big fella, you may be the backbone of the team and have won all these awards, you may even be the best Leopard ever, but uh, I'm gonna side with the freshmen on this one. We're cranking it up."

Martin Livingston has a spotlight on him. The shooting guard showed immense promise as a redshirt, looking like a sure fire star, averaging 22 points a game in five games. But his redshirt freshman year showed that he has a long way to go. He was not bad though. He held opponents to 38.1% shooting, he grabbed some boards, got some assists, but didn't shoot particularly well, scoring only .91 PPP. "We're looking to Martin to go north of 15 points a game this year, yeah. We need him to do that. He can do it," said Cline.

The goals this year are to win the conference, promote, and make the national tournament. If the Leopards don't promote, McCrary will have languished in LL6 his whole career, and that would be shameful.

New Additions

Scott Rossi, PG: 6'1.5", 185lbs, 6'9" wingspan, 29 inch vertical. Rossi can handle the rock, pass, and brings tantalizing defensive potential with his wingspan and fantastic speed. His shooting needs to develop if he ever hopes to crack more than 15 minutes a game.

Floyd Knowles, PF: 6'9.5", 235, 7'5.25" wingspan, 39.5" vertical. Knowles has potential on both sides of the ball. He showed flashes in high school of shooting and handling that, along with his quickness, give him positional flexibility. He projects to be a menace of a defender everywhere on the court. He'll need to work on his all around game as he is very raw. In fact, if he doesn't make tremendous strides, he may find himself permanently in a backup position.

Looking forward, La Verne is hoping to recruit at least one, if not two bigs, and a shooting guard this season.

May the Deft Leopards pounce their way into victory in 2022!