As he starts off his second year coaching men’s basketball, Richard Reed, head coach, is preparing his team for the official start of the season. The Leopards’ first official games will be on Saturday and Sunday against Colorado College in Colorado Springs. Reed graduated from La Verne in 1999, and went on to coach at five other colleges. Reed also coached one season with the women’s basketball team at ULV during the 1999-2000 season.
Attention students, faculty, staff, alumni and all other fans. Men’s basketball is ready to start.
“We’re excited to get going,” Richard Reed, University of La Verne head coach, said.
Reed said his players have worked hard in practice, and that they are ready to play in their first real game of the season in Colorado on Saturday.
Reed said the tournament is going to be a “great experience” for the team.
This year with nine returning players and 12 new players, the they have all worked hard to become one team.
“Returning players have been showing new players what it’s like to be a Leopard,” Reed said.
“It’s like a brotherhood,” Brendan Hallinan, team guard and graduate student in the master’s of leadership and management program, said.
This will be Hallinan’s fifth year on the team.
“We’re a pretty solid team inside and out,” he said.
“Everyone seems to be clicking pretty well,” Kyle Luhnow, team forward and senior business administration major, said.
Reed said he expects the team to meet its goals for this year, based on what happened last season.
“Last season was incredible with virtually the same team as the year before with only five wins,” Reed said. “They went from five wins to 12 wins.”
“Our players set a goal of wanting to have an opportunity to play in the conference tournament,” Reed said. “I am extremely excited about the prospects.”
“La Verne’s really headed in the right direction,” said Ken Scalmanini, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps head coach. “I’m very impressed with coach Reed getting his kids to care and get after it.”
“He’s done a tremendous job so far. You can tell he gets his team to play really hard and together,” Scalmanini said.
CMC finished second in conference last year.
Luhnow said he is excited about the new season.
“We’d like to try to make it to the playoffs,” Luhnow said. “If we keep moving forward like last year, we should.”
“We will take every practice and every game one day at a time,” Hallinan said.
Though the season has not officially started, the men’s team played in an exhibition game against the Afghanistan national team and won, 80-73.
“We played well,” Reed said.
“I believe our faculty, staff, fans and alumni will be proud of the team we are going to put on the court,” Reed said.
Hallinan said there is a big emphasis this season on defense and rebounding because they “have the offensive tools.” He added that communication is also being emphasized.
Overall, the team is looking forward to the fresh start.
“We’re playing a lot of really good teams,” Luhnow said.
This year, the team’s non-conference opponents include Cal State Los Angeles, UC Santa Cruz and Tufts.
Reed said the team is looking forward to the first home game Dec. 6.
“We’re hoping faculty, staff and the student body come out. We’re going to need their support,” Reed said. “We’d like to pack the pavilion.”
Susan Acker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.