Carson-Newman Men’s Basketball Staff Update

Carson-Newman head men’s basketball coach Chuck Benson has announced the addition of Joe Laravie and Clenzo Ross to the coaching staff at C-N as graduate assistant coaches.

Laravie comes to Carson-Newman after spending the summer as an assistant coach with Mets de Guayando in Puerto Rice. He was an All-American at Christian Brothers and Southern Indiana. 

“We’re thrilled to add Joe to our coaching staff,” Benson said. “He was an elite player at the D2 level as an All-American at Christian Brothers. He has professional experience as a player and coach.  He has brought an instant chemistry to our coaching staff.”

Meanwhile Ross makes the move to Mossy Creek after an all-league-caliber playing career at Conference Carolinas member Southern Wesleyan. 

“Clenzo joins us fresh off a playing career at Southern Wesleyan,” Benson said. “He was an all-conference player in our region and obviously knows what it takes to win in the Southeast. He adds value to our existing offensive package based on his experiences with Nick Pasqua at SWU.”

Laravie transferred to Southern Indian after three seasons at Christian Brothers University. While playing for the Buccaneers, he averaged 14.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. He recorded a career-high 18.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per game as a junior in 2018-19, and scored a career-high 37 points in a CBU win over Delta State University. He topped out at 12 rebounds in a CBU win over the University of West Alabama. He was named NABC All-South Region, first-team All-Gulf South Conference, and Player of the Week three times in 2018-19. 

In his only season at Southern Indiana  he was named Academic All-GLVC while starting all 30 games in his only season with the Eagles. He averaged 10.3 points. 2.2 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game.

After graduating, the Kettering, Ohio-native signed a professional contract with Academic EFAPEL Coimbra in Portugal.

“I knew my playing career wasn’t going to last as long as I’d like,” Laravie said. “I want to stay a part of this game as long as I could. After spending time in Puerto Rico as a coach, I got the call from Coach Benson, it only made sense to take this opportunity.  I know the game well at the Division II level, I played under two hall of fame coaches, I’m excited to learn from him as well as I begin my collegiate coaching career.”

Meanwhile, Ross helped Southern Wesleyan to its first NCAA tournament appearance and a Conference Carolinas tournament crown in 2019-20. 

An All-Conference Carolinas performer, Ross shot 49.9 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from three while averaging 17.1 points per game for the Crusaders.  He recorded 529 points, 78 assists, 23 steals, three blocks and 154 rebounds while posting a career high 35 points against Barton on January 18, 2020.

He helped guide the Crusaders to wins over Lees-McRae, King and Belmont Abbey to secure SWU the Conference Carolinas Tournament crow, as well as all-tournament and tournament MVP honors for himself. 

Ross scored 14 points off the bench in a win over Carson-Newman in Holt Fieldhouse that season.

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