LAKE CHARLES – Six games deep into conference play of the 2017-18 season, the Cowboys are sitting at 3-3 after a huge defeat in Hammond over the then, undefeated Southeastern Lions.
Their performance impressed many others throughout the league, and made them aware of the movement that is Cowboy basketball.
McNeese is currently ranked eighth in the league, with road games against Houston Baptist (4-14, 0-5) and Lamar (10-8, 2-3) on the horizon.
Head coach Dave Simmons and his squad are preparing for a season much different from the last, “I’m proud of how far we’ve come and I’m looking forward to the games ahead of us. We need to work on our rebounding still, giving up so many offensive rebounds will hurt you in every game. And being more aggressive in the paint defending the basket down low.”
Standout junior transfer, Quatarrius Wilson has made a name for himself in the Chuck, pulling down double-digit rebounds in game after game. In fact, Wilson leads the Southland with eight 10 or more rebound performances.
Wilson is also only one of three conference players who have six or more double-doubles on the season.
The Mobile, Alabama native is in second place with 10 rebounds per game against SLC opponents.
With Wilson on the court, McNeese is averaging 39.4 rebounds per game, an increase of six more than last season. The improvement on the glass has helped put the Cowboys in 45th place in the NCAA for total rebounds per game.
Since conference play began, the Cowboys rank in the top three in multiple categories on both defense and offense- giving them a leg up when competing against the other teams.
McNeese is currently second in free-throw percentage (.759), second in field goal percentage (.482), second in field goal percentage defense (.401), first in three-point field goal percentage (.450), and tied for first in blocked shots (5.7 per game).
Its success beyond the arc can be contributed to sophomore Kalob Ledoux and junior James Harvey, the shooting duo has combined for 38 treys in six games, tied for first amongst all conference players.
Ledoux is leading the Cowboys with 13.5 points per game, seven straight double-digit scoring games. Ledoux is ranked fourth in the Southland for scoring in conference games only.
Joining Ledoux on the list is Harvey at number 11 and teammate Jarren Greenwood at number 10.
Greenwood is known for his aggressiveness across the court, tagged as one of the best defending guards in the league by Simmons. Greenwood is right behind Ledoux, averaging 12.4 points per game.
Greenwood’s ball handling skills have put him in the top 15 in the Southland Conference for assist to turnover ratio (1.3).
Under the basket, seniors Stephen Ugochukwu and LaBarrius Hill are blocking shots left and right. On average, McNeese puts up two more blocks per game than its opponents.
The Cowboys 4.8 blocks per game rank them 47th out of over 350 teams in Division I basketball.
McNeese is taking advantage of the long week to practice and prepare for Houston Baptist on Saturday.
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