McNeese basketball remains confident heading into conference play

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 9:31 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The Cowboys returned home on Monday following a fourth-place showing in the southland tip-off event in Katy and despite losing their last two games of the tournament, the Pokes have a better scouting report on the rest of the league and are confident they can compete for a championship heading into conference play.

“I think our team got a look at that, I think our team got to see the physicality of the league,” Head Coach John Aiken said. “I think they got to see what it’s really about. So I think we leave out of there were more prepared for games that count to your conference record than we did going in. I mean it’s a good league top to bottom there’s a good depth of the league and people underestimate the league because of the records because we get beat up and because of these records and these teams are always better than what they show they are and they always play hard and they have great identities but I think that comes down to those three to four teams with us in the mix.”

As Aiken likes to say, he’s got all of the people on the bus, he just needs to get them in the right seats and one area, in particular, is the guard position. The Pokes rotate Trae English, Collin Warren and Johnathan Massie with Warren leading the trio in scoring with 8.4 points per game, while Massie is the defensive leader with 21 steals and English, despite missing some time, brings a bit of both.

“I still have got to get our point guard situation right,” Aiken said. “Trae English being out with COVID I think that hurt him because he had less than half of a practice before he went over to Katy, and I’ve got to figure out how to best utilize Collin and John John. John John is just so good defensively he sets a tone for us and so you want to play him at the point because he can really bother other people’s point guards but that’s not his most natural offensive position and Collin you want him to be able to score and it’s harder to do that when you’re at the one and so we have got to get sured up this week.”

Another name Aiken mentioned could see some rotational minutes at either guard spot is sharpshooter Zach Scott, but McNeese has one more game to figure it out against Dallas Christian before opening up conference play at the Legacy Center against HBU on the 15th.

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