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Thursday, October 23, 2014
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McNeese State men's basketball coach Dave Simmons had little to smile about with the deck stacked against him this season. With a more favorable schedule and the addition of a player or two, the Cowboys should stand a better chance to be more competitive next season. (Rick Hickman / American Press)

McNeese State men's basketball coach Dave Simmons had little to smile about with the deck stacked against him this season. With a more favorable schedule and the addition of a player or two, the Cowboys should stand a better chance to be more competitive next season. (Rick Hickman / American Press)

Simmons gets first signee

Last Modified: Monday, April 21, 2014 1:27 PM

By Alex Hickey / American Press

Dave Simmons doesn’t have to worry about recruiting one-and-done freshmen, but on Thursday he added one player to the McNeese State program he said he hopes can make an impact by the time he is finished.

Forward Stephen Ugochukwu of Lewisville, Texas, signed a National Letter of Intent Thursday to play for the Cowboys starting next season. Wednesday marked the opening of the spring signing period for basketball, which runs until May 21.

“We’re really excited about Stephen joining our basketball family,” Simmons said in a school release. “He is a tremendous young man that brings a well-rounded background with him. He has a great balance of academic and athletic ability. He had a great visit with our school administration, athletic and faculty staff.

“He is a very versatile young man that has the ability to play multiple positions on the floor.”

Ugochukwu is a 6-foot-7, 205-pound forward who attended Argyle Liberty Christian Academy as a senior after three years at Carrollton Christian Academy. He averaged 20.3 points and 11.5 points per game over his final two seasons.

Those totals take into account a 52-point game in his junior season.

Ugochukwu is considered the top Class of 2014 recruit in Texas by recruiting website Scoutsfocus, which is “dedicated to finding overlooked and underexposed players.”

“He’s got great upside,” Simmons said. “He’s way under the radar. You talk about diamonds in the rough; we think he has a great chance to become a really good player. We think he could really blossom.”

Simmons said he plans to add one more player to the incoming freshman class.

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