Deal with a Devil for Wade

Published 10:47 pm Monday, April 22, 2024

While most Cowboy fans were happy at the end of last season, their head coach was far from satisfied.

Moments after McNeese State was knocked out of the NCAA Tournament by a much more physical Gonzaga team in the first round of the Midwest Regional, Will Wade knew his club had to get bigger. 

“We will not look the same next year,” said Wade. “We have to get better in the paint.”

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For the second time since that loss, Wade signed a new big man. 

Late Monday night Bryant Selebangue officially announced on his IG page that he was joining the Cowboys for next season.

The 6-9, 219-pound Selebangue will transfer from Arizona State where he played last season. Selebangue was Wade’s second big signing Monday. 

Before lunch McNeese picked up St. Louis guard Sincere Parker, who also made his announcement on social media. Parker, a 6-3 shooting guard, is expected to pick up the slack from Southland Conference Player of the Year Shahada Wells who moved on with graduation after an outstanding season with the Cowboys. 

Selebangue had a smaller role last season in the desert, playing just half the minutes he did the previous season while at Tulsa. Selebangue averaged 4.8 points and 4.1 rebounds last season for the Sun Devils in 32 games, playing about 12 minutes an outing.

At Tulsa, the power forward was much more productive. In 30 games with the Hurricanes, Selebangue averaged 31.4 minutes, scoring 12 points and grabbing 9.2 boards. He also shot 61.5% from the floor.  

Selebangue joins a front line that includes another former Tulsa player, Christian Shumate, a two-time All-Southland forward for the Cowboys. Shumate was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year last season, leading the SLC in rebounds. 

Earlier this month McNeese signed Joe Charles, a 6-9 forward who played the previous three seasons against the Cowboys at Louisiana-Lafayette. Charles was an All-Sun Belt selection as a junior and named the Cajuns team MVP.

He averaged 11.3 points and 9.6 rebounds while starting all 33 games for Lafayette. He also shot 34.3% on three-point shots and 78.^% from the free-throw line. 

Charles also had 60 steals and 37 blocks. 

With the three additions McNeese has added 31.5 points and 18 rebounds a game from players who were competing in bigger conferences.

Wade is likely to add more as he is looking for at least one more big man if not two and a point guard to add to his team that went 30-4 last year and 17-1 in the Southland.