Shooting star Parker joins Cowboys

Published 6:13 pm Monday, April 22, 2024


In need of finding a replacement for graduating star Shahada Wells, Will Wade found a guy with the tools to do just that.

Monday Wade signed University of St. Louis guard Sincere Parker, considered a Power 5 talent by several college basketball followers.

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Parker joins a McNeese State team that went 30-4 last season and earned the program’s first NCAA Tournament bid in 22 years. But the Cowboys lost Wells, the team leader, top scorer and Southland Conference Player of the Year to graduation. 

Wells declared for the NBA draft on Monday after spending one season with the Cowboys, leaving a lasting impression on the program. Signing Parker is a big step for McNeese at making another tourney run next spring.

Parker, a 6-foot-3 junior guard out of Rockford, Illinois, is coming off a big season for the Billikens. Limited to just 16 games due to a broken foot, Parker averaged 15.9 points and 4.3 rebounds for the Atlantic 10 program while getting in just over 20 minutes of work a game. He shot 49 percent from the field and 42.6 on three-point tries. 

Parker shot 49 percent from the field and 42.6 on three-point tries. He also made over 81% of his free throws, an area the Cowboys struggled in last season.

That was a drastic improvement from his first season at St. Louis when Parker played in all 33 games for the Billikens, averaging 5.9 points and 2.5 rebounds.

Considered one of the top guards in the transfer portal at season’s end, wrote: “Parker is a strong, tough and efficient shot-maker who does his damage mostly from mid-range and 3.”

When he returned for the first time from injury, Parker scored 30 or more points in three straight games before an injured shoulder sidelined him for good.

During last season his St. Louis head coach, Travis Ford, who was fired at the end of the year, praised Parker.

For Parker, “the sky is the future,” Ford told the Rockford Register Star. “He’s got deep range from three. He also has one of the best mid-range shots around. He can get to the rim. He’s a great free-throw shooter, he can score off the catch or the bounce.

“What makes him so dangerous is he can score in so many different ways.

Parker is the second player Wade has signed since the season ended. He joins forward Joe Charles from Louisiana Lafayette.

Wade isn’t done either, he expects to sign another guard and big man if not two.

“We are going big-game hunting,” Wade said when he began this recruiting season. “I want to be like Noah’s Ark, I want two of everything.”

After taking McNeese to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 22 years, Wade has said he wants more this season. 

“I want to win a Tournament game,” said Wade. “That’s the goal.”