Editor's Note: First of a weekly series selecting all-decade teams from various McNeese State sports.
We will go through the best of the last 10 years, beginning with the women's basketball program.
Allison Baggett, guard (2012-16): The youngest of the three Baggett sisters to play at McNeese in the decade, Allison provided the Cowgirls plenty of production in her four years. Allison was a three-time member of the all-Southland Conference and all-Louisiana teams. She was named team MVP for the 2013-14 season after leading the team in scoring (17.8 points per game) and 3-point percentage (34.5 percent), and she led the team in scoring in the 2014-15 season.
Allison finished her career third all-time in scoring and field goals made. She is also second in career field goals made and third in 3-pointers made.
Ashlyn Baggett, guard (2008-09, 2010-13): In the history of the McNeese women's basketball program, it's arguable that any two players have had a more positive effect on the team's trajectory than the Baggett twins, Ashlyn and Caitlyn. The two greatest Cowgirls teams occurred with the Baggett women on the court. Ashlyn was named to the all-SLC and all-state team three times, to the SLC all-tournament team twice, and was named the SLC Tournament MVP in 2011. The 2011 season was the first time that McNeese earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Ashlyn owns a number of school records, including the single-season records for points, 3-pointers made and 3-pointers attempted. She also leads the program in career 3s made and attempted, and is second in career points. Additionally, Ashlyn led McNeese in scoring for three consecutive seasons and was also the three-time SLC Student-Athlete of the Year.
Caitlyn Baggett, guard (2008-09, 2010-13): No slouch of a Baggett sister, Caitlyn was vital in helping McNeese reach the successes it did in the early 2010s. Like the twins before her, Caitlyn was a three-time all-SLC and all-state selection. She was selected MVP for the 2011-12 season after averaging 14.4 points per game on 39.6 percent 3-point shooting. Caitlyn and Ashlyn were co-MVPs for the 2012-13 season. Caitlyn was a two-time SLC all-tournament selection, having won the 2012 SLC Tournament MVP. She is second in McNeese history in assists and fourth in scoring. She owns the SLC career record for free throws made and free-throw percentage.
Jayln Johnson, guard (2012-16): After Caitlyn and Ashlyn Baggett graduated, Johnson and Allison Baggett took over and kept McNeese a consistently solid team. Johnson is the all-time career assists leader and led the team in assists for three consecutive seasons. She was a two-time team MVP, all-conference, and all-state honoree. Johnson led the team in scoring in the 2015-16 season (14.9 ppg) and is sixth on the career scoring list. She is also the career leader in games played (134).
Kendra Wells, forward (2008-12): On a team with talented guard play, Wells provided much-needed size and rebounding. So much so that Wells ranks second all-time in program history in rebounds and third in rebounding average. In the 2009-10 season, in which the Baggett twins did not play, Wells stepped up and was named team MVP, averaging 13.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. She was an all-conference honoree once, as well as all-state and all-SLC Tournament twice. Wells was durable, finishing her career third all-time in games started and second in minutes played.
Damilola Balogun, forward (2018-20): A junior college transfer, Balogun played two seasons and led the team in rebounding both seasons. She was also named second-team all-SLC in the 2019-20 season.
Regan Bolton, guard (2016-20): One of the best perimeter shooters in Cowgirls history, Bolton finished her career tied for second in 3s made with 227.
Caitlin Davis, guard (2016-18): Davis played two seasons before leaving the team, but she made an impact in both seasons. Davis was named team MVP for the 2017-18 season after leading the team in scoring (12.2 ppg) and assists (5.8 per game). She led McNeese in assists per game in both seasons she played.
Callie Maddox, guard/forward (2017-present): The Fairview High product led McNeese in scoring in the 2018-19 season (13.4 ppg) and garnered honorable mention all-conference honors. Despite having her 2019-20 season cut short by a knee injury, Maddox averaged 9.5 points per game.
Victoria Rachal, guard (2013-17): In the 2016-17 season, Rachal was the team MVP, leading scorer, and an honorable mention all-conference selection.
Player of the decade — Ashlyn Baggett: It was a close call between Ashlyn and Caitlyn, but Ashlyn gets the nod because she led McNeese in scoring for three consecutive seasons and finished second all-time in scoring.
Coach of the decade — Brooks Donald Williams: Winningest coach in program history (161-130) in nine seasons with a school-record six consecutive winning seasons (2010-2015) and a school-record five consecutive postseason appearances. One of two SLC regular-season titles in program history (2010-11), two SLC Tournament championships (2011, 2012), four SLC Tournament championship appearances, and the school's only two trips to the NCAA Tournament (2011, 2012), and four consecutive trips to the Women's Basketball Invitational (2012-2105) in the decade. Enough said.
Team of the decade — 2010-11: The first team in program history to earn a berth to the NCAA Tournament, and they set the school record for most conference wins in a season (15) and are tied for the most overall wins in a season (26). Oh yeah, they won the SLC regular-season and tournament championships.