Win some, lose some: Rosario fifth Cowboy to transfer; VMI’s Lewis becomes Aiken’s first
Jim Gazzolo, Special to the American Press
With the recruiting revolving door taking over college athletics, new McNeese State basketball coach John Aiken is finding out that the offseason is now just give and take.
Senior forward Carlos Rosario became the fifth Cowboy to announce he was leaving the program by way of the NCAA transfer portal, which has become college sports’ version of free agency.
Rosario’s news came hours after the Aiken learned Virginia Military Institute guard Myles Lewis was coming to town.
“Thank you to everyone who’s been with me during this process,” Lewis posted on his social media account. “I will be attending McNeese State University.”
Lewis, a 6-foot-5 guard, will join the Cowboys as a fifth-year graduate transfer, getting the extra season of eligibility due to COVID-19. He played four years at VMI, appearing in 112 of 115 games and starting 81 of 89 over the last three years.
Lewis averaged better than 10 points a game in two of those seasons and finished his career with a 24-point effort in a loss to Mercer. He ended the year averaging 10.3 points and 7.5 rebounds a game while shooting 53 percent from the field.
“We are very excited to have Myles joining us,” Aiken said. “He is a very versatile player who can play different roles on the court.
“More importantly, he is a great kid. He will be a great addition to the culture we have here.”
Lewis is Aiken’s first signing as a head coach. The Cowboys have six scholarships on the roster, four more players committed and three spots open.
“There is still some more work for us,” Aiken said. “We are looking at a few other players.”
Lewis should help replace the loss of Rosario, who came on strong at the end of last season, scoring in double digits in 10 of the last 12 games, all of which he started.
Rosario also made his intentions public by way of social media.
“I’m more than grateful for this amazing opportunity to come to this city and make the best out of the situation and meet amazing people here,” Rosario posted. “I wish everyone here the best moving forward and thank the city of Lake Charles.”
Rosario joins Dru Kuxhausen and A.J. Lawson as Cowboys who left the team after major contributions last season. Two others, Jeremy Harrell and Ra’Shawn Langston, also announced they were transferring. Kuxhausen has since signed to play at Northern Colorado for his former junior college coach.
“That is the way it is now, a year to year rebuild,” Aiken said. “You have an opportunity to build your program quickly.”
And he said he doesn’t see that changing in the near future.
“You have to learn how to deal with this and adapt,” Aiken said. “It’s the new way of recruiting and we have to get used to hit and make it work.”
Carlos Rosario shoots over Nicholls State’s Najee Garvin.