Entering the portal: Three Cowboys to transfer out
Jim Gazzolo, Special to the American Press
During all the issues, storms and troubles the McNeese State men’s basketball team faced this season, former head coach Heath Schroyer said he was proud of one thing: not one of his players quit or entered the NCAA transfer portal.
Yet, one week after the season ended, and hours after a new head coach was named, a trio of seniors decided sticking around another season in these uncertain times was too much to ask.
Standout 3-point shooter Dru Kuxhausen, 6-foot-8 forward Jeremy Herrell and 6-3 swingman Ra’Shawn Langston all announced their decisions to leave the program. The trio entered the portal as graduate transfers, choosing to play their extra season eligibility elsewhere.
“I am thankful for the last two years at McNeese,” Kuxhausen posted on social media. “I can’t thank my coaches enough for giving me an opportunity when nobody else would.
“I’ll forever be grateful for that. I want to thank my best friends/teammates for making these last two years so special. With that being said I am entering the transfer portal as a grad transfer and will look for my next opportunity.”
Herrell posted: “Can’t thank McNeese enough for what the program has done for me over the last three years. The memories I’ve created with my teammates are something I’ll cherish forever. Thank you to my coaches at McNeese as well as all of the fans that supported me. With that being said, I will be entering the transfer portal as a grad transfer. Thank you!”
Kuxhausen was the only one of the three to make an impact. His shot at the buzzer two years ago beat Lamar in the regular-season finale and sent McNeese into he postseason.
He got national attention when he led the country as a junior by making 125 3-pointers. Since coming from Nebraska, Kuxhausen has 199 3s, most in Division I over the last two years, but he slumped greatly this season.
Kuxhausen was never comfortable shooting in the open arena of Burton Coliseum and he finished with 74 3-pointers this season. He was even benched for the Cowboys’ Southland Conference Tournament loss to Southeastern Louisiana.
Harrell and Langston both suffered through injuries and illness this season and played sparingly.
New McNeese head coach John Aiken addressed the possibilities of players entering the portal during his introductory press conference Tuesday. Aiken said he would sit down with all the players and discuss their futures and understands if some decide to leave.
“There’s a lot of people in this program that didn’t necessarily sign up to not being able to play in our home arena in their senior year,” Aiken said. “It was really hard for some of those guys to go through COVID and not playing in our arena. If they want to leave, I understand.
“I’m excited to bring kids in here who want to rebuild, who want to be here. The first step for me is getting the right people on the bus.”
Kirk Meche / Special to the American Press