Cajuns come to town
Brown hopes to continue strong play vs. rival ULL
The junior guard for the McNeese men’s basketball team doesn’t say too much and is quiet when he does speak. It seems that, early on in the season, he’s letting his play speak for him.
On Monday, Roydell Brown was named Southland Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week. In McNeese’s two games last week – a win over North Carolina Central and a loss to Missouri-Kansas City – he averaged 11 points and 11 rebounds.
“It’s really a great accomplishment,” Brown said. “I give thanks to my teammates, coaches, God. Without them, I really feel like it wouldn’t be possible to earn an accolade like that.”
The day after earning that honor, Brown and the Cowboys face a team that he should be somewhat familiar with as McNeese hosts in-state rival Louisiana-Lafayette in the Health and Human Performance Complex with tip-off set for 6:30 p.m.
Brown – a New Orleans-native – signed with ULL out of college and played his freshman season there, playing in 32 games and starting 10 of them. He averaged 10 minutes and 2.9 points per game for the Ragin’ Cajuns.
For the 2017-18 season, Brown transferred to Southwest Mississippi Junior College where he averaged 16.2 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.
But despite playing his old squad, Brown does not give off any feelings of nostalgia going into the game,
“Right now, it’s just a regular game,” Brown said. “I’m focused on getting a win, playing in the team concept, stuff like that. Even though I came from that university, I’m focused on (our) team.”
The Ragin’ Cajuns go into Tuesdays’s game with a 7-4 record and their most recent game was an 83-62 loss to Louisiana Tech. Prior to that loss, the Ragin’ Cajuns had won five games in a row. ULL has four players that average double-figures scoring, led by senior forward JaKeenan Gant, who averages 16.9 points, 7.2 rebounds, and just over three blocks a game. Senior Malik Marquetti is arguably the Ragin’ Cajuns’ best shooter, as he averages 13.5 points per game on almost 44 percent shooting from three-point range and 85 percent free throw shooting.
McNeese head coach Heath Schroyer is new to the rivalry, but says it’s similar to when he coached at BYU and they played Utah. The game is still big, but it used to be even bigger when both teams were in the same conference. It seems to be the same way with McNeese and ULL.
Regardless, Schroyer acknowledges that this will be another big challenge for the Cowboys.
“I think obviously, we’re playing a really really good team,” Schroyer said. “I have all the utmost respect for (ULL head coach Bob) Marlin. In five years, they’ve won 112 games as a program. He’s done a good job, they’re a great program.”
While McNeese fans may not want to hear it, they should hope to have the type of stability that the Ragin’ Cajuns have on the hardwood.
McNeese’s Roydell Brown puts up the shot during a non-conference at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)