McNeese picks up two transfers, high schooler for roster

The Cowboys added three perimeter players to their roster Wednesday, the first day of the signing period.

McNeese State picked up a pair of transfers in Southern Mississippi point guard Rashad Bolden and Robert Berze from Eastern Florida State College. They also got high schooler Donovon Oday out of Arlington, Texas. 

Head coach John Aiken said he hopes to add more this week, focusing on inside players in the coming days.

“We plan to sign more players over the next few days and weeks as we bring guys in on visits,” said Aiken. “The most important thing for me in this class has been recruiting dependable guys that are known to work and have a track record of winning. 

“We will continue to recruit quality young men that will help grow our culture and ultimately bring championships back to Lake Charles.”

Aiken said he wanted to bring in high quality individuals.

“We have a good group coming in,” said Aiken. “What we wanted was to get guys of high character who want to be here and want to be a part of winning.

“These players are relentless workers, have great (basketball) IQs and will help us establish what we’re building here and that’s winning.”

Bolden started 30 of 33 games last year as a freshman, averaging almost 27 minutes a game.

Aiken called him a pass-first point guard. 

“He is the engine that runs a team,” said Aiken. “He thinks pass first and is a true leader.”

Bolden (6-0, 180) averaged 6.8 points and  1.8 assists a game while being named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team. He has three years of eligibility remaining.

Berze, a 6-6 swingman, is a second-year freshman. He was a first-team All-Conference player this season.

The second-year freshman averaged 11.1 points a game last year and shot 36.2 percent from 3-point range land made 84.1% of his free throws. He also has three years left of eligibility. 

“Robert is a bigger wing that can slide to the 4 in a small ball lineup,” Aiken said. “He can really shoot it, has a great (basketball) IQ, and really fits modern day offensive basketball.” 

Oday is a 2-time state champ at Mansfield Timberview High School. Oday (6-3,175) can play different spots on offense.

“He’s a versatile, athletic player and is going to develop into a guy that can play all three perimeter spots for us,” said Aiken. “He has a very composed demeanor.”

McNeese women’s basketball coach Lynn Kennedy said he expects to be signing players in the next few days and will make the announcement on his class soon.

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