McNeese releases ’17-’18 schedule for final season in Burton

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LAKE CHARLES – McNeese men’s basketball will host 13 games in its final season in Burton Coliseum, including Southland Conference games against Stephen F. Austin, Northwestern State, Lamar and defending champion New Orleans, as the program released its 2017-18 schedule on Wednesday.

In addition to the home slate, the Cowboys, who return seven players with starting experience from last year’s squad, will visit the University of Houston, San Diego State, Loyola Marymount, Louisiana-Lafayette, North Texas and Pittsburgh.

McNeese’s non-conference home games will be against Ecclesia College out of Springdale, Arkansas; Champion Christian College out of Hot Springs, Arkansas; Southern-New Orleans; and Texas College.

The Cowboys will open the season on Friday, Nov. 10, at Houston before beginning their home slate on Nov. 13 against Ecclesia.

McNeese will begin conference play on Thursday, December 28, at home against Incarnate Word then will host Northwestern State on Dec. 30 in a double-header with the women.

The league altered its conference scheduling this season to a single-game on Wednesdays and double-headers on Saturday. The Cowboys will play a couple of Thursday league games and one on a Tuesday.

McNeese will take a trip to the west coast to face San Diego State (19-14) and Loyola Marymount (15-15) on Nov. 17 and 19 before returning home Nov. 22 against Champion Christian College and Nov. 25 versus SUNO.

Following the two-game home stand, McNeese begin a four-game road trip with a visit to I-10 rival Louisiana-Lafayette (21-12) on Nov. 28 then will follow that with a Dec. 9 game at North Texas (8-22) and Dec. 14 at North Carolina Central (25-9) in a return game to the defending MEAC champions. The Cowboys will wrap up the road trip at ACC member Pittsburgh (16-17).

McNeese’s home conference games include Incarnate Word (Dec. 28), Northwestern State (Dec. 30), UNO (Jan. 6), Sam Houston State (Jan. 30), Stephen F. Austin (Feb. 8), Southeastern Louisiana (Feb. 10), Nicholls (Feb. 21), Houston Baptist (Feb. 24), and Lamar (March 3).

The game against Sam Houston State will be played at the Lake Charles Civic Center due to the pro rodeo being scheduled at the Burton.

The Cowboys finished 7-22 last season while fielding a young team that at times had the presence of three sophomores and two true freshmen on the floor at the same time.

Because of that youth and the experience that was gained, as well as the talent that’s returning, the Cowboys are hoping for a breakout season in the final year at Burton Coliseum, which has been the home of the Cowboys and Cowgirls since 1986.

McNeese returns four of its top five scorers from last season, including Kalob Ledoux who became the first freshman since Joe Dumars to lead the team in scoring after he netted 11.9 points per game.

Also returning is the team’s top rebounder in Stephen Ugochukwu who pulled in 8.0 rebounds per game to go along with 10.9 points; Jarren Greenwood (9.3 ppg), and James Harvey (8.7 ppg).

Head coach Dave Simmons went out and signed a couple of big men to help in the rebounding department, an area where the Cowboys were out-muscled by a 41-33 count last season. He brought in forwards Quatarrius Wilson (6-8, 200 pounds) and Demarco Owens (6-8, 260), both out of Moberly Area Community College, who should make an immediate impact in rebounding.

Also returning is sophomore shooter Richard Laku, sophomore guard Jacob Ledoux, senior forward LaBarrius Hill, and junior forward Adrian Brown while Fred Haywood, Kelvin Henry and Jacob Bonnington will be active after redshirting last season.

McNeese will move into its new home arena that is located next to Cowboy Stadium, for the 2018-19 season.

2017-18 McNeese Cowboys Basketball Schedule
November
10 at Housto
13 ECCLESIA
17 at San Diego State
19 at Loyola Marymount
22 CHAMPION CHRISTIAN COLLEGE
25 SOUTHERN-NEW ORLEANS
28 at Louisiana-Lafayette

December
9 at North Texas
14 at North Carolina Central
16 at Pittsburgh
19 TEXAS COLLEGE
28 *INCARNATE WORD
30 *NORTHWESTERN STATE

January
3 *at Abilene Christian
6 *NEW ORLEANS
10 *at Nicholls
13 *at Southeastern Louisiana
20 *at Houston Baptist
27 *at Lamar
30 *SAM HOUSTON STATE (Lake Charles Civic Center)

February
3 *at Northwestern State
8 *STEPHEN F. AUSTIN
10 *SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA
14 *at Central Arkansas
17 *at New Orleans
21 *NICHOLLS
24 *HOUSTON BAPTIST
28 *at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

March
3 *LAMAR

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