Signing day for McNeese basketball literally a big one

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LAKE CHARLES – Wednesday was a big day for first-year McNeese Cowboys basketball head coach John Aiken… literally.

Aiken and his staff signed four players on National Signing Day, including 7-foot-1 junior center Brendan Medley-Bacon, a transfer from Virginia Commonwealth. Medley-Bacon is just the second 7-footer in Cowboy basketball history, joining the great Edmund Lawrence.

In addition, Aiken announced the signing of 6-5 guard Myles Lewis, a graduate transfer out of VMI, DeAngelo Ware, a 6-foot guard transfer from Tallahassee College, and 6-foot-7 forward Jonathan Lucas from Hartfield Academy in Mississippi.

The signing of the four brings the total number to six. Houston high school standouts Johnathan Massie and Shaun Walker signed back in November.

They’ll join an already great cast of returning players who provided a big impact for the Cowboys this past season in KeyShawn Feazell, Harwin Francois, Zach Scott, Collin Warren, Braelon Bush and Evan Palmquist.

“It’s a really exciting day for myself and our first recruiting class,” said Aiken. “We’ve got some really good players that have decided to come back for another year. They’re all working out right now. We’re really excited about that core group.

“Very excited about who we added. We signed a couple of Division I transfers, a JUCO transfer and three high school kids that I’m really excited about. Probably the best high school class we’ve signed since I’ve been here in the four years.”

McNeese has one more scholarship available. Aiken is expecting to fill that in the coming days.

2021 McNeese Cowboy Basketball Signees

Myles Lewis • G • 6-5 • Ashburn, Va. • Middleburg Academy/Victory Rock Prep • VMI
Appeared in 112 games making 81 starts at VMI… scored 901 points in four years, averaging 8.1 points and 19.6 minutes per game… averaged 10.3 points and 7.5 rebounds in 20-21 go to along with 53 percent shooting from the field… scored double-figures 12 times last season with a high of 24 points against Mercer in the season finale… averaged 10.5 points his sophomore campaign while starting all 32 games.

Aiken on Lewis: “Signed with us a couple of weeks ago. We’re really excited about him. He played in the Southern Conference. VMI had one of the best years they’ve had in a long time. He was an integral part of their whole program. He reminds me a lot like a Roydell Brown. Can play the 3 or 4. Just a really good basketball player. A great defender. A great young man with a great family. He stayed at VMI for four years and earned his degree, so that says a lot about who he is.”

Brendan Medley-Bacon • C • 7-1 • 245 • Baltimore, Md. • Archbishop Curley • Coppin St. • VCU
Medley-Bacon played one season at VCU, appearing in 13… before that the Baltimore native played two seasons at Coppin State, where he appeared in 61 games and earning All-MEAC honors… was a four-time MEAC Defensive Player of the Week… sophomore season, averaged 10.8 points and led the MEAC with 12.5 rebounds and 2.9 blocked shots per game.

Aiken on Medley-Bacon: “He got caught up in the COVID situation. He was supposed to sit out at VCU after transferring from Copping State where he was an All-MEAC performer. But when the blanket waiver was established, he was put into a situation where he was made eligible but there really wasn’t anywhere to play him and he didn’t play. He started to evaluate what he really wanted to do and he wanted to go back to somewhere comparable to Coppin where he can have an impact. He has two years to play. A high-level shot blocker. He was also second on the team in assists at Coppin. A very skilled and a great rebounder. Really excited to add him next to KeyShawn in the front court.”

Jonathan Lucas • F • 6-7 • 180 • Madison, Miss. • Hartfield Academy
2021 MAIS Class 4A Player of the Year… led team to the MAIS 4A State Championship where he scored 16 points with 10 rebounds and 5 assists in the title game… averaged 14 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists per game as a senior.

Aiken on Lucas: “Very athletic and versatile. Has a very high upside. Brings a different dimension for us. Can play the 3 and 4 spots.”

Johnathan Massie • G • 6-5 • 230 • Houston, Texas • Legacy Charter
Played at one of the top high schools in Houston… an explosive, downhill guard… can play the 1 and the 3 guard spots… a great defender… rated as a Top 10 player in the Greater Houston Area by On The Radar.

DeAngelo Ware • G • 6-0 • 185 • Evansville, Ind. • Benjamin Bosse HS • Tallahassee College
Transfer from Tallahassee College where he appeared in 22 games last season, averaging 9.6 points, 3.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game… helped lead his team to a 19-3 record, including a 13-3 mark in conference play… scored double-figures 13 times with a high of 21 points vs. NW Florida State College… prior to Tallahassee, played at Iowa Western College.

Aiken on Ware: “A rough and rugged combo guard. He really fits the Southland. Very gritty and tough. Can play the 1 and 2. A really good defender.”

Shaun Walker • F • 6-7 • 230 • Manvel, Texas • Manvel HS
Strong body, great hands and great feet and can score around the rim… Top 10 player in the Greater Houston Area by On The Radar… played for one of the top AAU programs in the nation… District MVP.

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