The Ragin’ Cajuns men’s basketball team is off to a hot start to begin the 2021-22 season with contributions from virtually everyone. It’s been imperative the Cajuns dominate inside, and they’ve surely been executing their game plan.
Star big men Theo Akwuba and Jordan Brown have put the country on notice as a duo inside the paint that’s going to wreak havoc all season long. Brown has been a force through just a few games and it’ll be important to monitor his growth once conference play comes around.
The former five-star recruit and PAC-12 Sixth Man of the Year, Brown, is averaging 14 points and seven rebounds per game on an impressive 50% shooting. Defensively is where he’s also showing signs of excellence, averaging two blocks per contest as well.
For Akwuba, it’s clear why he was a preseason All-Sun Belt selection and in the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year again. Though his average blocks per game is minimal to start the season, his presence is known down low, contesting shots and giving the opposing team’s big men trouble each night.
In just 22 minutes per game, Akwuba averages a near double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds per game. With more minutes and more volume as the Cajuns begin playing higher level competition, Akwuba will see his stats increase dramatically.
Lafayette native and St. John’s transfer Greg Williams Jr. has really shown his feel for the game through just a few games. A do-it-all player, Williams plays both ends of the floor aggressively, averaging double figures in points and nearly two steals per game.
Williams came to play for the Cajuns with a chip on his shoulder. Not getting the volume and minutes at St. John’s, he now has the chance to be the leader of this team and have the game plan run through him. With dominant big men inside, Williams has thrived in the pick and roll, getting open plays for himself as well as getting other players looks.
A pleasant surprise for Louisiana has been the consistency of transfer Jalen Dalcourt. A key piece off the bench, he’s given a spark when needed as one of the first men off the bench in each contest so far.
Dalcourt, a San Jose State transfer, played his high school ball at Lafayette High School and is thriving while playing with his friends and family in attendance. It was unclear what type of role Dalcourt would play on such a stacked roster, but he’s filling in nicely, giving Coach Bobby Marlin key minutes to this point.
This team is loaded from top to bottom. The ability to play eight or nine players each night and get production is what is going to make this team so great. The addition of Power Five transfers gives Coach Marlin an experienced team who’s played under the brightest lights.
It’ll be exciting to see where this team’s chemistry is once conference play comes around in late December. Already showing flashes of what this team is capable of, Coach Marlin has a unit that is more than capable of winning the Sun Belt Conference and punching their ticket to the NCAA tournament.