The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns kicked off their 52nd Division I men’s basketball season with victories on Nov. 7 against the Centenary Gentlemen and on Nov. 11 against the Harvard Crimson.
In the team’s 13th season under head coach Bob Marlin, the Cajuns dominated the competition against outmatched teams, defeating Centenary 106–55 and Harvard 75–61.
The Cajuns got off to a scorching start on both ends in their home win over Centenary. The team exploded for 59 first-half points and held Centenary to just 21 points at halftime. Louisiana ended up shooting 54.8% from the field as a team opposed to Centenary shooting a lousy 28.8% as a team.
Junior forward Jordan Brown, who transferred over from the University of Arizona this past offseason, drained his first seven field goals of the game. It wasn’t until 16 minutes and 20 seconds in the second half before Brown missed his first shot of the game. Brown finished with 26 points on 9–11 shooting along with nine rebounds.
Brown wound up being the only forward to reach double-digit points as senior forward Terence Lewis II, a Jackson State University transfer, finished with nine points and sophomore forward Joe Charles finished with six.
Although Lewis and Charles didn’t greatly impact the score, the two forwards were busy on the boards. Lewis racked up six defensive rebounds and nine rebounds total while Charles was the only player to record double-digit rebounds, finishing with 10.
Redshirt sophomore guard Themus Fulks did a good job distributing the basketball for the Cajuns as he recorded seven assists on the evening, five coming in the second half. Fulks finished with 10 points on 4–9 shooting from the field.
The Cajuns shot 44.4% from three-point range as a team. Both freshman guard Chancellor White and senior San Jose State transfer guard Jalen Dalcourt paced the team shooting 3–5 on three pointers.
In Louisiana’s second matchup of the season on the road against Harvard, the tandem of Lewis and Brown shone early and often.
Lewis dominated first-half scoring for the Cajuns, recording 17 points in the first 20 minutes of play on 8–11 shooting from the field. The 6-foot-7 forward led the team with 20 points on 9–13 shooting and collected 11 rebounds on the evening.
On the other side of the break, Brown dominated the second-half scoring for Louisiana, scoring 15 of his 19 points in the final 20 minutes of the game. Brown shot 64.3% from the field on 9–14 shooting along with nine rebounds in the win.
Fulks was the only other player for the Cajuns to finish with over 10 points. The 6-foot-1 guard shot 5–11 from the field totaling 12 points and recorded three assists, the most on the team.
Though the Cajuns allowed Harvard to shoot 46.9% as a team and gave up 38 second-half points to the Crimson, Louisiana controlled much of the game. The Cajuns only trailed once in the contest and led by as much as 18 points early in the second half.
Two games into the season, Louisiana is averaging 90.5 points per game. Their ability to score has gotten the team off to a 2–0 start, matching four other teams for second place in the Sun Belt Conference.
Fans can expect much of the same from Brown and the Cajuns this season, as Louisiana was voted by coaches as the top team in the Sun Belt this preseason. Brown was selected for the preseason All-Sun Belt first team as well as named the preseason conference player of the year. Sophomore forward Kobe Julien was also named to the preseason All-Sun Belt second team.
At the time this is published, Louisiana will have already played the East Tennessee State Buccaneers on Nov. 13 on the road in Johnson City, Tenn. The Cajuns will be looking ahead to their next matchup at home on Nov. 17 as they host the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in the Cajundome.