Head coach Bob Marlin welcomed back 14 players, highlighted by nine newcomers, as the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns men’s basketball team officially opened practice on Tuesday at the Moncla Indoor Practice Facility.
With returning starters P.J. Hardy and Cedric Russell back in the fold for the tenth-year head coach, the Ragin’ Cajuns picked up right where they left off during summer drills.
The duo are part of a group that returns five letterwinners (Mason Aucoin, Kristian Lafayette and Trajan Wesley) from last year’s team that finished 19-13 overall.
After sitting out last season, junior forward Jalen Johnson (transfer) and redshirt freshman Kobe Julien (injury) will look to lead a group of newcomers that includes transfers Tirus Smith, Dou Gueye and Durey Cadwell, plus freshmen Javonne Lowery, Chris Spenkuch, Calvin Temple and Mylik Wilson.
“It was a really good first day, the guys are working hard at building off what we did this summer,” Marlin said. “The freshmen are coming along nicely, the junior college transfers and our returning players are coming along nicely. We had a couple of guys out as a precaution, but they’ll be back later in the week.”
Louisiana officially opens its 2019-20 season on Nov. 5 when it hosts Loyola of New Orleans at the Cajundome.
The Ragin’ Cajuns will play 15 games at home during the regular-season, including non-conference games against in-state opponents McNeese (Nov. 9) and Southeastern Louisiana (Dec. 3), plus home contests against Youngstown State (Nov. 15) and UC Santa Barbara (Dec. 29).
“We’ve got 30 practices within 42 days, so we’re going to go four to five days per week and try to make sure we’ve got some legs left,” Marlin said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do and November 5 will be here before you know it.”