Cajun basketball teams wrap up successful seasons
The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns basketball teams made several strides this season, including deep postseason runs.
The men’s basketball team finished the season 22-14 (13-7) and received an invite to play in the College Insider’s Tournament (CIT). The Cajuns made it to the quarterfinals and lost to Evansville 89-82. This game was particularly special because it was the first game the Cajuns played in Blackham Coliseum since 2005.
Junior forward Shawn Long was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District 24 first team. Long also was named to the All-Sun Belt Conference first team this season as well. Long averaged 16.4 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, while shooting .542 from the field. He was the only player in the SBC to rank in the top five in both scoring and rebounding and his 52 career double-doubles are the most by any active player in the country. Long was named to the Lou Henson All-American team this season as well.
Sophomore guard Jay Wright was named to the All-Sun Belt Conference third team. Wright averaged 9.1 points and 3.6 assist per game, while shooting .384 from the field.
The women’s basketball team finished the season 19-12 (10-10) and received an invite to play in the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI). The Cajuns won the WBI championship over Siena 52-50.
This is the best season for the Cajuns since 2006-07. Keke Veal and Kia Wilridge were each named to the All-Sun Belt Conference third team. When the Cajuns entered the postseason, the defense ranked fifth in the country in turnover margin (+7.0) and third in the conference in scoring defense (59.2).
Looking towards the future, both Cajun basketball teams have more bright days to come. Although neither team reached the NCAA tournament, both played deep into postseason tournaments.
The women’s team has several frontcourt recruits committed for next season. Breionne Cooper, Alex Weeks and Jordan Alexander are all committed to the Cajuns and all three ladies are over 6 feet tall. Overall, this season was a success for the women’s basketball team. The Cajuns should be a contender for the conference championship in 2016.
On the men’s side, the largest question is if Shawn Long will return. After another solid season, Long’s draft stock is on the rise. Currently, NBADraft.net has Long returning for his senior season. Next year’s team will be much younger with five seniors graduating this year.
Overall, this is a great time for Cajuns basketball fans.
The Cajundome is slated to be modernized after next season and this will only further the progress of both programs.