McNeese State Preview
Date: Wednesday, November 24th
Time: 11AM CST
Location: Lincoln, NE
Coach: Heath Schroyer (3rd Season)
2019-20 Record: 15-17 (10-10 Southland Conference)
The McNeese State Cowboys come into this season projected #6 in the Southland Conference. They’re not the strongest or most talented team there but they return some decent players that will most likely cause problems in the first game of the Golden Window Tournament that starts on Wednesday in Lincoln. Four players return who had started during the 2019-20 season and will be ready to take on the Huskers.
The Cowboys return All-Southland guard Dru Kuxhausen for his senior season and has been named to this season’s preseason All-Southland first team. I am not going to beat around the bush, the guy can shoot. In fact, he will most likely cause Nebraska problems from the get go in Lincoln if he comes in hot. Dru had 14.8 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game last season. Nothing terribly earth shattering by any means.
However, it’s how he got his points. Dru is a deadeye from beyond the arch. He shot 45.8% at the three point line in 2019-20. He launched 273 balls which comes down to 8.5 attempts per game. Only two other players did better last season. Though, there is one benefit to this next stat. He only shot 50 times from inside the 3 point line all of last season. That equates to only 1.8 per game. So, if Nebraska really wants to shut him down or he gets on a cold streak then make sure his shots are where he is the most vulnerable.
Dru graduated from Scottsbluff High School and spent his freshman and sophomore season playing at Western Nebraska Community College before transferring to McNeese State.
Next to Dru is guard A.J. Lawson. A.J. also named preseason All-Southland. A.J. is more of a well rounded player than Dru and averaged 14.9 points, 3.8 rebounds. and 4.2 assists per game as a junior last season. The 6-foot-5 redshirt senior ended the year ranking ninth in the league in scoring and third in assists per game. A.J. transferred to McNeese after two years at North Texas.
Also of note is big man Sha’markus Kenney. This 6’8” forward averaged 18.6 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game for the Cowboys last year. Nebraska should have the size and talent to take Sha’markus on but will need to keep him in check as the game goes on and the defensive eyes shift more towards A.J. and Dru.
Well, Nebraska will most likely have a fairly new starting lineup against the Cowboys and will be breaking some players in. The experience that McNeese State brings into Pinnacle Bank Arena will be a challenge for a Husker squad that is most likely just getting it’s rhythm together.
However, I like Nebraska’s talent and coaching just a bit more than what McNeese State will bring to the fold. Expect some growing pains for the first game of the season but the Huskers should pull out a win when it is all said a done.