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McNeese State Rebuilt for Dominance in the Southland Conference



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After arriving at McNeese State in the spring of 2023, head coach Will Wade led the program to it’s best season ever with a 30-4 record that saw the Cowboys make a First Round appearance in the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

Now, heading into year-two of the Wade-era in Lake Charles, Louisiana, McNeese State is dealing with the loss of 2023/24 Southland Player of the Year Shahada Wells to the NBA Draft but has retained a solid core moving forward.

Among that returning group will be the team’s top three scorers behind Wells this past season in Christian Shumate, DJ Richards Jr. and Javohn Garcia, who all averaged double-digit during the 2023/24 campaign. 

To pair with his returning talent, Wade has bolstered the program with six transfer portal signings to help lead the Cowboys to another season of Southland dominance. 

With a potential NBA caliber talent, two additional high-major coups and a group of mid-major stars all now gracing McNeese State’s roster, Willy the Kid looks set to ride all the way back to the NCAA Tournament again next season

Let’s breakdown each of the Cowboys offseason transfer portal recruits and how each can make an impact looking ahead to the 2024/25 season.

Sincere Parker – Saint Louis

Despite only making 16 appearances for Saint Louis this past season, Parker’s emergence was evident with the 6-foot-3 guard averaging a team-leading 15.9 PPG, aided by 4.3 RPG while shooting 49% from the field. In short, he’s an efficient and effective shot maker and showcased it with multiple 30+ point performances despite the Billikens struggles throughout the 2023/24 season.

While Saint Louis hobbled through the Atlantic 10, Parker looked on pace to finish top-10 in scoring had he stayed healthy. It’s hard to imagine he won’t continue that success with a move from the nation’s eighth ranked conference to the 29th ranked conference, according to

If Parker can maintain some consistency with his on the court availability, his scoring prowess could very well lead to an All-Conference First Team selection out of the McNeese State backcourt.

Joe Charles – Louisiana

Joining McNeese State after a 2023/24 All-Sun Belt Third Team selection at Louisiana, Charles is a 6-foot-7 wing who’s known for his three-point shooting and tenacious defensive effort. Averaging career-highs of 11.3 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 1.8 STLPG and 1.1 BKPG while shooting 34% from behind the arc this past season, the Carencero, LA native is the definition of a 3-and-D playmaker.

Given his size, development and stats it’s easy to imagine a talent like Charles getting high major looks from the transfer portal but instead he’ll end up in the Southland with McNeese State. With all that, he’s a potential double-double threat every other night for the Cowboys.

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