Coach Marlin and the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns basketball team have been waiting for the chance to showcase their revamped roster since August and the time has finally come.
With the NCAA giving the thumbs up to begin full, organized practices and the schedule release last week, the season is vastly approaching.
“Our team will finally be given the chance to hold full practices and prepare for our opening game. This is a moment our players have been waiting for,” Marlin said in a press conference on Tuesday.
Marlin is ecstatic about the new additions to this year’s roster despite the recruiting challenges COVID-19 brought to the NCAA.
With the loss of Jalen Johnson to Mississippi State, Marlin went and got multiple transfers to fill the void.
Devin Butts, a former Mississippi State hooper, will now trade in his maroon and white for our Ragin’ Cajun red.
Butts is a 6-foot-6 guard who will have three years of eligibility remaining. He is the second Division I transfer to join the Ragin’ Cajuns during the offseason, as is University of Portland transfer Theo Akwuba.
“Devin is a wing player who can play multiple positions, has a good feel for the game, and can score at all three levels,” Head Coach Bob Marlin said. “His time at Mississippi State was great for his college development. He has competed against some really good players with length and athleticism.”
Theo Akwuba, a former big man for the University of Portland, gives our Cajuns the size and length they need on the court. Akwuba is a 6’11 center who can use his pure force to dominate in the paint.
Akwuba and Butts have both received waivers from the NCAA to become immediately eligible for this year’s 2020-21 season.
When asked about the offseason improvements of last year’s starters Mylik Wilson and Cedric Russell, Marlin said, “Mylik has improved his ball handling and decision making more than anything. We saw last season what he can do on the defensive end, but this season we will see a more polished Mylik. Cedric has continued his improved shooting and becoming a better leader on the floor.”
In an uncharacteristic offseason, Coach Marlin and his coaching staff dealt with difficult coronavirus precautions.
When asked what his biggest challenges have been as a coach during this pandemic, Marlin said, “The biggest challenge I have faced is not being able to be around the guys and developing relationships over the summer.”
The summer is when players spend countless hours in the gym with their coaches perfecting their craft, but the coronavirus had other plans. Despite the limited hours in the gym, Marlin believes this is one of his better all-around teams.
Marlin compared this 2020-21 team to Louisiana’s 2017-18 team. The depth and star potential of this roster has the ability to compete for a Sun Belt Conference Championship.
The Ragin’ Cajuns roster is set to make a deep run this season led by senior Russell and sophomore stud Wilson alongside a plethora of transfer talent.