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Men’s Basketball: Here are 6 toughest games for Louisiana in 2021-22 + Feel Good Friday Aerial View

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, Oct. 8, 2021

Click here for the aerial view of UL Athletic facilities for Feel Good Friday.

UL will play 11 non-conference games in the 2021-22 men’s basketball season.

The Ragin’ Cajuns open Nov. 9 at the Cajundome against West Florida, an NCAA Division II program. Their first road game is Nov. 12 at Southern Miss.

UL also plays Xavier of Louisiana, Jackson State, New Orleans, McNeese and Loyola-New Orleans at home and visits Indiana, Marshall, Louisiana Tech and Houston.

“We’ve had tremendous difficulty getting people to play, whether it be at home or away,” coach Bob Marlin said.

UL also will play an Oct. 24 preseason charity exhibition game at Alabama.

The Cajuns open Sun Belt Conference play Dec. 30 at Appalachian State and close Feb. 26 at Georgia State. Their first home conference game is Jan. 6 against Arkansas State.

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Here are the Cajuns’ six toughest games:

Nov. 21 at Indiana

UL will play at Assembly Hall for the first time in program history, adding to the challenge of an early two-game trip.

The Hoosiers went 12-15 last season. But leading scorer Trayce Jackson-Davis (19.1 points per game) decided to stay, and first-coach Mike Woodson overhauled much of the rest of the roster with additions including Pitt transfer guard Xavier Johnson (14.2 ppg) and transfer guard Parker Stewart, a 3-point shooter who played previously at Pittsburgh and UT Martin.

Nov. 23 at Marshall

First team All-Conference USA pick Taevion Kinsey averaged 19.5 points and 6.2 rebounds last season for the Thundering Herd, one of league’s East Division favorites along with Western Kentucky, after going 15-7 in 2020-21.

Jarrod West (12.5 ppg) transferred to Louisville, but guard Andrew Taylor (12.0 ppg) also returns.

Dec. 3 vs. New Orleans

Leading scorer Damion Rosser (15.7 ppg) turned pro, but UNO returns two capable scorers with the experienced backcourt duo of Troy Green (15.4) and Derek St. Hilaire (12.3).

The Privateers also loaded up with transfers including 6-foot-8 former Nevada starter Robby Robinson and 6-6 guard De’Sean Allen-Eikens (a 12.6 ppg scorer at North Dakota), making them early contenders to win the Southland.

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Dec. 14 at Houston

Last season the Cougars made it to the Final Four in Indianapolis, where they lost in the semifinals to national-champion Baylor.

Houston loses four starters including top scorer Quinten Grimes and leading rebounder Justin Gorham, but returns No. 2 scorer Marcus Sasser (13.5 ppg) and Tramon Mark on the perimeter and adds guards Kyler Edwards (10.1 ppg at Texas Tech last season) and All-Big West pick Taze Moore, a transfer from Cal State Bakersfield.

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Dec. 11 at Louisiana Tech

With Kenneth Lofton Jr. (12.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg) bringing his inside toughness back to a 24-8 team, UL will be in for a battle with one of the best in the C-USA West.

Double-digit scorers Isaiah Crawford and Amorie Archibald also return for the Bulldogs, who played in 2021 NIT and were 15-1 at home last season with only a loss to Marshall.

Feb. 26 at Georgia State

The GSU Sports Arena never is an easy place to play, and this season – Georgia State’s last before moving into a new facility – should be no different. 

The Panthers have won three of the last Sun Belt Tournaments and played in the league’s last three championship games. They return all five usual starters from the conference’s top-scoring club in 2020-21, including 3-point shooter Corey Allen (15.0 ppg), Kane Williams (12.9 ppp), leading rebounder Eliel Nsoseme and assists leader Justin Roberts.

2021-22 UL basketball

Non-conference schedule

Nov. 9 vs. West Florida

Nov. 12 at Southern Miss

Nov. 17 vs. Xavier of Louisiana

Nov. 21 at Indiana

Nov. 23 at Marshall

Nov. 27 vs. Jackson State

Dec. 3 vs. New Orleans

Dec. 8 vs. McNeese

Dec. 11 at Louisiana Tech

Dec. 14 at Houston

Dec. 20 vs. Loyola-New Orleans

Start times to be announced