Cowboys Highlights

General Information

NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: Southland Conference
Past Conferences: Gulf States Conference
City: Lake Charles, Louisiana
Arena: The Legacy Center
NCAA Tournaments: 2 (1989, 2002)


National Championships: 0
Conference Titles: 6 (1975, 1978, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2011)

Team History

McNeese State lists its first year of competition as occurring in the 1943-44 season, at a time when some schools were shutting down their programs due to World War II. The Cowboys were pretty strong from the start, with head coach Wayne Cusic posting a 124-58 record between 1945 and 1952.

Ralph O. Ward took over the program for the 1952-53 season and led the Cowboys to the NAIA championship in 1955-56. It was their only appearance in the NAIA Tournament. The Cowboys had a bit of a postseason drought before getting to the 1968 NCAA Division II Tournament, where they lost both games. Ward remained coach until the end of the 1970-71 season.

McNeese State made the jump to Division I for the 1972-73 season and had some decent teams, winning the conference regular season in 1975 and 1978, but the Cowboys couldn’t get the conference tournament win. McNeese State received an invite to the NIT in 1986 and in 1989, finally got the elusive conference tournament win and their first opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament.

The Cowboys returned to the NIT in 2001 and made their second appearance in the NCAA Tournament the following season. McNeese State returned to the NIT in 2011 and made its last postseason appearance in the 2012 CIT.

McNeese State Cowboys All-Time Records

Points Scored

Joe Dumars, 2,612
Edmund Lawrence, 1,986
Demond Mallett, 1,941


Edmund Lawrence, 1,212
John Rudd,1,181
David Lawrence, 1,026


Girard Harmon, 440
Kevin Hardy, 430
David Green, 387

McNeese State Cowboys FAQs

How Many NBA Players Has McNeese State Produced?

The Cowboys have had six players compete in the NBA, with Joe Dumars easily being the best. The Hall of Fame guard won two championships and was a six-time All-Star, winning the NBA Finals MVP in 1989. Dumars played in more games and scored more points than the other five McNeese State NBA players combined.

How Did McNeese State Get Its Mascot?

According to the school’s website, the basketball team chose the cowboy as the mascot in the mid-1940s due to the popularity of rodeos and because the McNeese campus was formerly a farm.


Latest NCAAB News

Back to top button

Bet like a PRO!

Subscribe now and get Weekly Expert Free Picks