Ragin’ Cajuns Playing Northwestern State In WBI
Last year, the Ragin’ Cajuns went to the WBI and won their first ever national tournament. In 2016, they have a chance to repeat with a special group of seniors.
Keke Veal, Kia Wilridge, Brooklyn Arceneaux, Adrienne Prejean and Jasmin Mills helped Head Coach Garry Brodhead win 20 games in back to back seasons for the first time in UL’s history. They put the first national champion trophy in the case for the women’s basketballers, and this year they wanted to do more. Their dreams of playing in the NCAA Tournament ended in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, but the postseason door didn’t completely shut.
Brodhead thought the NIT would come knocking. With a record of 21-10, it was definitely in the realm of possibility. Unfortunately for the Cajuns, it didn’t pan out. The WBI offered their reigning champs a chance to repeat before inviting any other team in the country; and after holding out for the NIT, the Cajuns accepted the invite.
“We have another opportunity, and another opportunity to play in the WBI,” Brodhead said. “We want to play in postseason all the time because I think it’s a great experience. Not only a great experience for the whole team, but for your young kids too, to get them more playing time, and practice time.”
The Cajuns play Northwestern State (19-11, 13-5 Southland), who is coming off a semifinal loss to Sam Houston State in the Southland Conference Tournament. They will tip things off at 5:00 pm on Wednesday in the Cajundome in a double-header with the men, who are hosting Texas A&M Corpus Christi in the CBI. It will be a postseason atmosphere, no matter what the tournament name is.
Programs always want to take steps forward. Another trip to the WBI could be looked at as holding place, not as progress. In college sports, it’s hard to complain about a team with back to back successful seasons.
Selfishly, in Brodhead’s mind, more basketball is always better.
“Any time you can extend your season, and you’re playing more, and practicing more, I think you build the program,” Brodhead said. “Every sport here wants to be a champion, and the way to do it is to play in these tournaments and see where you end up.”
If you’re on the fence about attending, the university is setting it up so one ticket gets you into both men’s and women’s games. In the midst of March, who doesn’t want a double-dip of postseason action in the middle of the week? Any one of these games could be the last for this group of record setting seniors. You don’t want to miss their goodbye.