Red River Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Preview
The Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) is coming off a year where only four teams finished the season. While most of the leagues, top tier teams, were still the ones playing. This league, which is typically one of the NAIA’s best, seemed to be a bit down last season. Tradition helped to get three of the four remaining teams into the National Tournament, but the league went 0-3 in the NAIA Tournament last season.
Turning the page into this year, it should be no surprise that LSU-Shreveport sits a top the preseason poll. The Pilots are well coached and return almost everyone from last seasons championship team. League newcomer, Xavier (LA) was picked in a tie for 3rd, but returns Rayshawn Mart, who was the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year and is a 3x NAIA All-American. XULA also won the the GCAC conference tournament last season and will only add to an already very tough conference.
LSU-A who has won at least a share of the regular season crown in seven of the past eight seasons, should be right there again. However, losing 2020-21 RRAC Freshman of the Year in Rodney Munson, hurts a bit. Texarkana and Head Coach Ryan Wall have also been a program that has battled at the top of the RRAC over the past few seasons. We will see if anyone can dethrone LSU-Shreveport or not, but the RRAC is always a fun one and should be even more fun this season!
|1.||LSU Shreveport (La.) (12)||144|
|2.||LSU Alexandria (La.)||113|
|6.||Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)||77|
|7.||Jarvis Christian (Texas)||73|
|12.||Paul Quinn (Texas)||36|
2020-21 Champions and Qualifiers
Regular Season Champions
AAC Tournament Champion
National Tournament Qualifiers:
LSU-Shreveport, After a 1st round bye, Lost to Jamestown (ND) 75-87 in the second round.
LSU-Alexandria, lost 68-77 to Talladega in the opening round of the NAIA National Championships.
Texas A&M Texarkana – Lost 69-73 to Bethel (Ind) in the opening round of the NAIA National Championships.
2021-22 Season Preview
Conference POY Watch List:
Rayshawn Mart, 6’4 XULA. 21.6ppg 6.6rpg. 2020-21 GCAC Player of the Year. NAIA 1st Team All-American. One of best 2-way players in the NAIA!
Leondre Washington, 6’0 LSU-Shreveport. 20.75ppg, 3.9rpg. 2020-21 1st Team All-RRAC. HM All-American. Led the RRAC in scoring last season.
Jakemin Abney, 6’2 LSU-Alexandria. 13.2ppg, 3.4rpg. 1st Team All-RRAC. With no Munson on roster, Abney becomes the best Freshman returner in the RRAC.
Rayshawn Mart, 6’4 XULA, 21.6ppg 6.6rpg. 2020-21 GCAC Player of the Year. NAIA 1st Team All-American. One of best 2-way players in the NAIA!
Charles Dickson, 6’4 XULA, 17.4ppg, 5.4rpg at Southwestern Christian (Okla) last season.
Quentin Jones, 6’8 Shreveport, 7.1ppg, 2.1rpg at NC A&T. D1 Transfer with some size.
Kae’ron Baker, 6’2 Louisiana College, 22.7ppg, 3.8rpg. Now a Super Senior (Covid Sr.), Kae’ron is an electric scorer who will try to carry that ability into the NAIA and the RRAC.
Marvin Lowe 6’7 Univ of the Southwest. Marvin averaged just 5.9ppg,3.4rpg at MACU last year, but he is a big bodied kid that can help this USW team out this year.
Favorites to Win RRAC:
LSU-Shreveport – We had originally been told that Kadavion Evans was back and maybe he will be at semester, but for now he is no longer showing up on the Pilot roster. No worries though Pilot fans, this is still an extremely talented roster that returns 4 of their top 5 scorers from last season. They also get D1 Transfer Quentin Jones (NC A&T) to add some size and depth.
Texas A&M Texarkana – Return their Top two scorers from this past season in Kobe Powell and Connor Ouellette and while they return a majority of their players who played minutes for them last year, they are only starting the season with 8 players on the roster. You have to believe they are bringing some guys in at Semester.
Xavier (LA) – They do take a bit of a step UP in competition as they switch leagues this season. However this XULA team returns nearly everyone from a team that spent a good majority of the season as a Top 25 team and won the GCAC Tournament last year. GCAC Player of the Year, Rashawn Mart is back for the Gold Rush and while they return their top scorers they also add in big time scorer Charles Dickson who averaged 17.1ppg last year at NAIA Southwestern Christian. They also add NCAA drop down, 6’10 Jalen King to help give them some depth and size in the paint. Don’t be surprised if this XULA team is right there in the heat of a conference race at the end of the season.
LSU-Alexandria – We know the RRAC coaches put them 2nd in the preseason poll and they will no doubt be a contender. However, this is a team that, quite honestly, was young and a little down last season. Add to it they lost RRAC Freshman of the Year and All-American Rodney Munson and you have a team that has some question marks again. The good thing is, that Larry Cordaro can really coach and they do still return their other Freshman phenom from last season, Jakemin Abney. This will be a team that only gets better and better as the year goes along and you can never count out the Generals, who have won at least a share of the RRAC Title in 6 of the past 7 seasons.
University of The Southwest – This might be the biggest reach we take on a sleeper team from any league. However, USW has a few nice transfers from good NAIA programs that should come in and help USW be more competitive. There may be a few others that were better fits for this section, but this is a team to at least keep an eye on as the season progresses.