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MCNEESE STATE Team Report
Penn, the 6-foot-11 shot-blocker for McNeese State, picked up basketball later than most college players -- like just before he got to college. Penn, from the British Virgin Islands, stood out among his peers because of his 285-pound frame. That allowed him an easier time than most, when he played junior college ball at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College on the island of Tortola. He averaged a double-double and eight blocked shots -- and recorded a triple-double -- during the eight-game season.
That, of course, was no indicator of success at Division I. Penn did start for the Cowboys last season, but was limited to a role as a shot-blocker.
Penn likely will have the school's single-season shot-blocking record by season's end, but his development as a rebounder and scorer will be critical to McNeese's hopes. There was a 16-point effort -- a career high -- earlier this season. Whether Penn is picking up the game quickly enough to make a major impact for the Cowboys remains to be seen. But he has the size to make up for any mistakes right now.
--McNeese only went to the free-throw line seven times -- making three -- in the Stephen F. Austin contest. That marked the third time this season the Cowboys went to the line less than 10 times in a game. The three makes matched the season low for the team.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We shot poorly from the field again. (We) got a little frustrated." -- McNeese coach Dave Simmons, to the Lake Charles American Press after his team shot 30 percent from the floor and leading scorers Jarvis Bradley and John Ford combined for 10 points.
PLAYER ROTATION: Usual Starters -- F Jarvis Bradley, F John Pichon, C Kleon Penn, G John Ford, G Rorey Lawrence. Key Subs -- G Stephan Martin, F Aldryan Wardell.
McNeese 67, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 59
Sam Houston State 64, McNeese 49
Stephen F. Austin 64, McNeese 39
vs. Northwestern State, Wednesday, Jan. 23
at Central Arkansas, Saturday, Jan. 26
at Lamar, Saturday, Feb. 2
IN FOCUS: McNeese has been struggling with its offense, not what the Cowboys needed heading into a matchup with Northwestern State. The Demons play a high-energy, frenetic defense, rolling in substitutions to break down opponents. McNeese likely will get some open shots against NSU. Now the Cowboys just have to make them.
--C Kleon Penn hauled down a season-best 10 rebounds in the Jan. 17 loss to Sam Houston.
--Jarvis Bradley's six points in the Jan. 19 loss to Stephen F. Austin were a season low for the forward.
--F Aldryan Wardell grabbed a season-high seven rebounds in the Jan. 19 game against Stephen F. Austin.
Previous Report: 01/15/2008