Starks, Bengals ready for second season
As LSU Eunice enters its second season of mens basketball, Bengal head coach Byron Starks is excited about the possibilites.
“I feel like the first year was a good year,” Starks said. “We are looking for to an even better season this second year.”
The Bengals finished 14-15 overall and 4-5 in Louisiana Community College Athletic Conference play.
“We had a group of young men who came in and did an outstanding job as they laid a foundation,” the coach said.
“To win more than 10 games in the first season was good start,” Starks said. “You always want to win more games but out guys competed well in every game as we faced some stiff competition.
“There were 10 games we lost by six points or less,” he said. “We showed a competitive spirit every game.
“We were pleased but not satisfied about the beginning of the program,” he said. “We will build from that foundation.”
Starks coached his son Caleb last season – a chance they both will remember for the rest of their lives.
Caleb earned all-conference honors Starks finished second on the team and fourth in the LCCAC in points per game with 13.1.
The guard had five 20-plus point performances including a season’s best 25 points against Southern Arkansas Tech.
“It was a special moment,” the coach said. “I coached him from elementary school onto high school and then LSUE – that’s something you can’t put a price tag on.”
The Bengals were 12-5 at home last season, but finished 1-7 away from LSUE.
“It is tough to win on the road,” Starks said. “But we always feel more comfortable playing in our own facility and want to defend the home court.”
Starks said he is excited about the team that includes a balance of sophomores and incoming freshmen.
According the coach, the roster includes two players from France, a couple of transfers from other Louisiana programs.
The Bengals will lose Starks along with All-LCCAC selections Brennan Maddox and Kae Williams.
Maddox led the Bengals with 16.6 points per game on the season, and upped his average to 20.2 points in conference play.
Maddox also led the team in three-point field goals made while scoring four of the five highest point totals of the season
Williams earned his reputation as LSUE’s utility man, leading the team in rebounds (9.4), assists (3.3) and steals (1.1) per game.
The forward also finished third on the team in points with 12.0 per night.
Williams nearly averaged a double-double in LCCAC play, going for 9.9 points and 10.0 rebounds in the nine games.
He grabbed a career best 20 rebounds in a Feb. 16 game against Delgado.
Caleb Starks will continue his career at LSU, while Maddox is at LSU Shreveport and Williams heads to Division II Minnesota State.
“Last year’s sophomores really helped lead the way,” the coach said. “We are expecting the same this season.
UL transfer Eli Mouton (Ascension Episcopal) and Jonathan Cisse (St. Thomas More) join the program along with Tyronne Hugue (Dallas, Texas) and Caleb Thibodeaux (Lafayette Christian Academy).
District 5-3A MVP Colby Wilson (Iota) and Isaiah Payne (Pine Prairie) are also expected to help the Bengals along with Xaiver transfer Jevon Berry (Cecilia).
“We are always looking for guys who fit our style of play,” the coach said. “The guys here will get to showcase their talents and get the chance to compete a the higher level.”
Starks said as a coach he wants to win, but more inportantly his calling is to help in the development of the young mens lives.
“We want transform an individual’s life and that’s what makes coaching so special – it’s an honor to play a part in their lives.”
The players report on Aug. 18 with the first jamboree on Oct. 6 at LSU Alexandria.