Brown Gives Cajuns Baksetball First Commit

After visiting the Louisiana campus last weekend, 2016 all-state wing Roydell Brown of Helen Cox (La.) High School announced Monday that he’s committed to play college hoops for the Ragin’ Cajuns.

The 6-foot-5, 190-pound Brown told the Cajun Redzone he chose the Cajuns over Northwestern State. He is the first public commitment for the Cajuns and coach Bob Marlin in their 2016 recruiting class.

“When I started my visit last weekend both schools were even, but as I was watching them practice I really felt like a part of their family,” Brown said of the Cajuns. “I really enjoyed being around their players and coaches. I’d played with some of those guys before. I know it was the right choice because it felt like home.”

Brown cited several factors for picking the Cajuns over Northwestern State. In addition to those schools, the athletic slasher claimed offers from ULM, UTEP, Murray State, Middle Tennessee, Louisiana Tech, South Alabama, Texas State and Houston and interest from Wake Forest, UMass, South Carolina, USF and East Carolina.

“I know I’ll be able to play close to home and have a chance to get better and maybe play in the NBA or overseas,” Brown said. “Their playing style was also a big reason. I like to play at a high tempo and play fast and press and always attack to get the other team tired. That fits my style very good. The coaches are great and make sure their players focus on academics before basketball. They also make sure their players are working hard to make themselves better and the team better.”

Last season Brown helped Helen Cox (29-6) win the District 8-5A title as the versatile wing earned first team all-district honors and was Class 5A all-state honorable mention after averaging 18 points per game. It was Helen Cox’s first district title since 2008.

“Their coaches have been watching me since I was a freshman and they said they felt like I was the best fit for them at the wing spot,” Brown said of the Cajuns. “They said I’m a good player with a good attitude and like how I’m able to play inside and outside, slash to the basket, rebound and handle the ball.”

Over the summer Brown played travel ball with Elfrid Payton Elite of the Nike EYBL, Louisiana Dynasty and Jet Life Athletics. Payton played at John Ehret High in metro New Orleans before becoming an All-Sun Belt Conference guard for the Cajuns and finishing fourth in last season’s NBA Rookie of the Year race with the Orlando Magic.

“Elfrid is a good person and very humble,” Brown said. “It’s a great opportunity for me to go to the same school he went to.”

Brown said he’s unsure whether he will sign during the NCAA’s early signing period (Nov. 11-18) or spring period (April 13 to May 18). Right now he’s focused on leading a Helen Cox program that lost eight seniors from last season’s Class 5A state quarterfinal team.

“Making this decision takes a lot of stuff off my shoulders,” Brown said. “Now I’m able to focus on my senior year and trying to win a state championship. My mom and dad are proud to know I’m going to get a free education and play basketball at the next level.”

Brown also had a message for supporters of the Ragin’ Cajuns, who have signed several of the state’s top prep players in recent years under Marlin.

“I like feeling like I’m part of a family,” Brown said. “I’m a good team player and very athletic. I play hard and play good defense. I’m going to play as hard as I can and I’m really glad to be a Cajun.”

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