Lafayette and the surrounding parishes have been a hotbed for Louisiana hoops over the last few seasons. Teams like Westgate, New Iberia, and Lafayette have had good teams and competed for state championships while North Central and St. Thomas More have won titles. In this edition of city rankings, we will take a look at the top 20 players in eight parish, Cajun Heartland.
1.| 6’5″ | North Central | 2021 – The top player in the 2021 class has improved his skill set every year. He is now a three tier scorer who rebounds relentlessly. His senior season could be one to remember as the Hurricanes go for a three-peat. UNO, Tulane, Southern, or another school could benefit greatly from his growth.
2.| 6’7″ | Carencro | 2021 – The second rated player in the 2021 class is coming off of a productive season that was cut short due to injury. Providing his knee is fully healthy this season, the UL-Lafayette commit has a scary offensive skill set and is a defensive presence as well. He should via for player of the year without doubt.
3.| 6’4″ | Opelousas Christian | 2021 – Coleman is the #9 ranked player in the 2021 class and also co-MVP in 5-1A with . The Kansas commit is one of the more gifted athletes to grace a football field or basketball court. He will have a legitimate shot at claiming player of the year titles in both sports
4.| 6’2″ | St. Thomas More | 2021 – Shelvin is ranked in the top 20 of his class, a back-to-back state champion, and an all-state player. He is definitely one of the best two-way players in the state and plays hard on both ends. Look for Shelvin, and the player ranked next, to be one of the best duos Louisiana has as well.
5.| 6’3″ | St. Thomas More | 2021 – Domingue is one of the best shooters in the Boot and top two in this region. He and form arguably the best guard duos the state going into next season. Domingue was district MVP and first team all-state last season. He will probably repeat that feat again.
6.| 6’3″ | Cecilia | 2021 – Ledet is the other elite level shooter housed in the Cajun Heartland. He can score at all three levels and score in bunches. His basketball IQ is what is most impressive. Ledet knows what his team needs and fills that void. He sits at #20 in the 2021 rankings but has the game to move up by 2021’s end.
7.| 6’2″ | North Central | 2022 – Stoner is a top 10 player in his class and a two-time state champion. He is a player that gives the Hurricanes whateve they need on a given night. Stoner is a top-tier, on ball defender who is becoming more rounded as a scorer. If the Hurricanes win again, he will be a big reason why.
8.| 6’2″ | Beau Chene | 2022 – The Beau Chene guard was first team all-district and an all-state honorable mention player in 2019-2020. Arvie has an all-around game that is as smooth as they come. He is never in a rush and takes what he is given. Look for Arvie to raise his game a notch during the upcoming season.
9. Da’tayvious Gabriel | 6’3″ | St. Martinville | 2021 – Gabriel is one of the more explosive players in the Cajun Heartland. He is a terror in the open court and can finish over the rim with authority. Gabriel was a 1st team all-district selection and will probably be again. Look for him to help St. Martinville make a 3A title run as well.
10. Jon’Quarius McGhee | 6’3″ | Opelousas | 2022 – One of the most exciting players in this region is Jon’Quarius McGhee. The all-district first teamer and all-state honorable mention is a combo guard who can do it on both ends. Look for McGhee to lead Opelousas back to the playoffs because his all-around game is that of a top tier player.
11.| 5’9″ | Lafayette | 2021 – The all-state honorable mention and all-Acadiana guard is a hard-nosed point guard. He does not mind blocking out, distributing, or scoring for his team to be successful. He will need to step it up next season with most of their height and scoring graduating. He will be ready though.
12.| 6’1″ | Opelousas | 2021 – Lazard is an all-state honorable mention who forms the other half of one of the most potent backcourts in the state. He can play the point or off the ball and is lethal at either. I would not be surprised if Lazard ends up being district MVP next season. That is how good he can be.
13. Jaterrius Fusilier | 6’2″ | New Iberia | 2021 – Fusilier was a 3-5A second teamer who is a great two way player. He can score from inside and outside as well as disrupt on defense. Fusilier can also turn defense into offense quickly. He is a game changer on the perimeter.
14.| 6’1″ | Carencro | 2021 – The Tulane football commit almost had and MVP caliber season on offense and defense for Carencro. He picked up the team after went down and helped them to the 2nd round of the playoffs. His efforts earned him an all-state honorable mention nod and a first team 5-4A selection.
15.| 6’4″ | JS Clark Leadership | 2021 – Fugett is an offensive nightmare for opposing teams. He can rebound the ball and go from end-to-end. Look for him to be a major factor in Leadership making it back to Lake Charles this season.
16. Parker McNess | 6’2″ | North Vermillion | 2021 – McNess can shoot it as well as any off guard in the region. He has some athleticism as well and can elevate to get his jumper off. His 4-4A first team selection is no fluke. Look for him to back it up this coming season as he moves to Notre Dame Crowley this fall.
17. Jalen Mitchell | 5’10” | St. Martinville | 2021 – The St. Martinville point has a quick first step and an even quicker release. His mid-range and three ball are deadly from outside. Mitchell disrupts any defense with his quickness to the rack as well as on defense. All-state and all-district honors should be in his future again this year.
18.| 6’1″ | JS Clark Leadership | 2022 – The Leadership guard averaged double figures on a team that played for a state title with him at the point. His season was rewarded with an all-district 1st team selection. His junior year may be even more impressive with the ball in his hands.
19. Keshaun Lazard | 6’2″ | Northwest | 2021 – Lazard is a multi-talented off guard who can shot and slash with the best of them. The rising senior was first team all-district and an all-state honorable mention. His future may be on the football field but I will not be surprised if he repeats the accomplishments from this year on the hardwood.
20. D.J. Lewis | 6’7″ | Central Catholic | 2022 – Lewis is a long and athletic player who has not tapped into his full potential. If he becomes more of an offensive scoring threat along with his defensive prowess, his 1st team all-district selection may turn into a first team all-state selection.
This region has a vast amount of good players. Look for the Cajun Heartland to be big players in not only the all-state scene, but have a large representation in the teams that play for state championships. The Cajun Heartland is talent rich in basketball.