Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Buzz Williams Expecting Big Things from Junior Cadougan
NEW YORK — Marquette has now entered the post-Jae Crowder/Darius Johnson-Odom Era, but don’t bet against Buzz Williams’s team.
The Marquette coach says his team may have no “great” players like the aforementioned duo currently in the NBA, but does have a whole lot of “good” ones.
“Those guys that are returning are going to have to be more than they’ve ever been in their career,” Williams, whose team is ranked No. 15 in the Sheridan Hoops Preseason Top 25, said here last week.
Once of those guys is senior point guard Junior Cadougan, a 6-foot-1 native of Toronto.
One year after Cadougan averaged 6.3 points and 5.4 assists, Williams is expecting even bigger things from his floor general.
“I’ve always thought Junior was the key to our team,” Williams said. “I’m partial to him. He and I are extremely close.
“When you look at our team, the two years that Junior has played we’ve been to the Sweet 16. There have been some ups and down in both of those years. We’re 14-4 last year in the Big East; we win every home game. When we lose it’s a lot of times when Junior is not facilitating offensively the way we want him to do it.”
WILLIAMS LIKES LOUISVILLE
Like many coaches, Williams also likes Louisville as the preseason favorite to win the Big East.
The Cardinals are ranked No. 1 in the Sheridan Hoops Preseason Top 25.
“Yeah, I would think so,” he said. “Obviously Coach [Rick] Pitino is a Hall of Fame coach. He’ll be in the Hall of Fame before his career’s over. Just like Coach [Jim] Calhoun, just like [Jim] Boeheim. He’ll be in the Hall of Fame while he’s still active.
“I guess they return everybody and they’ve added some really good pieces. [Wayne] Blackshear will be healthy. And then the kid that signed with Virginia Tech [Montrezl Harrell] plays with a really high motor. And the kid from George Mason [Luke Hancock].”
LIKES MEMPHIS AND TEMPLE
Williams said he will be sad to see Notre Dame go, in part because he’s a big Mike Brey guy.
“I hate to see Notre Dame go,” he said. “This will be my fifth year in the league and my fifth time voting for Coach Brey for Coach of the Year. I just vote for Coach Brey every year. I think he’s a great representation of what coaches are supposed to be about.”
Still, he likes the additions of Memphis and Temple, as well as SMU, UCF and Houston beginning in 2013.
“I think Memphis and Temple are both really, really good,” he said. “Because I’m from the South I think those teams from the South are really good.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.