Cadougan, Lockett focused heading into final home game

Saturday marks the final home game for Junior Cadougan and Trent Lockett, but neither are thinking about that. Instead, they’re focused on beating Notre Dame and staying in the hunt for a Big East championship.

“I’m trying not to think about it and I’m just focused on getting another win,” Cadougan said. “This is where I started my college career, but I’m just focused on the game itself.”

“It’s a different situation for me given that I’ve only been here for seven or eight months, but it’s still my last home game and winding down of my career,” Lockett said. “But like Junior said, it’s just another game and a big one for us.”

It’s also possible that Saturday’s game will be the last for Chris Otule, who has been granted a sixth year of eligibility but is still unsure whether he will play next season or not.

Cadougan said his relationship with Otule has developed into a friendship for the four years he has been there.

“Chris has a great heart and I have a great heart too,” Cadougan said. “When I first got here, I thought everything was going to be all good but then I hurt my Achilles.

“When Chris got his injuries and especially with his knee last year, he has his head down for a couple weeks, but I was there for him as a brother and I told him everything was going to be all right.”

Lockett echoed Cadougan’s own feelings of having a great heart, saying Cadougan can always tell when something is wrong with his teammates or if somebody needs a boost.

“Junior is a very interesting person,” Lockett said. “He’s very, very kind and has a good read on people.

“Junior’s a good basketball player but an even better person.”

Coach Buzz Williams said he will say the right things to his team before taking on Notre Dame tomorrow, but it will be a sad day, especially because Cadougan is the first player in his 19 years of coaching the he has recruited, signed and coached through his final game.

“He’s overcome things the media is unaware of that are mind-boggling,” Williams said. “I’m really thankful that he’s on track to get a diploma.

“He’s probably overcome just as much academically as he has as a player to get to the point that he currently is as a player and as a student.”

Cadougan missed the majority of his freshman year with a torn Achilles and hasn’t had to be a leader on this team until his senior season.

“No matter where his career takes him from here, he’s going to have a diploma from a place he couldn’t spell when he signed the National Letter of Intent, I think is really, really cool,” Wiliams said.

Williams said Saturday is a day for reflection and sort of a milestone type day for him and the program.

“I’m probably more involved with our guys than some coaches, but I coach a lot different than most coaches, so it requires that I have that type of relationship with them,” Williams said. “It’s definitely kind of the beginning of the end sort of feeling.”

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