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Cadougan, Wilson point Marquette in right direction

Junior Cadougan and Derrick Wilson are very different, which makes them both extremely useful for head coach Buzz Williams.

Cadougan, an offensive spark-plug, and Wilson, a defensive fiend, have both played well this season for Marquette. After two games of the NCAA Tournament, though, Williams thinks one is the reason that the Golden Eagles are in the Sweet Sixteen for the third consecutive season.

“I think Derrick Wilson is the reason we’re still playing,” Williams said. “That’s just my opinion. I think the job that he has done defensively in the 29, 30 minutes that he’s played since we’ve been in Kentucky have been phenomenal.”

Marquette usually goes as Junior Cadougan does. When he plays well, the rest of the team does. That’s how it works.

Through three halves of basketball in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, Cadougan was not at his best. Against Davidson he scored four points on 2 of 9 shooting, and did not tally an assist. In the first half against Butler, Cadougan played 11 minutes, committing two turnovers without scoring a point.

At halftime of the win over Butler, Williams let his senior point guard know how he felt about his play.

“I was trying to do too much. I had to calm down a little bit. I guess I was too excited,” Cadougan said. “Coach chewed me out in the locker room in front of the team because he knows I’ve been here, I’ve been through it, and he knows once he chews me out I accept it and build off of that. Just came out with more poise in the second half, more concentration, and led my team to victory.”

In the second half, Cadougan scored nine points, coming out of the gates firing. He scored five in the first four minutes, including a three-point play with 16:01 remaining.

Wilson was the man defending Rotnei Clarke’s game-winning 3-pointer back in November. This time he didn’t give Clarke an inch.

In the second half of Saturday night’s game, Clarke only scored six points after an impressive 18-point first half. While Williams wouldn’t divulge what the Golden Eagles did differently in defending the Butler sharpshooter, Cadougan thought it came down to making sure Clarke couldn’t get any separation from either him or Wilson.

“We’re trying to pressure him too much and off the ball screens play him up too high, you know just thinking too much,” Cadougan said. “Second half, me and Derrick Wilson did a great job of gearing him down and knowing what to do on the ball screens and contesting his shots and trying to wear him out and make the other guys beat us instead of him.”

In the games against Davidson and Butler, Wilson played a combined 29 minutes, dishing out zero assists, committing one turnover and three fouls – all of which came against Butler. He is not going to jump out at you there.

But when watching the game and seeing the level of frustration that Wilson causes whoever he is guarding, his impact is obvious. It’s evident he could have been a Division-I running back because of his incredible quick feet and impressive physical build.

Davidson’s starting point guard, Nik Cochran, scored 11 points, but was held to just three shot attempts. In the second half against Butler, Wilson led a defensive effort against Clarke that was a big reason the Golden Eagles will be playing in the Sweet Sixteen.

“I think our two games here are a direct reflection of the contribution Derrick has given our team,” Williams said.

Williams believes that as Wilson gets more minutes, Cadougan will get better. As the senior doesn’t have to play more than 30 minutes every night, he will be fresher to make an impact on certain parts of the game like he did at the start of the second half.

“I think the reason Junior has played better in those two games is Derrick has played four to six more minutes than he typically does,” Williams said. “That gives Junior a rest. That gives Junior a blow.”

Cadougan averages 2.4 turnovers and has 10 in his last five games. Wilson has just 19 on the season. Cadougan is an offensive spark who can take over a game. Wilson has taken just one shot in 29 minutes in Marquette’s two NCAA Tournament games.

Williams believes that Wilson is the main reason his team isn’t done playing this season, and he has a very good point. Not only has Wilson helped the team by shutting down the other team’s best guard, but he also might just have brought the best out of Cadougan against Butler.

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