As Marquette advances, Lockett thrives

WASHINGTON —  When opposing teams get ready to take on Marquette, Trent Lockett probably isn’t the first name that comes up on the scouting report. That honor probably goes to Vander Blue. After that one would probably spend some time game planning for the big bodies down low – Chris Otule and Davante Gardner.

But here’s the thing: Lockett has turned into that ‘glue’ guy for Buzz Williams. If you don’t spend time getting ready for the Arizona State transfer, you will have made a huge mistake and it will probably come back to haunt you.

“I would call myself very versatile,” Lockett said when asked to describe his skill set in the midst of a celebratory Golden Eagles locker room. “I rebound well for a guard and I feel that brings a different aspect to our team and it changes [the game] in that way.  At the same time I’ll also able to get into the paint and find guys and if I have to finish, I can finish.”

As Marquette easily dispatched of the Atlantic Coast Conference regular and postseason champions from start to finish on Thursday night at the Verizon Center, Lockett filled up the stat sheet.

The 6-foot-5 senior guard chipped in eight points, pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds and even handed out two assists while virtually playing the entire game (38 minutes).

And it’s that last stat — the minutes — that really pops out.  After averaging just over 28 minutes per game during the season, Lockett is seeing an additional 10 minutes on the court in Tournament play.

And unlike most of his other teammates who have been through the postseason wars, this is all new to Lockett, even though he’s a senior.

“Having this be my first NCAA experience I wanted to be apart of that journey.  I think everybody has bought in and we aren’t ready for it be over,” he said. “I think any experience is a good experience,” Lockett said about Marquette’s previous two losses in the regional semifinals.

“Junior [Cadougan], this is his third time going to the Sweet 16, Buzz really preached to us this week that we’ve had this test before and we’ve failed it before and now we need to get over the hump,” he added.

Now that Marquette has reached the Elite 8 for the first time since 2003, they will run into an old foe in the form of Big East member — at least until Saturday — Jim Boheim’s Syracuse.

A lot has changed since the Golden Eagles defeated the Orange 74-71 on Feb. 25.    Lockett figures to play a big role for Buzz Williams after going scoreless – for the only time as a Golden Eagle –  in just 13 minutes at the Bradley Center.

With a Final Four berth on the line, Jim Boeheim would be served best to prepare for a completely different version of Lockett this time around.

Follow @BobbyBancroft for Marquette live updates in DC

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