On first inspection, Junior Cadougan may look out of place.
The point guard from Marquette is undersized for the NBA at 6-1, has a wide, strong body and his statistics don’t indicate that he’s even worthy of a second-round pick. Cadougan averaged 8.5 points, 3.8 assists and shot 43% from the field in his senior season as he started for team that finished 26-9 and fell one victory shy of the Final Four.
“I don’t have to score all the points. I don’t have to make all the big plays. Just key, solid plays,” Cadougan said after working out for the Wizards on Friday. “Just maintain and be consistent. That’s the kind of player I am.”
Cadougan was joined by Mike Muscala (Bucknell), Ella Ellis (Army), Lamont Jones (Iona), C.J. Aiken (St. Joseph’s) and A.J. Matthews (Farmingdale State).
He seemed surprised by the attention he was being given. Then Cadougan adjusted to the lights, cameras and questions and settled in to make a case for himself.
“They say I need to improve on my shooting so I got back in the gym, kept on going at it and I felt a lot comfortable, a lot confident in this work out (and) in my jump shot,” Cadougan said. “It was falling. … From my first workout to my workout right now, my shot feels a lot better.”
Cadougan is working out with Marquette athletic trainer Ernest Eugene, who spent five seasons as assistant trainer for the Wizards. His coach gave him confidence, too.
“Coach Buzz Williams always says it all the time, you look at my stats you can’t really tell what player I am until you really take a look at me and know that I play hard, I love to win and I’ll do anything to win,” Cadougan said. “My stats may not show it, but anyone who I play with I try to make him better. I try to give him advice. I try to be a leader on the floor. That’s what I’m great at.”
Playing in the now-defunct Big East Conference, which had the likes of guards Peyton Siva (Louisville) and Michael Carter-Williams (Syracuse) who also are likely to be drafted June 27, helped. The Wizards will be in the market for a backup point guard to John Wall if they’re not able to re-sign A.J. Price when he becomes a free agent July 1.
Cadougan's last collegiate game was at Verizon Center, losing rival Syracuse 55-39 in the East Regional final of the NCAA tournament.
“The Big East (was) a monster conference. There’s a lot of NBA players that come out of the Big East. It prepares you for situations like this,” Cadougan said. “You’re playing against top competition all the time.”