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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Jamal Cain looks to use athleticism to elevate his game in sophomore season

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

With Andrew Rowsey and Markus Howard helping Marquette lead the nation in points per game in the 2017-’18 season, Jamal Cain’s name didn’t always stand out in the box score.

He averaged 4.6 points per game in 17.2 minutes per game. However, Cain’s athleticism quietly made a big impact for the Golden Eagles. His steal rate of 2.7 percent was a team high on an otherwise unproductive defense.

“Jamal had some really bright moments for us last year,” head coach Steve Wojciechowski said.

Now with another year of conditioning with Marquette’s staff, Cain is looking to use his athleticism to play a larger role on the 2018-’19 men’s basketball team.

“He’s gotten stronger,” Wojciechowski said. “He’s gotten better with the ball, and I think defensively he has a better understanding.”

Cain’s all-around style of play helped the Golden Eagles’ last season. Despite not scoring the ball as much as he would have liked to, Cain said he still believes he helped the team in other aspects of the game. He finished third on the team with 3.4 rebounds per game.

“I was seeing the ball well,” Cain said. “I was running the floor well and playing defenses, trying to get my teammates involved just as well as they were trying to get me involved and just knocking down open shots.”

Moving forward, whether it’s a fast-break windmill dunk or skying high for a defensive board, Cain plans to use his athletic prowess to his advantage.

“I’m trying to be more of a defensive player (and) trying to get more deflections and running as well,” Cain said. “Being athletic, I can run, so I’m just trying to run the floor and trying to stretch the defense out.”

Throughout the offseason, Cain tried to enhance every aspect of his game, but he especially focused on his post play with hopes of offering a paint presence to this year’s team. Ballhandling was another area Cain emphasized prior to his sophomore year. Wojciechowski said the next step is consistency.

“Consistency is the key,” Wojciechowski said. “The times and the variance between being really good and maybe not so good, the times you see that should be much fewer and further between.”

And with those improvements come heightened expectations for the 2018-’19 season.

“I want to win the BIG EAST,” Cain said. “And honestly, I want to finish the preseason undefeated.”

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