WINNIPEG, MB. - Some people make decisions when they’re young that later in life they’d like to take back.
Avery Cadogan is not one of those young people.
When the 21-year-old McGill Redmen basketball star from Winnipeg’s St. John’s Ravenscourt School graduated in 2014, he had a number of university offers. In the end, he had no regrets whatsoever with the decision he made.
“I had a few offers,” Cadogan said. “I could have gone to Manitoba and I got offers from Calgary and McGill. I visited Calgary and McGill and there was never really any doubt in my mind. I was definitely going to leave home and when I visited McGill, there was just something about the place I fell in love with.
“It’s in Montreal, right in the middle of the city. The culture and diversity of the city is amazing. I just love Montreal. And on top of that, I get a great education experience and I get to play some great basketball.
“When I finished Ravenscourt I really wanted to leave home. I never really thought about Manitoba or Winnipeg because I knew I wanted to leave and go exploring. I could not have come a better city than Montreal.”
There is very little doubt now that Cadogan is his fourth year at McGill, that the 6-foot-5, 175 pound shooting guard made the right decision.
Last season, Cadogan finished second among RSEQ players in three-point shooting percentage with 41.3. In 16 games, including one start, he averaged 16.3 minutes, 7.3 points, and 1.8 rebounds per game.
This season, he got off to a blistering start. Cadogan scored a team-leading 61 points in four contests (including 30 against Kent State) and grabbed 18 rebounds with eight steals and five assists as McGill posted a 3-1 record in preseason play against four NCAA teams in an international trip to San Jose, Costa Rica. While the No. 8-ranked Redmen defeated Kent State 85-79 (Cadogan was player of the game), lost 57-50 to Lamar University, then posted back-to-back victories over Texas-El Paso (UTEP), winning 56-54 and 86-82 in overtime.
His 30 against Kent State was a career high and it led McGill to its first victory over a Division 1 NCAA team since a 79-69 decision over Farleigh Dickinson on Aug. 20, 2016. Cadogan’s play helped McGill snap a four-game losing streak against American opponents.
Cadogan shot a sizzling 10-for-12 from the floor – including an impressive 8-for-9 performance from three-point range – and was two-for-two from the free-throw line. He also pulled down a team-high eight rebounds to go along with one block and an assist. He now holds the McGill record for three-pointers in a game with eight.
“Avery was outstanding," said McGill head coach David DeAveiro. “He did all the things he needs to do to be successful. I am so pleased for him.”
Cadogan, the son of former Montreal Alouettes (1986) defensive back Wayne Cadogan and former university basketball star and coach, Yvette Milner, is a player who has improved each year he’s been at McGill.
He redshirted in his freshman year and then, as a sophomore in 2015-16, he didn’t play much at all. But last year, as he helped the Redmen go to the Final Eight in Halifax and this year, he’s emerged as one of the top players in the RSEQ.
“We’ve always been a winning program,” he said, modestly downplaying his personal contributions to the team’s successes. “I intend to stay for a fifth year before graduating so I can come back and play again next year. Playing at McGill is great, but it’s also one of the best universities in Canada to be a student.
“I’m in arts and economics and I’ve stayed in Montreal the past few summers in order to work out on campus, but this summer I’m going to head home to see if I can get some work experience in the financial field (his dad is an executive with Investors Group).
“But I’ll be back here next year. We have such a good team this year, a team full of talent. We didn’t start quickly but we’re beginning to do what we did last year – get better every month. Our big win over Ottawa got us ranked No. 8 and with all the skill we have, we should be very good come playoff time.”
Scott Taylor for The Manitoba Post
Photo by Derek Drummond, courtesy McGill University
(This story appeared originally in SportsLife Magazine)