Chris Gradnigo closed his freshman season at UL on a tear by topping the 20-point mark in three of his last five games. The Lake Charles native averaged 17.6 points over that stretch as the Ragin' Cajuns went 15-15 and shared the Sun Belt Conference's West Division title with Arkansas-Little Rock.

The 6-foot-7, 210-pound swingman has continued to work on his game after averaging a team-high 9.6 points per game last season. In addition to taking a math class in summer school at UL, Gradnigo has focused on becoming a better all-around player in the gym and has gained 10 pounds through work in the weight room.

"I'm working to make my weaknesses better," Gradnigo said. "I need to improve my ball-handling, my defense and get mentally tougher."

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Joshua Parrott jparrott@theadvertiser.com July 6, 2008