NBA Draft

DeMarcus Cousins

Scouting Report

After helping return Kentucky to national prominence in just one season, Cousins is hoping to orchestrate a similar turnaround for an NBA team. Cousins is among five Kentucky underclassmen headed to the draft, joining freshman guards John Wall and Eric Bledsoe, freshman center Daniel Orton and junior forward Patrick Patterson. While Wall received the most accolades of the five, Cousins may have been the Wildcats' best overall player and, depending on the draft order, could be selected ahead of the flashy guard. Kentucky went 22-14 in 2008-09 under Billy Gillispie and lost in the NIT quarterfinals. With John Calipari at the helm, though, the Wildcats were 35-3, and won the SEC regular season and conference titles before falling to West Virginia in the regional finals of the NCAA tournament in 2009-10. Cousins was a big reason for the turnaround. He averaged 15.1 points and 9.9 rebounds en route to being named SEC freshman of the year. While those numbers were impressive, they could have been better had Cousins not struggled with foul trouble and a temper early in the season that reduced his playing time. In a January incident, Cousins appeared to swing an elbow at Louisville forward Jared Swopshire during a scrum. Once he got his emotions under control, and under Calipari's tutelage, Cousins blossomed into one of college's top big men, and a likely top-5 pick. Besides the obvious physical attributes - Cousins has a build similar to former rookie of the year Derrick Coleman - an intangible he possesses is an offbeat sense of humor that may not play out well at first in an NBA locker room of veterans. The team that selects Cousins, however, will be getting a player that has the potential to put up a double-double from opening night.

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