Tag:DeMarcus Cousins
Posted on: June 23, 2010 2:35 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2010 9:36 am

Questionable Cousins still must go in top four

The most intriguing debate heading into Thursday's NBA Draft is the debate about DeMarcus Cousins.

Will he be the Rookie of the Year?

Will he be a headache?

Truth is, it won't surprise me if Cousins turns out to be both. The guy is an awesome talent and uneven personality whose reputation is well earned. My guess is that he'll put 18 points and 17 rebounds on somebody in the first month of his NBA career and cause general managers who passed on him to cry, then two months later be caught on camera arguing with an assistant coach, at which point those same general managers will be thankful they passed.

And that's probably how Cousins' career will go.

Lots of nice moments surrounded by lots of shake-your-head moments.

So the question the Nets (picking third) and Timberwolves (picking fourth) must ask themselves is whether they'd rather have Cousins and his issues, or Derrick Favors, Wes Johnson or Greg Monroe, because it's not close in terms of talent. On talent alone, Cousins should probably be the second pick (behind only Kentucky teammate John Wall) and perhaps the No. 1 overall pick. As much as I've criticized Cousins' demeanor, I've never questioned his ability. He's big and strong and skilled, and he was the most dominant force in college basketball last season. I love his potential, but I'm scared he'll never be able to get out of his own way. That's the dilemma. That's always been the dilemma.

And yet I still wonder how much it should matter.

I still really do wonder if we care too much about character.

I mean, I just watched the Lakers win an NBA title with a player who has been accused of rape (Kobe Bryant), a player who ran into the stands to punch a fan (Ron Artest), a player who once demanded a trade from the team that drafted him (Pau Gasol), and a player who married the worst Kardashian just weeks after meeting her (Lamar Odom). Again, those are our world champions. Meantime, the Indianapolis Police Department believes Zach Randolph could be a drug kingpin, and he's an All-Star. Dwyane Wade has gone through some kind of crazy divorce and may or may not be a terrible father, but he's a pretty successful basketball player. Carmelo Anthony once told criminals not to snitch on other criminals, but I'd take him on my team. Tyreke Evans was the driver of a car that carried a murderer away to safety, but he was also the Rookie of the Year.

I could do this forever, but you get the point.

Character matters, sure.

But nothing matters in the NBA more than talent.

You don't win or lose with good people and bad people.

You win or lose with talented players and untalented players.

So I'd take Wall ahead of Cousins and I might -- let me stress might -- take Turner and Favors ahead of him, too. But there's absolutely no way Cousins -- a 6-foot-11, 280-pound forward who averaged 15.1 points and 9.8 rebounds in 23.5 minutes per game as a freshman -- should go any lower than fourth in this draft, absolutely no way Cousins should be selected behind Johnson, Monroe or anybody else not named Wall, Turner or Favors because you don't pass on a potential All-Star unless you're getting a potential All-Star in his place.

There are only four prospects in this draft who project as potential All-Stars.
  • John Wall
  • Evan Turner
  • Derrick Favors
  • DeMarcus Cousins
If they're not the first four picks Thursday night, somebody messed up.
Posted on: April 7, 2010 7:06 pm

Five UK underclassmen entering NBA Draft

Kentucky's John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson, Daniel Orton and Eric Bledsoe are all, as expected, declaring for the NBA Draft, school officials announced Wednesday.

All five players are projected first-round picks.

Wall will likely go No. 1 overall.

Cousins and Patterson should both join him in the lottery.

Kentucky finished 35-3 this season.

The Wildcats lost to West Virginia in the Elite Eight.
Posted on: April 8, 2009 1:16 am
Edited on: April 8, 2009 1:27 am

Calipari takes Cousins to UK

DeMarcus Cousins will follow John Calipari to Kentucky.

"I just committed tonight,” Cousins told Scout.com's Evan Daniels late Tuesday. “I’m going to UK.”

Cousins had spent the past month committed to Memphis, where Calipari coached until he left for Kentucky last week. At the time of Calipari's departure, Cousins did not officially decommit. But it was clear the McDonald's All-American probably wouldn't sign with Memphis regardless of the next coach, and that became public knowledge late Tuesday when Cousins -- who is rated as the sixth-best prospect in the Class of 2009 -- committed to Kentucky.

Now to the questions ...

1. What does this mean for Daniel Orton?

There has been speculation that Orton -- the 12th-best prospect in the Class of 2009 who signed with UK under Billy Gillispie -- would ask for a release if Cousins committed to Kentucky because Orton and Cousins are both big men, and if Patrick Patterson were to remain in school UK would have a crowded frontcourt. However, sources close to the Kentucky program told CBSSports.com that Calipari is working to keep Orton on board, and the ideal scenario would be Orton and Cousins enrolling together.

2. What about Xavier Henry and John Wall?

At least one media outlet reported that new Memphis coach Josh Pastner would hire Henry's father, Carl, in an attempt to keep the McDonald's All-American committed to Memphis, but industry sources told CBSSports.com that's simply not going to happen. Thus, Henry will re-open his recruitment and probably choose between Kansas and Kentucky. As for Wall, the nation's top point guard prospect remains uncommitted. But Kentucky is very much involved, meaning there is a chance that Cousins, Orton, Henry and Wall could play together for Calipari at Kentucky, although it's unclar whether that's a likely scenario or merely a possibility.

Wall is the No. 2 prospect in the Class of 2009.

Henry is the No. 4 prospect in the Class of 2009.


Posted on: March 8, 2009 12:38 pm
Edited on: March 10, 2009 2:02 am

Memphis lands another McDonald's All-American

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- McDonald's All-American DeMarcus Cousins committed to Memphis on Sunday, less than 24 hours after visiting campus and watching the Tigers beat Tulane at FedExForum.

Scout.com ranks the 6-foot-11 center from Alabama as the sixth-best prospect in the Class of 2009. Considering Memphis already signed Xavier Henry (Scout.com's fourth-best prospect in the class), this development gives the Tigers a pair of McDonald's All-Americans in a five-player class that could now rank as the best in the nation.

And it might get even better.

The only top five prospect remaining on the board is point guard John Wall.

Industry sources have long considered Memphis among the leaders to land him, as well, despite the fact that Baylor has already hired one of Wall's AAU coaches. A roster featuring Wall, Henry and Cousins, plus the other newcomers (top 50 recruit Nolan Dennis and junior college stars Darnell Dodson and Will Coleman), plus veterans Doneal Mack, Wesley Witherspoon and Roburt Sallie would make Memphis a favorite to win the 2010 national title even if Tyreke Evans and Shawn Taggart leave after this season, as expected.

Cousins' commitment means 18 of Scout.com's top 20 are now off the board.

Here's an updated look at Scout.com's top 20 prospects with their college situation in parenthesis:

1. Derrick Favors (committed to Georgia Tech )

2. John Wall (uncommitted)

3. John Henson (committed to North Carolina )

4. Xavier Henry (committed to Memphis )

5. Renardo Sidney (committed to Southern California )

6. DeMarcus Cousins (committed to Memphis )

7. Lance Stephenson (uncommitted)

8. Kenny Boynton (committed to Florida )

9. Abdul Gaddy (committed to Washington )

10. Avery Bradley (committed to Texas )

11. Ryan Kelly (committed to Duke )

12.  Daniel Orton (committed to Kentucky )

13. Jordan Hamilton (committed to Texas )

14. Alex Oriakhi (committed to Connecticut )

15. Dominic Cheek (committed to Villanova )

16. Wally Judge (committed to Kansas State )

17. Dante Taylor (committed to Pittsburgh )

18. Dexter Strickland (committed to North Carolina )

19. Mason Plumlee (committed to Duke )

20. Thomas Robinson (committed to Kansas )

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: November 26, 2008 6:08 pm

More on C-USA, specifically recruiting

Beyond UAB's huge opportunity tonight when it plays Oklahoma at Madison Square Garden, there are other reasons for C-USA fans to be excited about the future of their league because things do seem to be trending upward. To be clear, it'll never be what it was, because that's not possible with Louisville, Marquette and Cincinnati gone. But what it can be is much better, and it seems it will be based on the way recruiting has gone and is going.

Consider: Two of the nation's top six prospects -- Xavier Henry and DeMarcus Cousins -- have committed to play in C-USA next season (at Memphis and at UAB), and no other league has two of the top 10. Does that mean C-USA is on the verge of leapfrogging the ACC? Of course not. But it's a start, and when you combine that with Marshall's signing of Hassan Whiteside (13th-ranked center), Rice's signing of Arsalan Kazemi (30th-ranked power forward) and UCF's signing of Keith Clanton (MVP of last summer's AAU National Tournament) it's pretty clear C-USA is in for a talent upgrade over the next year.

But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves.

Tonight, the focus will be on UAB and Robert Vaden and a match-up with OU's Blake Griffin.

"Griffin is one of the best players in the country," said UAB coach Mike Davis. "But we think (Vaden) is one of the best in the country, too."

Posted on: September 19, 2008 1:14 pm

Another elite prospect picks outside the box

Rashanti Harris has committed to Georgia State, and that might not mean much to you. But it's worth noting in this space because Harris is rated by Rivals.com as the 26th-best prospect in the Class of 2009 and Georgia State isn't the type of school that typically lures recruits of that caliber.

It's a wild development, honestly.

Arkansas, Memphis and Mississippi State were all heavily involved with Harris, whose academic woes are well-documented and the reason the Mississippi native is now at The Patterson School. But late Thursday night he passed on those programs to commit to Rod Barnes and in the process continued a trend of high-level prospects choosing outside the power programs.

Consider that four of Rivals.com's top 13 centers in the Class of 2009 are now committed to non-BCS programs. This wouldn't be too strange, mind you, if they were committed to Xavier, Gonzaga, Memphis or Nevada. But the four prospects (Harris, Zeke Marshall, Aaric Murray and Greg Smith) have pledged their allegiances to Georgia State, Akron, La Salle and Fresno State, meaning four top 90 national prospects have committed outside the normal power structure (and it should be noted that Rivals.com's No. 2 prospect in the Class of 2009, DeMarcus Cousins, has committed to UAB, i.e., another non-BCS/non-power program).

For those in search of explanation, here's one: Beyond the special relationships that can bond between staffs and prospects (and played a huge role in the commitments of Harris and Cousins), it's fair to partly credit the 2008 NBA Draft for the trend. Multiple industry sources have said kids watched three of the first 26 picks come from Rider (Jason Thompson), Western Kentucky (Courtney Lee) and IUPUI (George Hill) and realized for good that it's possible to be a first-round pick from virtually anywhere. In other words, Harris knows the NBA is an option even from Georgia State, and perhaps that helped make his unconventional decision a little easier.

Posted on: August 11, 2008 2:21 am

Bradley/Gaddy win gold at Nike Global Challenge

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- The Nike Global Challenge is over.

The winner: A team from the United States.

The reasons: Avery Bradley and Abdul Gaddy.

The Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma, Wash.) teammates were impressive again Sunday night, leading their team to a 117-104 victory over another team from the United States in the title game of this three-day event. Bradley had 25 points, four rebounds and four assists while Gaddy finished with 12 points and seven assists. They earned co-MVP honors and offset a 29-point effort from DeMarcus Cousins, whose skills are as good as his attitude is bad.

That's the thing about Cousins, if you don't mind me saying.

He's so gifted and physically dominant it's hard to imagine him not succeeding in this sport, but he really could use an attitude adjustment. The 6-foot-10 forward from Alabama (committed to UAB) always looks angry and always seems upset about something, and I might not have even noticed if it wasn't for the fact that Cousins spent the weekend surrounded by some remarkably mature and pleasant teammates whose examples he'd be wise to follow.

Take Roger Franklin, for instance.

He's a 6-5 forward from Texas who -- you recruiting buffs will be glad to know -- has narrowed his list of potential colleges to Indiana, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Arizona and Oklahoma State. I spent some time with Franklin late Sunday and walked away impressed with how he handled himself, how genuinely happy he seemed to be experiencing the things he's experiencing and how respectful he was to any fan or reporter who wanted to talk.

Will Franklin ever be a college All-American?

I don't know.

Is his ceiling as high as Cousins?

Absolutely not.

But if I was a college coach I'd love to have Roger Franklin on my team.

And I'd be just as leery of having DeMarcus Cousins unless that tough-guy persona disappears soon.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com