It may sound ridiculous to call a McDonald’s All-American and consensus top 10 national player a diamond in the rough, but given recent media hyping of the depth and talent on UK’s roster this season, DeMarcus Cousins may be exactly that.
The 6’10, 250-pound Cousins, though lauded by many as the best big man coming out of high school this past season, faces stiff competition at the 4 and 5 positions where Patrick Patterson, Perry Stevenson, Josh Harrellson and fellow super frosh Daniel Orton will all be vying for minutes. But as demonstrated in the highlights below, it may be hard to imagine Cousins not having immediate success.
Cousins uses his big body and long arms to out-muscle interior opponents while demonstrating the ability to finish around the rim. It may also come as a surprise to many Wildcat fans that the big man displays a good perimeter game, having shown the ability to knock down threes and handle the ball outside the paint.
The true question will be how well Cousins translates his game from dominating smaller, weaker opponents to matching up against top-flight SEC-caliber talent. He’ll need to get physically stronger and improve his explosiveness beneath the hoop—issues that a big-time program like UK should have no problem shoring up.