While Kentucky is lauded for John Wall and John Calipari, DeMarcus Cousins has surely made a name for himself, and after just one collegiate season, appears destined to make a big impact at the next level.
Cousins has outstanding size and strength, combined with under-rated athleticism. He is a massive presence at the power forward spot, who has all the tools to become a truly great player. However, his attitude and work ethic have come into serious question, raising concern that Cousins could be a pure “potential pick”, especially if he goes in the top-five.
NBA Position: F/C
Weight: 280 lbs
Cousins has amazing size and wing span (7’6”) to pair with excellent height and athleticism at the power forward position. He also has the versatility to handle either the forward or center positions in the paint, while possessing a solid enough jumper to step-out and hit 15-footers.
The great thing about Cousins is that he’s already exhibited the ability to be dominant, and he isn’t even close to reaching his potential. He’s a bit too slow and lacks the explosiveness to play big minutes at small forward, but has the fluidity and handle to get it done.
If he trims down and gets more explosive, it wouldn’t be crazy to imagine him playing on the wing at the next level.
However, as it stands, Cousins’ strengths are in the paint and around the basket, as his unreal wing span helps him mak an impact on the boards and with blocking shots. He needs to get more disciplined with his defense, but he has the size, strength, and tools to be dominant at the next level in this area.
While he has great size and strength, Cousin also has excellent footwork and post-moves. He’ll need to polish his offensive game to remain effective on an elite level, but he already has a great starting-point.
For Cousins, it’s all about desire, work ethic, and the ability to listen. We’ve only been able to watch him at a level of high competition for one year, but even in that short span, it’s clear his attitude and work ethic have been questionable, at best.
Cousins needs to decide right away whether he’s going to be a game player, or a contract player. If it’s the latter, he may end up being the next Stromile Swift. He has the core talent and abilities to be a rare type of power forward, but everything in his head needs to be in order, first.
Outside of his attitude and work ethic, the biggest knocks on Cousins are his weight and lack of explosiveness. He has a great handle and solid athleticism for his size, but he needs to control his weight and get at a comfortable playing size.
This may play a huge hand in what kind of player he can ultimately evolve into at the next level, and will surely directly impact his explosiveness and overall athleticism. If he can trim down and get more explosive, his versatility and potential could be off the charts.
NBA Comparison: Al Jefferson
Draft Projections: Top Five