Monday, January 19, 2009

Howell and Cousins Impress

Richard Howell and DeMarcus Cousins both played today in the Spalding Hoophall Classic and both looked ACC ready. Howell, who already has committed to the Pack, wasn't very active early and was on the bench most of the second quarter because Wheeler had to go small against St. Benedict's, who was quick and very fast paced. Howell started off by showing us a quick peek at his versatility by raining down a smooth three ball from the corner. The second half was a new game for Howell who decided to get active in the paint. His body is already that of a grown man, with wide shoulders and rippling arms. We knew he could finish inside but what we weren't aware of was his court vision and passing ability. Howell, time after time, passed on an open jumper to find a cutting teammate under the basket. His post moves are ok, they aren't polished yet, but you can tell he has an idea what to do with the ball when he gets it in the paint. Sidney Lowe keeps promising Pack fans an uptempo offense, so he's going to need guys like Howell who run the floor with ease and can finish on the break. Sir Rich finished up with what we counted to be 16 points. No official word on rebounds yet but he did a fair job on the boards for having to share the paint with Wake Forest recruit Ari Stewart.

DeMarcus Cousins. Wow. This guy is gonna be good but I'm not necessarily sure he's a one and done type guy, which would add a huge bonus to whatever team happens to land the stud Senior. Lets just say this....he's big, he's smart, and he can shoot. His footwork was very impressive and he made a few big plays where he showcased his handles with behind the back dribbles and spin moves in traffic. Remember folks, some have him listed at 6'11. What he needs to improve on is his back to the basket post game which isn't his strong suit. He likes to catch the ball about 12 feet out and do work on you with dribble drives or short jumpers. But don't get us wrong, if Cousins gets inside he can ruin faces with his long limbed powerful slams. But lets forget about scoring for a second. I want to bring out a play that really caught my attention and got me DROOLING for Cousins to choose the Wolfpack. About midway through the first half Lance Stephenson, the monster forward from Brooklyn, got free on the break and was yearning for that YouTube special in Cousins grill, but just as you thought Cousins was going to make the big mistake and jump with the athletic phenom, he made a quick step forward and took a picture perfect charge, sending Stephenson into a child-like frenzy. Cousins ended up with 17 points and 20 boards and was the ultimate team player and beast in the paint.

Here are some highlights from the LeFlore/Lincoln game, and an interview with Cousins.


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