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Kings draft Cousins, Whiteside

Posted by rc360 on June 26, 2010

The Sacramento Kings selected Kentucky’s DeMarcus Cousins with the fifth pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

Cousins, a 6-foot-11-inch 290-pound center, spent only one year with the Wildcats averaging 15.1 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game in 23.5 minutes per game. He was a first-team All-American, named to the John R. Wooden All-American team, and was named SEC Freshman of the Year.

Cousins had 20 double-doubles out of 38 games. His best game as a Wildcat came against Sam Houston State posting career highs of 27 points and 18 rebounds. He’ll add size to the Kings, a team whose big men include Jason Thompson, Carl Landry, Jon Brockman and newly acquired Samuel Dalembert.

Cousins hopes he’ll become a physical presence for his new team and hopes to be the 2010-11 NBA Rookie of the Year.

“I’m trying to bring the team back to (the) Chris Webber and Mike Bibby days,” Cousins said on the phone from New York City. “I think I’ll fit in pretty good.”

He also said that he and Kings guard Tyreke Evans, whose college coach was John Calapari in Memphis, will make a great inside-outside combination. He’s also glad that many of the fans want him in Sacramento.

“It feels great,” Cousins said. “If the fans have your back, you got to have the fans back and try to come in and give them what they want.”

The Kings also drafted Hassan Whiteside with the 33rd pick in the draft.

Whiteside, a 7-foot, 227-pound forward/center from Marshall University, was considered to be a lottery pick last month. Concerns of his maturity and Attention Deficit Disorder caused him to slip into the second round, where the Kings drafted him.

Whiteside averaged 13.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and an NCAA leading 5.4 blocks in 26.1 minutes per game. He also had the third highest maximum vertical reach in the draft, reaching 12-feet-one-half-inch.

Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon, who trained Whiteside for a week, thinks he can pan out.

“He has all the tools,”  said Olajuwon. “If he gets the right coach that knows that he is a talent and will play him and encourage him, he can come along quickly.”

Click here to read the story on Sacramento Press.

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