DeMarcus Cousins could be the most volatile sports personality to grace the hardwood since Ron Artest took a nap on the scorer's table at The Palace.
He could also be the most talented.
Cousins, a 6-foot-11, 260-pound freshman stud, is at the center of reports that say he struck a fan that was rushing the court following the Wildcats' 68-62 loss (as 7-point road faves) to the South Carolina Gamecocks at the Colonial Center Tuesday night.
Local TV reporter Bob Shields says he saw Cousins knock around the Gamecocks fan, but neither school has confirmed what really happened. The fan told Shields, who also hosts a talk radio show, that as he was storming the court (which gave USC a hefty $25,000 fine) he ran into the towering forward and was delivered two shots, which Shields described as uppercuts, before Cousins was carted away but UK staffers.
“As big a guy as DeMarcus is, he could have swung a lot harder — it's not like he was throwing haymakers,” Shields told the Courier-Journal. “I can see both sides of it. The kid was on the court; he bumped into DeMarcus; it's after an emotional loss. I'm not saying he should have done what he did, but I understand DeMarcus' frustration.”
This video claims to show the punch, but I'm not sure that is even Cousins being singled out:
And this isn't the first time Cousins has shown his dark side.
In a win over rival Louisville at the start of the month, Cousins was involved in a tie-up on the ground with the Cardinals' Jared Swopshire early in the game. As the players wrestled for the ball, Cousins would gain what MMA fans call “side control” and delivered an elbow smash that would make Randy “Macho Man” Savage scream “Ohhhhh Yeahhhh!”.
The sad thing about this controversy is that it takes away from what Cousins does with the basketball.
On Tuesday, the talented first-year forward tied a career-high with 27 points and was unstoppable with his back to the basket. In fact, if Kentucky had just gone to Cousins on every possession, it would still be undefeated and not waiting to slide down next week's national polls.
Cousins went 9-of-17 from the field and when he did miss, he was getting fouled. He went to the line 10 times, making nine of those free throws. However, as the clock rolled into crunch time, fellow freshman John Wall decided to put the game on his shoulders.
Wall did make some big buckets but also missed a key 3-pointer, a layup and a foul shot in the final three minutes while Cousins grabbed two rebounds and did not register one field goal attempt. He finished the game with 12 rebounds and three blocks to go along with his 27 points.
"I told the team after, if DeMarcus Cousins doesn't play we get beat by 20 today," UK coach John Calipari said to reporters following Tuesday's loss. "And the only way we could score was to get it in to him."
Wall is great and will more than likely be the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NBA Draft, but I'm not convinced he's even the