Eric Crawford of the Courier-Journal had a very interesting article in today’s paper, which basically talks about how Demarcus Cousins became the guy the ball went to in late game situations against Georgia. The same can be said about the Louisville game, where it was Cousins who was likely the difference in the game.
This is not say that John Wall or Patrick Patterson did not play key roles in both of these wins, as Wall hit several key shots against UL and Patterson also scored and rebounded in key spots. But, the offense basically ran through Cousins when the game was on the line, especially yesterday. Now, the question has to be asked: does this simply say that Georgia had no answer for Cousins OR has Boogie become the THE GUY the ball will go to late in the games? Several facts (which Crawford points out) point to the possibility Cousins has become the man:
1) His free throw shooting has become vastly improved from earlier in the season. Cousins has shot at nearly a 75% clip in the recent weeks, while he was barely above 50% early on.
2) There hasn’t been a single team (maybe UCONN) who had big men skilled enough to handle Cousins on a 1-on-1 basis.
I wish I could link the entire article from Crawford because it has several quality quotes from Coach Cal, where he basically says that Cousins was the guy who he wanted the ball thrown into during the late 2nd half, but it’s hard to say whether he meant Georgia only or as a habit.
The question I ask you is: Who would you feel most comfortable with getting the ball late in the game: Cousins, Wall, or Patterson. I hope there isn’t a 4th option in anybody’s mind. Obviously, if the Cats have to go length of the floor, Wall is the man, so for the sake of argument, assume the Cats are in the half-court. As of last check, on the poll on the right side of the homepage, Wall is dominating the fan vote with 72%, while Cousins is only getting 7%.