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By LARRY VAUGHT
Former Kentucky All-American Kenny Walker likes what he has seen Ã¢â‚¬â€ and heard Ã¢â‚¬â€ about Kentucky freshman DeMarcus Cousins.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Cousins is big, strong and pretty mobile for a guy that is 6-9 or 6-10,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Walker. Ã¢â‚¬Å“HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s really going to take a lot of pressure off Pat (Patterson) this year. Pat wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to do all the low-post scoring and defending with Cousins here now. Teams are going to have to pay attention to Cousins on both ends of the floor because from what I saw, he can really be a force in there.Ã¢â‚¬Â
While Walker expected Cousins to bring a physical presence to UK, he was surprised by something else.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He does have a finesse game, too,Ã¢â‚¬Â Walker said.
However, look for CousinsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ primary role to be inside based on what coach John Calipari told Walker.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He was saying that he wants him to dominate the paint. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the mindset and attitude he wants him to have because that is what the NBA scouts want to see and if heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to help get the kid ready for the NBA, then thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what he needs to do,Ã¢â‚¬Â Walker said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“However, he said this kid is so talented that he can do a lot of different things. He can step away to 15 to 17 feet and knock down shots. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mobile and can handle the ball, which impressed me. How much he gets to display that may depend on how he dominates the paint early. If he shows right off that he is coachable and dominates the paint, then I wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be surprised to see Cal let him show more of his versatility on the outside.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“But this kid could really be special. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s even better as an all-around player than I thought he would be.Ã¢â‚¬Â