At this point in the season, we all know about DeMarcus Cousins. We all know he has the talent to be selected in the top five of this June's NBA Draft.
We also all know that he has, at times, displayed the maturity of an eight year old.
You've heard the stories. Whether it is throwing elbows, interacting with fans on the road, showing up Cal on the bench, or throwing alleged (and unproven) punches at fans, it seems like every game Kentucky plays, Cousins makes the blogs for something other than his 15 points and 10 boards.
Maybe we now know why.
Aran Smith is a writer for NBADraft.net, and this morning he commented on the big fella during his Stock Watch. According to Smith, he received the following text from an NBA Scout regarding Cousins:
No way. mental issues. he is on bigtime meds i hear. not athletic enough for me talent wise also.but he has been great last month...My first reaction?
Well, it definitely wasn't surprise.
And that isn't just a result of how over-diagnosed behavioral disorders (ADHD and the sort) are in kids.*
I'm just as guilty as anyone, but at times we forget that the people playing college athletics are still kids. Cousins is a behemoth of a human being, with 270 lb adorning his tattooed, 6'11" frame. But being built like a offensive tackle, covered in ink, and having a knack for rebounding the ball and a nasty baseline spin move doesn't mean that Cousins, or any other player in the country, is more emotionally developed than your average 19 year old college freshman.
Do you know how many college freshman are on "big-time meds"? Do you know how many of those college freshman end up productive members of society?
That's the problem with professional teams drafting and signing players at such a young age. They may have all the talent in the world, but it doesn't mean they are fully developed emotionally and psychologically. See Michael Beasley.
As long as Cousins isn't being treated for paranoid schizophrenia, I think Cousins is worth the risk, so long as whoever drafts him is aware that they may have to wait for him to do some growing up.
And if they don't like it, well, you reap what you sow.
*I actually have no idea if that's true. I'm a college basketball blogger, not a psychiatrist. But I did see that headline on CNN once a month or so back, so it has to be true. Right? Right.