Coach K: DMC ‘Made a Huge Impact’

Team USA Coach Mike Kryzewski dishes on Cousins’ finalist selection and last week’s performance.

By: Steven Wilson

by Steven Wilson
Writer, Digital

With a little over a week before Team USA reconvenes for its second installment of training camp, Managing Director Jerry Colangelo and Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski announced sixteen finalists for the 2014 USA Men’s World Cup roster and Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins found his name on the list. 

Following an impressive performance in the team’s exhibition this past Friday, No. 36 will resume 2014 FIBA World Cup preparations on Aug. 14 in Chicago, Ill.

“All the coaches were really pleased with DeMarcus and how he played,” said Krzyzewski during Saturday’s media teleconference. “His attitude [has been] tremendous. He wouldn’t keep coming back to be a part of this and be on a U.S. Team if it didn’t mean something to him. We recognized that even before he started practice – the fact he was there, committed and ready to go in good shape.”

The Kings big man is one of four players battling for the starting center spot, but Cousins’ energy and effort last week already seems to have paid dividends. 

Whether he was boxing-out on defense, exploding for a rebound or attacking his defender, the 6-foot-11 center left a lasting impression. 

“DeMarcus had a really good week, an outstanding scrimmage [and he was the] leading rebounder,” said Coach K. “He gives us a big that’s different than Anthony Davis. We are looking at that big position – the five – separate from all the others.”

Looking to separate himself from the pack, DMC is using his distinct combination of size, strength and speed to his advantage.

“[He] gives us a low-post presence, which gives our team a little bit of a different look,” stated the U.S. National Team sixth-year head coach. “And he can pass out of the post, so he made a huge impact on all of us during the week, but especially at the scrimmage.”

In nearly 26 minutes of action, Cousins tallied 11 points from the floor, including a 7-for-8 clip from the free throw line. He also added two steals and 11 rebounds – four on the offensive end.

As World Cup play grows closer, the Kings star looks to continue his solid performance at the team’s upcoming training camp.