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Isaiah Cousins Updated NBA Draft Scouting Report

Isaiah Cousins Updated NBA Draft Scouting Report
Apr 19, 2016, 11:37 am
Josh Riddell

Isaiah Cousins was a key part of the Oklahoma Final Four team, and although their season ended with a disappointing blowout loss, his team's deep tournament run coupled with playing alongside Buddy Hield all season gave Cousins plenty of opportunities to showcase his skills in front of NBA scouts.

Cousins has a solid frame, measured around 6'3”, 196 pounds and he isn't afraid to throw his weight around and mix it up with bigger players. He isn't a great athlete relative to most NBA guards but he makes up for it with his toughness as he refuses to back down from anyone and plays bigger than his actual size. He's also mentally tough as he is not afraid to take the big shot or put the offense on his back if his team needs a bucket.



He split his offensive time between playing on and off the ball, and while he is comfortable in either guard position, he isn't elite at either spot. He is a mixed bag with the ball as he can be a little wild with his decision making, either by shooting low efficiency shots early in the shot clock or failing to make the right decision when it comes to passing the ball and running the offense. On the other hand, he can push the ball in transition and make plays off ball screens both as a scorer and a passer.

His frame and lack of explosiveness hurts him around the rim as he was only able to make 43.5% of his shots around the rim according to Synergy Sports Technology. He shot just 41% 2P% for his college career, so this has been a consistent issue for him for quite some time. His handle can get a little loose and he can't always get to the rim but when he does get into the paint, he struggles to finish with a bucket. He avoids contact at the rim and flings the ball at the basket instead of attempting a more composed close range shot with touch on his shot.

More often than not, he isn't able to beat his defender off the dribble and he settles for a tough step-back two point jumper, which is a big reason his two point percentage this season was a meager 40.3%. This will be a tough sell for NBA teams and he will need to show improvement inside the arc, both from a decision making and efficiency standpoint.

Off the ball, he finished his senior season shooting 41.1% on three point attempts. His stroke isn't the purest but he has a good base to build on and has shown he has NBA range. He's more likely to produce offensively with the ball in his hands as he attempted a small number of catch and shoot jump shots, just 77 logged by Synergy Sports Technology, converting 39% of these attempts as opposed to his 34% conversion rate on 159 jumpers off the dribble. He won't always be able to dominate the ball in the pros, so becoming more confident in his catch and shoot ability will help him round out his offensive skills.

Defensively, Cousins' effort and focus level slips to below acceptable levels far too often. He is more content to switch every screen rather than move around the court and follow his man. His fundamentals are poor as he is hunched over when in guarding position and can be turned around putting his back to the ball when navigating through off ball action. When engaged he can make winning plays but that isn't often enough to be a consistent defensive asset.

He has some fairly pronounced holes in his game but with his ability to score and play either guard position, Cousins should get his opportunity to play his way onto a NBA roster if he isn't drafted, particularly if he can improve defensively.

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    Height: 6'6"
    Wingspan: 6'6 ¼"
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    2.5 Rebounds
    3.2 Assists
    7.6 PER
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