Isaiah Cousins brings a mentality and toughness to the court that Coach Lon Kruger and the Oklahoma Sooners hope to take advantage of. However, during his freshman season, those hopes quickly turned into a learning experiment as Cousins found himself in the rotation at the point guard position. With the evolution of the sport, programs are placing 6-4 guards with ball handling skills at the point to give them a size and physicality bonus. This may have been the initial thought with Cousins.
But, during his sophomore year, Cousins seemed to find a home out on the wing after the signing of Jordan Woodard. They say the largest moment of improvement happens in between freshman and sophomore year. Coincidentally, Cousins lends support to the statement as he has upped his production by a considerable amount. Currently, this is a kid averaging 11.2 points per game to go along with 3.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists. Of course those spikes happen in relation to receiving more playing time.
While his production is up, news coming out of Norman is that the Sooners will use Tyler Neal as well as Cousins in order to spell Jordan Woodard at the point. So why does that jeopardize Cousins and his success story? Let's take a quick look at how things panned out last season.
During the duration of the 2012-13 season, Isaiah Cousins struggled at the point guard position and lacked consistency. His best games came against Gonzaga and Iowa St., two outing in which he recorded double digit scoring performances at 10 points in each. But, by the end of the season, Cousins averaged a mere 2.7 points per game as he found his assist to turnover ratio diminishing.
I maintain that Lon Kruger knows his team far better than I do but the stats don't lie. Why move a kid out of a position in which he has found a great deal of success in and place him in one he struggled with less than a year ago? Until proven otherwise, the jury is out on whether the idea is good or bad. As a glass half-full guy, I'm optomistic and hold to the fact that Kruger has advanced this program strides in the right direction and this is another one of those stepping stones.
Make sure to catch the Sooners next match up against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane on Saturday, December 14th at 4:00 PM to see how things pan out, for better or for worse.