Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Updated: April 8, 2:06 PM ET
Coach: Cousins chooses Kentucky
By Chris Lawlor
DeMarcus Cousins, the No. 4-rated player in the ESPNU 100, will follow recently hired coach John Calipari to Kentucky, his high school coach told ESPN.com on Tuesday.
"He told me tonight he's going to Kentucky," said Otis Hughley of LeFlore High School in Mobile, Ala. "He didn't say much after [John] Calipari left Memphis and, I told him I was there for advice and counsel, whatever he needed."
Cousins, a McDonald's All-American who is headed to Portland, Ore., on Wednesday to compete for the 2009 USA Men's Junior National Select Team at the 12th annual Nike Hoop Summit, committed to Memphis during the season but never signed a binding national letter-of-intent. As a junior, he verbally committed to the University of Alabama-Birmingham but withdrew his pledge in favor of Memphis.
The 6-foot-10 post player averaged 29 points and 12 rebounds to help LeFlore, No. 27 in the ESPN RISE FAB 50 rankings, reach Alabama's Class 5A semifinals, where it was upset by Parker (Birmingham).
Last week, Cousins contributed 14 points and eight rebounds as the East squad won the McDonald's All-American Game 113-110 in Coral Gables, Fla. Prior to the game he spoke about reopening his recruiting in the wake of Calipari's departure from Memphis. He said he was dreading it but conceded, "it's a learning experience."
This time Cousins conferred with family members on Monday and decided to follow Calipari to his new digs in Lexington, Ky.
"I'm happy he made a decision quickly and didn't allow it to drag out," said Hughley, who will accompany Cousins to Portland for Saturday's game against a World Select Team at the Rose Garden.
Christopher Lawlor has covered high school sports for more than 20 years, most recently with USA Today, where he was the head preps writer responsible for national high school rankings in football, baseball, and boys' and girls' basketball.