Oklahoma basketball: Isaiah Cousins brings New York toughness to Sooners

The Sooners freshman said the pace of life is a lot different in Oklahoma, too. But the OU coaches want Cousins to bring some of that street ball aggressiveness to the court.
by Stephanie Kuzydym Published: December 12, 2012

Oklahoma's freshman guard explained that street ball in New York is totally different from the college game. In Harlem, they play with NBA rules.

“In college, you can just sag in the paint,” Cousins said. “In street ball, you can't sag in the paint. It's just one-on-one. So you can just kill your man in the corner. Give him 30 all night.”

Senior forward Romero Osby watches Cousins bring his street-ball toughness to practice daily. Although the starting guard is young, Osby can see that he can play and lead the team by taking the ball down the court after most possessions.

“Guys from New York City are edgy,” Osby said. “They always talk a lot of cash money or as we call or it trash.

“He's tough. He brings an edge. He can get to the basket and make plays that he wants and can really handle the ball for his size.”

That toughness and edge can lead to a player being aggressive. OU coach Lon Kruger said the coaches have talked with Cousins about being a bit more aggressive — like he would if he were playing street ball.

“We also want him to attack and be more aggressive because he's one of the guys we have that can do that,” Kruger said. “And I think we'll see him do that as the year unfolds — to be more aggressive, more intuitive.”

Besides his New York background, Cousins is a quiet kid. He didn't even talk to freshmen Buddy Hield or Je'lon Hornbeak when they all came to Oklahoma.

“He's just quiet,” Hornbeak said. “He wanted to know he could trust us. I don't blame him, being from New York.”

The three freshmen love to listen to music together, especially reggae. Cousins is also known a bit on the team for his dance moves.

“Yeah I can dance a little,” he said after a video appeared of him busting moves at the Old Spice Classic surrounded by the other seven teams of the tournament.

What else?

“Are you serious? What am I supposed to tell you?” Cousins said. “I'm tall, light-skinned and handsome. 6-foot-3, smooth dude, know what I mean?”

He's definitely got that New York swag.

by Stephanie Kuzydym
Stephanie Kuzydym learned at a young age that life is a game of inches. That's just one reason why she loves football. Kuzydym joined The Oklahoman in July 2012. Before arriving in the state, Kuzydym was an intern for the sports departments at...
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