Rockets News

Houston Rockets Draft Prospect Series: Isaiah Cousins

Mar 5, 2016; Fort Worth, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners guard Isaiah Cousins (11) dribbles during the game against the TCU Horned Frogs at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 5, 2016; Fort Worth, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners guard Isaiah Cousins (11) dribbles during the game against the TCU Horned Frogs at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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The 2016 NBA Draft will take place on Thursday, June 23rd with the Houston Rockets selecting 37th and 43rd. In need of a point guard, GM Daryl Morey may want to take a look at Oklahoma Sooners’ Isaiah Cousins. One of the most underrated prospects in the 2016 NBA Draft.

Draft Prospect:

Intro

Winning the draft lottery does not guarantee that a team will come away drafting the best player of the class. Throughout the course of NBA history, there have been many great players who received the short end of the stick on draft night.

Over the past few years, the Houston Rockets have managed to find several diamonds in the rough in the second round. Chandler Parsons, Isaiah Canaan, Nick Johnson, and most recently Montrezl Harrell. All exceeded their draft night expectations to become a vital member of the Rockets rotation at one time or another.

While the lack of depth at the point guard position remains a constant issue, Daryl Morey has a chance to draft a valuable member of the Oklahoma Sooners’ Final Four run. Unfortunately, it will not be future all-star Buddy Hield, but his backcourt mate senior, Isaiah Cousins.

Specifics

(as per NBA Draft Combine)

  • Height: 6’4″
  • Weight: 190 lbs
  • Country: USA
  • Position: Point Guard/ Shooting Guard
  • Age: 23
  • Reach: 8’5″
  • Wingspan: 6’5″
  • College or Pro League: Oklahoma Sooners, Senior
  • Stat line: 35 Games, 12.6 Points Per Game, 4.5 Rebounds Per Game, 4.5 Assists Per Game, 1.4 Steals Per Game, 45.0 3P%, 40.3 FG%, 67.5 FT%

Current Rank

Please note, the rankings below come from the most up to date versions as the time of writing. That said not all the mock drafts provide second round ranks or updates often only extend to the end of the first round.

Therefore, if you check a ranking and note the number has changed it’s likely due to updates and a shift in the rankings.

NBA Draft.net: 39

NBA Draft Room: 54

Draft Express: 53

NBA Scott Howard Cooper:  59

The Skills

A combo guard who is capable of running the point on an NBA level, Isaiah Cousins is by far one of the most talented, yet underrated players in the draft. His play making abilities are the primary reasons why critics have ranked him among the 10 top point guards in the draft.

Due to his excellent on court vision and passing skills, Cousins is solid fundamentally at running an offense.

During his four years at Oklahoma, Cousins’ high basketball IQ has helped him master the pick-and-roll and has given him a solid understanding of when to kick the ball out to a teammate on the perimeter. In fact, if it was not for Cousins’ ball distribution, Hield may not have been one of the premier scorers in the country.

Outside of his play making, Cousins has proven himself as a high volume shooter. For the third season in a row, Cousins ranked among the top shooters from behind the arc. During the 2014-15 season, he led the Sooners with the highest 3-point percentage at 45 percent. Which also marked a career-high.

Despite becoming a great shooter, Cousins is not a one-dimensional player. He has an explosive first step and is capable of getting to the basket on a nightly basis.

The biggest weakness in his game so far is on the defensive end. Despite standing at 6’4, critics considers Cousins as an undersized guard due to his small frame. As he prepares to defend players like Russell Westbrook and John Wall, Cousins MUST spend more time in the weight room this summer.

Awards and Honors

  • All Big-12 3rd Team (2016)
  • All-Big 12 Honorable Mention (2015)

The Fit

More from Space City Scoop

If a Rocket fan were to reminisce on what

Aaron Brooks

brought to Houston during his first three seasons, Isaiah Cousins would be the perfect example.

In fact, Cousins may be an excellent draft choice for the Rockets. Especially if Mike D’Antoni plans to recreate his fast pace Phoenix Suns seven seconds or less offense in Houston. Not comparing him to Steve Nash, but Cousins’ vision and ability to run the pick-and-roll are similar to the former MVP. This would make him the ideal point guard in Houston.

Cousins would be a nice addition to the second unit, particularly a solid backup when James Harden is taking a breather. However, once he gets accustomed to playing in the big league. Do not be surprised if Cousins takes the starting point guard job from Patrick Beverley.

Final Thoughts

Many analysts are predicting that Cousins will land somewhere between the top-half of the second round. Which makes him a realistic possibility heading into Thursday night’s draft.

As a top 10 point guard, Cousins is by far one of the biggest sleepers entering this year’s draft. So for a team who is in desperate need of a point guard, it would be in the Rockets best interest to draft Isaiah Cousins.

Next: Houston Rockets Draft Prospect:Malik Beasley

Next: Houston Rockets Draft Prospect:Ante Zizic

Next: Houston Rockets Draft Prospect:Damian Jones

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