Without a doubt, Buddy Hield was the most dominant player in NCAA basketball in 2015-2016, helping his team to the Final Four and securing a top-10 selection in this week's upcoming draft. He didn't do it alone, though: this is where the case for Isaiah Cousins comes into play.
Some people may or may not know that Cousins was setting the table for Hield at Oklahoma, serving as one of the unsung heroes who continued to get better and better during his four year tenure. Coming from the mean streets of Mount Vernon, NY, Cousins has always played with a chip on his shoulder but is very raw as point guard.
Standing at 6'4" with a wingspan of 6'6", Cousins struggled with his shot early on at Oklahoma, and his assists number were also low. But once his sophomore year rolled around, he was a mainstay in the Sooners' starting lineup for the rest of his collegiate career.
As a point guard, Cousins got better; his shooting vastly improved each season. He would become the fifth ranked in school history in three-point percentage at the end of his senior season. Shooting is something he can definitely contribute with at the NBA level, and we all know shooting, especially from beyond the three-point arc, is vital in this new era of basketball.
Cousins wasn't overshadowed by Hield, and he took fulladvantage of playing alongside a star, displaying his complete game. Cousins averaged 12.6 points a game, 4.5 assists, and 4.5 rebounds, which are impressive all-around contributions for a 6'3" point guard.
In his first matchup versus Villanova, Cousin scored 19 points with 4-4 from 3 point range, and added 10 assists and 5 rebounds. Against LSU, Cousins showed his knack for hitting big shots, as he nailed the game winner.
Listen, I'm not going to sit here and say Cousins isn't flawed. Some question if he is a true point guard, and that is up for debate, as some experts think he over-dribbles. Additionally, when looking at his splits, there were games where his shooting was a giant question mark. Odds are he will never be a starting point guard in the NBA.
Some draft boards have him late first round, but the majority have him going in the second. As for Clippers, outside of Dematrius Jackson and Tyler Ulis, Cousins might be a solid backup point guard option, especially in the second round. The Clippers did work out Cousins, which you can't look too much into, but he is a player that fills a need. Each year he has got better on the college level, which isn't something that every four-year prospect can claim. His size is perfect for an NBA point guard, and he comes with a low turnover rate. His skills as a point guard could stand to improve (but that's what learning behind Chris Paul is for). Shooting is by far his greatest attribute, and NBA teams can always use more of it. There are plenty of flawed players in this draft where you grasp for one thing they do well, and for Cousins it is being able to knock it down from deep.
If given the right fit, he could shoot off the bench right away, and become a very reliable back up/fill in point guard for years to come.