A late-blooming center in his second year of professional basketball, Marcus Cousin has been one of the nicest surprises of this D-League season thus far.
6-11, with long arms, an excellent frame and a fairly intriguing skill-set, Cousin has been putting up solid numbers for San Antonio Spurs affiliate the Austin Toros, scoring nearly 20 points per-40, and ranking as one of the league's best rebounders.
Offensively, he is capable of scoring both inside and out, showing a decent post game which he augments with a fairly consistent mid-range jumper. He can establish deep position in the paint with his excellent frame, mostly to turn into a right-handed jump hook or attempt to draw a foul. From the perimeter, he's a solid pick and pop option with nice mechanics and the ability to get his shot off in a variety of ways, also converting 83% of his free throws on the season
Not exceptionally athletic, Cousin is just an average runner and isn't one to finish above the rim in highlight reel fashion. Possessing just an average feel for the game, Cousin is not a very prolific passer and still has work to do in terms of gaining experience and figuring out his optimal role at the pro level.
Defensively, Cousin's size, frame and long arms are major assets at any level of basketball, and already help him out significantly inside the paint. While not much of a shot-blocking threat, Cousin puts the work in early by bodying up his man aggressively, and is able to make a nice impact against most of the traditional big men he faces in the D-League.
Where he runs into trouble is when matched up with undersized, but athletic big men who can take him off the dribble and bait him into biting on pump-fakes. His lateral quickness is not the best and he has a tendency to leave his feet too easily at times, while his motor occasionally leaves something to be desired.
The fact that he's such a prolific rebounder on both ends of the floor helps his cause quite a bit, though, as there's always a demand for big-bodied players who can clean up the glass in the NBA.
After transferring between Seton Hall and Houston in college and then going through a pretty tumultuous rookie season as a pro, bouncing around between Turkey and Israel, never really finding his rhythm, Cousin is getting big minutes at the D-League level, and is likely opening up some NBA eyes along the way. Its probably only a matter of time until someone gives him a call-up to see what he can offer.