WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | Sports

Cousins gets calls, Varnado next

If the way he handled Mississippi State
fans is any indication, DeMarcus Cousins is more than ready to face
Jarvis Varnado.
After some Mississippi State fans got hold of Cousins' phone
number, the Kentucky center received hundreds of calls and text
messages ahead of Tuesday's game.
"Some were racial, and others were girls like, 'Let's make
out,"' Cousins said Monday. "I don't know what to expect from
Starkville."
Cousins is eager to make up for his performance Saturday night
against Tennessee. The freshman scored five points and made just 1
of 8 free throws in the Wildcats' 73-62 win over the Volunteers.
Varnado and Cousins are the only players in the Southeastern
Conference averaging double figures in points and rebounds - and
Varnado's 519 career blocks are second in NCAA history.
"They're two different kinds of players," Kentucky coach John
Calipari said. "One is going to block shots and be active and be
quicker to the ball. The other is just a hard matchup for teams."
Mississippi State is seeking its first four-game winning streak
in the series in school history. Varnado blocked seven shots in a
66-57 victory at Kentucky last season, and in 2008 he had 10 while
recording a triple-double in a 69-64 win in Starkville.
The second-ranked Wildcats are working to avoid another big game
by the Bulldogs' star, who is averaging 13.3 points and 11.3
rebounds this season.
"Having DeMarcus in there, and when DeMarcus is out having
Daniel (Orton) in there, and then Patrick (Patterson) is also in
there, I think it will be a bit of a different story," senior
Perry Stevenson said. "At least we're hoping for it."
Cousins and Calipari both acknowledged that the freshman let his
emotions get the better of him against Tennessee. Cousins gave
Calipari a hug during Monday's walkthrough, and the coach is
confident Cousins has matured.
Just look at how well he handled all those nasty calls and
messages on his phone.
"I'm glad it was his and not mine," Calipari said. "He's a
fun-loving kid."


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