Cousins Gives Tigers Top Class

DeMarcus Cousins

John Calipari finished second in college basketball last year but will walk away with the game's top recruiting prize 11 months later. On Sunday, the Tigers secured a commitment from DeMarcus Cousins, the programs second Top 10 commitment of the season.

The rest of the college basketball world, when it comes to recruiting class rankings, needs to slide over a spot because the Memphis Tigers are movin' on up.

Scout.com received the word early Sunday afternoon that DeMarcus Cousins, Scout.com's No. 6 prospect in the Class of 2009, is going to Memphis. The 6-foot-9 center out of Mobile (Ala.) LeFlore, picked the Tigers after considering UAB, Washington, North Carolina State and Rice.

"He always was interested in UAB but at the same time he always liked Memphis, the style of play, coach and environment," Monique Cousins, DeMarcus' mother told Scout.com. "He was always interested in their court presence and they were always one of the choices. The coach is really good about pushing the players and bringing out their best."

While there was no definite plan to commit during his weekend visit, the pledge was offered and accepted, giving Memphis an obscene collection of talent in 2009.

"You kind of a have a feeling and everything was falling into place and there it was," Monique said. "DeMarcus said ‘Coach, I'm ready!' Everyone was smiling."

Over the course of seven days, Cousins experienced the lows and highs basketball has to offer. Last Friday, he lost in the semifinals of the state tournament. A week later, he's on top of the world thinking of the damage he and Xavier Henry can inflict on college basketball next year. When asked what he's looking forward to most next year, his answer was simple.

"A national championship," Cousins said.

Once he returns home tonite, Cousins will go to work on his next assignment: point guard John Wall. "I'll call him tonite."

Nolan Dennis, Cousins, Henry, forward Darnell Dodson and center Will Coleman comprise what has become the nation's most talented recruiting class.

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