Cousins was the Wildcats' starting center last season who earned All-America honors and was the fifth overall pick in June's NBA draft by Sacramento, but Calipari said Kanter hasn't approached that level yet.
"He is not what DeMarcus was. People don't realize how good DeMarcus is. He wasn't in shape and was a big baby and all that other stuff, but when you talk about nimble, when you talk about skill with the ball ... let me say this: Here is how I would judge a big guy. If he was 6-5, how good is he? DeMarcus at 6-5 would have been really good," said Calipari said.
"Again, to judge Enes against DeMarcus isn't fair. They are going crazy about DeMarcus in Sacramento. But Enes is going to be fine."
If Kanter is not DeMarcus Cousins, what can he do?
"He is another big guy. He is a guy with size who can rebound. The one thing he does do is rebound with two hands. That is something I usually have to teach. I don't have to with him. He gets all of it," Calipari said.
"He has good skills around the basket. In practice (in August), the only time I saw him and went like, ‘Wow,' was when he played against (former UK center) Nazr (Mohammed). Now whether he was challenged or (teammate) whether Josh (Harrellson) has him joking around in practice, I don't know. But when he played Nazr, he went to work and I thought maybe he is better than I think."
Freshman teammate Terrence Jones, who is 6-9, has had to guard Kanter in August practices and pickup games.
"It is real difficult, especially since I am not used to guarding 7-footers with their back toward me. It is a difficult thing for me since I am not used to it, but I am getting better. I am just doing the best I can to guard him as hard as I can but he's not easy to guard because he's big, strong and agile," Jones said.
Stacey Poole, another UK freshman, knew little about Kanter when he got to Lexington in June. That has changed.
"Enes is so strong. He is a strong, strong fellow," Poole said. "He is really good. He plays better facing the basket than having his back to the basket. He is a goofy guy. He likes to laugh. But overall Enes is a very good player. He's going to help a lot this year in a lot of ways.
"It's impossible not to like him. He's just a great guy, but on the court he can be a beast. If he goes to get a rebound, nobody is going to take it away from him. He's just ferocious when he goes after the ball and that is really going to be important to our team this year."
VAUGHT:Enes Kanter "no comparison" to Cousins
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