Missouri "The Place" For DeMarcus Cousins?

For a player regarded among the best prospects in the country, DeMarcus Cousins isn't doing much talking. In an effort to keep him focused and shielded from those looking to take advantage, his mother and coaches have declined most interview requests. Fortunately, InsideMizzou has the right connections to the 6-foot-10 blue-chipper from Alabama, and we got the latest on his recruitment and MU ...

Cousins, an extremely gifted junior post player from LeFlore High (Mobile, Ala.) who is ranked the No. 4 player in the Class of 2009, listed for us the six schools he'd like to choose from – in alphabetical order, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Memphis, Missouri and UAB. We then asked him where Mizzou stands on his list right now.

"They're right up there," he said. "Mike Anderson is a great coach. He really relates with his players. They know what to expect from him and he lets them know what he expects from them. He forms good relationships with everyone."

Cousins, 6-foot-9 and 245 pounds, is a prized recruit because of his ability to run the floor, score inside and out, defend and rebound. There are few holes in his game, which is quite advanced for his age. He also seems to be coming along off of the court since his move to LeFlore this year from Erwin High in Birmingham.

"Yes, I think so," said his mother, Monique Cousins. "He's just growing into his role, playing, realizing what his goals are, basically staying focused."

Cousins recently played in a tournament in the Show Me State and noticed Anderson in the stands. He's also been hearing from MU assistant T.J. Cleveland.

"He's a real cool guy, real down to earth. He's really on the same page, and we connect," DeMarcus said. "I try to catch them on TV when I can."

"I did enjoy meeting him," Monique added.

With Cousins considering a couple of schools that are in building mode and several others that are established national powers, will that play a role in his decision.

"That is an issue with me, coaching prestige and program prestige. But what it really comes down to is, it's going to be about what the best fit is," he said.

Cousins is skilled enough to play in any system, but said the idea of being a part of Anderson's up-tempo system is one that appeals to him. He said he also isn't overly concerned with which school has produced the most NBA players, as the possibility of being a pro isn't one that relies heavily on what school he attends. He also said he's not worried about which school offers him the best opportunity to be a one-and-done type of recruit.

"I'm really not focused on that. I'm just taking it one day at a time and if [I'm blessed] to get there, that would be great," he said.

Cousins visited Mizzou during the summer after his sophomore year and plans to make it up again this coming summer. He'll visit all of his potential choices and, if the plan goes unchanged, will commit toward the end of the summer. Though several of his schools are located in SEC country, he's not inclined to stay near home simply for the sake of convenience. His mother will go wherever he goes in order to lend support.

"Our attitude is, by the time he's ready to make that decision, that it will be the best school of choice for him. It's open for location. The biggest thing is the structure and having good support and structure, and if that means Missouri is the place, Missouri is the place," she said.

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