Cousins Signs With Sooners

Mount Vernon guard Isaiah Cousins signed with OU.

NORMAN, Okla. — Mount Vernon (N.Y.) guard Isaiah Cousins has inked with the Sooners, signing his letter of intent Wednesday afternoon to join OU for the 2012-13 season.

The 6-foot-4, 183-pound shooting guard, who was New York's Section 1 "Mr. Basketball," averaged 15.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 3.0 steals per game en route to leading his squad to a 23-3 record and second consecutive New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class AA State Championship.

Cousins earned MVP in the Section 1 Tournament and was an all-tournament selection in New York's state and federation tournaments.

Now, he'll bring those talents to the Lloyd Noble Center.

"Most importantly, Isaiah is really passionate about being at the University of Oklahoma," said OU head coach Lon Kruger, who is starting his second year at OU. "He's a young guy who brings a lot to the floor offensively with his skills. He's a really good teammate in that he makes players around him even more effective. But he's also a good scorer and can shoot the ball well. He has a really good feel for things on the defensive end, too."

As Kruger alluded to, he boasts a lot of multiplicity in his offensive arsenal.

"He has played a lot at the off [-guard position], he's played a lot at the point," Kruger said. "He's a guy who will come in here and make good plays for his teammates. Everyone will enjoy playing with him. He loves to play, he's a good competitor and he has a really high desire to get better and be as good as he can be."

Eighteen-year Mount Vernon High School head coach Bob Cimmino had nothing but more positive things to say about the Sooner signee.

"He's the ultimate gym rat," Cimmino said. "Isaiah is probably the most improved player I've coached in my tenure at Mount Vernon. He's always had a great work ethic, but something just clicked in the last year, and as a result, his talent just escalated off the charts. He got better and better and became a dominant force in our games.

"He only knows how to play at one particular level and that's hard. Isaiah takes no plays off and he works equally hard on both ends of the court."

Because of that, Cousins received offers from Dayton, Connecticut, Virginia Tech and Xavier.

In the end, he chose the Sooners over those other four.

Though the stats were impressive enough for him to get those offers and ultimately land at OU, Cimmino insisted he could have really bolstered those numbers had his team not been so effective this year.

"We had quite a few blowouts in our league this year and as a result I had to limit Isaiah's minutes on the court," Cimmino said. "You can't tell someone like Isaiah to take it easy -- he doesn't know what that is. He's going to go after you regardless of who you are, and if I would have left him on the court in some of those games he would have scored 40 points very easily. So his minutes were pretty limited unless it was a close game."

No doubt, the Sooners are satisfied to secure his signature for that reason.

Cousins will join fellow high schoolers C.J. Cole, Buddy Hield and Jelon Hornbeak as OU's newcomers in the fall.

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