DeMarcus Cousins looks to bring team to Lexington Regional, Isaiah Austin to play

 

By: Josh Brown | @josh_brown31


Boogie Cousins made some BIG news last week

Everyone knows that TBT is the most intense basketball event in the world, so it's no surprise that the NBA's biggest stars want a piece of the action.

On Wednesday, 4x All-Star and Olympic gold medalist DeMarcus Cousins announced that he would be bringing Team Loyalty Is Love to the Lexington Regional. Cousins is the fifth active NBA player looking to lead a team in TBT 2019, joining Chris Paul (Team CP3), Andre Drummond (Tampa 20/20), Darren Collison (Team Challenge ALS), and Shelvin Mack (Team KBC). 

 

If accepted, TBT 2019 would also serve as a bit of a college reunion for Cousins. The Lexington Regional will take place just four miles away from the University of Kentucky, where Couins was SEC Rookie of the Year and a First-team All-SEC selection in 2010. We already know that BBN will be out in FULL FORCE, as the Bluegrass Boys (Kentucky alumni) are serving as host of the regional. This sets up a scenario where Cousins could ultimately face off against a team of former Wildcats. Coach Cal will have a tough decision to make with that one.

Excited yet? Well, there's more. On Thursday, the team announced that Isaiah Austin would be suiting up with them this summer. The 7-foot-1 center was a star at Baylor (2012-2014), racking up Big 12 All-Defensive Team honors his sophomore season. After declaring for the NBA Draft that summer, his career came to a shocking halt. Just four days before he was expected to go late in the first round, Austin was told that he had Marfan syndrome and would never play basketball again. While he has since been medically cleared to play basketball and has done so professionally in Asia, it will be his first time he's played on American soil since the diagnosis.

 

The roster doesn't get any less impressive from there. Former Golden Eagles star Darius Johnson-Odom will be making the jump to Team Loyalty Is Love. The Marquette alum and 2012 First-team All-Big East selection is widely regarded as one of the best guards in Europe. When you add in the fact that former Brooklyn Net Markel Brown (Oklahoma State) and 2x Horizon League Player of the Year Keifer Sykes (Green Bay) will be playing for Cousins this summer, they have the potential to display one of the most electric backcourts in TBT history.

Even though Cousins is a first-year GM, he has obviously watched TBT before. Why do I say that? Because his frontcourt bleeds grit. Isaiah Austin will be joined by fellow Baylor product Quincy Miller. Coming out of high school, the 6-foot-10 center was the second-ranked prospect in the country behind Anthony Davis. After an unbelievable freshman season at Baylor, he was selected 38th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Nuggets. He has since spent time in both the NBA and EuroLeague. The Baylor duo will be joined by Daniel Orton, who was a teammate of Cousins at Kentucky. Similar to Quincy Miller, Orton spent just one-year at college before being selected 29th overall by the Magic in the 2010 NBA Draft. The Oklahoma City native has become a star in Asia over the past couple of years.

Wondering what Cousins thinks of his squad so far? He gave us a little hint on Twitter last week.