Kings notes: Cousins to be chosen to try out for U.S. men’s national team

Published: Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 - 10:14 am

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins will be in the 28-player pool that will try out for the 2014-16 USA Basketball Men’s National Team, according to a source close to the process.

Being in the pool, which will be announced today, makes Cousins eligible for the World Cup in Spain this summer and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.

Cousins has been a part of the Team USA program the past two summers. Last summer in Las Vegas, he participated in the 28-man training camp that played in the USA Basketball Showcase, featuring players trying to earn a spot in the pool for 2014-16.

Cousins was also a member of the USA Basketball Select Team that helped prepare the U.S. Olympic men’s team for the 2012 Games.

There were questions as to whether Cousins would be selected in 2012 after USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo publicly questioned Cousins’ maturity. After the comments, Cousins sought out Colangelo to address any issues. Last summer, Cousins participated in the Team USA camp with no issues.

Mixing it up – In trying to shore up the Kings’ defense, coach Michael Malone has looked at different ways to deal with some of the post players, relying on power forward Jason Thompson to be flexible with his coverages.

“We’ve done a lot of things lately in the post, and Jason’s done a great job of guarding, whether it’s Anthony Davis, Zach Randolph or Kevin Love of making those guys have to work by fronting the post,” Malone said. “That is not our base coverage, but depending on the matchup and personnel that night, we’ll mix up our defense to try to give ourselves a chance to defend at a high level.”

Malone prefers not to double team frequently, but he said there might be games where the strategy calls for early double teams on a player to keep him from getting on a hot streak.

Back again – Carl Landry played his second game of the season Wednesday since returning from a torn left hip flexor. He had six points and six rebounds while playing the entire fourth quarter.

Tied for third – Isaiah Thomas tied Peja Stojakovic for the franchise’s third-longest streak of games with a 3-pointer at 35. Stojakovic also has the second-longest streak at 36. Mitch Richmond holds the team record at 39.

Follow The Bee’s Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at

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