John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins of Kentucky Are College Basketball's Best Duo

Eric BallFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2010

LEXINGTON, KY - FEBRUARY 13:  John Wall #11 of the Kentucky Wilcats celebrates during the SEC game against the Tennessee Volunteers on February 13, 2010 at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

John Wall will be the first pick in the 2010 NBA draft barring some catastrophic injury. That was decided back in December.

But is he currently the best player on his team?

He possesses all of the tools to be a pro: speed, quickness, ball handling, and jump-out-of-the-gym hops, and he's a strong finisher around the rim.

He is shooting 47 percent from the field and just under 80 percent from the line while averaging 17 points a game. He has proven he can score at will and in crunch time as well.

Mississippi State found out last night as he hit a key jump-stop 12-footer and also converted an old-fashioned three-point play when Kentucky was on the brink of defeat. He ended up a mere two assists shy of his first career triple-double.

His 6.5 assists a game put Wall near the top of the NCAA. He has the ability to go into "LeBron Mode," where scoring is secondary to getting teammates involved. He even recorded an eye-popping 16 assists against Hartford earlier in the season. But when the Cats need a bucket, Wall will fearlessly call his own number.

The above information is not groundbreaking. Wall has become a media darling to the 10th degree seemingly over night. But people tend to forget about the other ferocious freshman that was imported with John Calipari.

DeMarcus Cousins is an absolute force in the paint with his back to the basket. His wide 6'11" frame makes it tough on defenders trying to block his shot. Cousins is extremely strong, so he is able to create space down low and feast on smaller, weaker defenders.

He has recorded a double-double in eight of the past nine games and averages 16 and 10 a game while shooting almost 55 percent from the floor. He is a guy that can carry an offense for long stretches of time.

He has also greatly improved his vision in the post, and his assists have increased significantly over the second half of the season because of it. Cousins is able to read where the double team is coming from and find the open man. He struggled doing such early in the season.

He has created lots of open three-point looks for Wall. His defense has improved, and he is now able to avoid foul trouble for the most part.

So yes, Wall is great, but so is Cousins. Most casual fans would tell you Wall is the best player on UK. While they may be right, the big fella isn't too far behind.

That's why I believe the Kentucky Wildcats are destined for the 2010 championship.

Why? Because they quite possibly have two of the top five players in all of college basketball. The killer inside-outside combo will be extremely hard to stop, especially when Cousins gets your best big man into early foul trouble and essentially takes him out of the game.

The fact that they are freshmen doesn't bother me. They have yet to choke away a game in crunch time due to nerves or lack of focus. Calipari continues to push the right buttons to get his top players in the right mindset.

In a weak year for overall talent, the freshmen from UK are the cream of the crop and will be the hope and savior of two desperate NBA franchises come June.