I had the pleasure of heading to Indianapolis last night to watch former University of Kentucky star DeMarcus Cousins and the Sacramento Kings defeat the Indiana Pacers 110-93.
As he often does, Cousins displayed flashes of All-Star level talent throughout the game as he led the Kings with 18 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists.
The game felt like a homecoming for "Cuz" as several hundred members of Kentucky's Big Blue Nation were in Conseco Fieldhouse to offer support.
Cousins still bleeds blue, as well. In the pregame locker room, he sent a message of support to his former teammates as they awaited their NCAA Tournament game against top-seeded Ohio State (the Wildcats won the game 63-61).
After the game, Big Cuz gave a prediction.
"Uh, I think it's going to be a close game, but UK...UK is going to come out with a win," he said. "I'm going with Big Blue."
I had an opportunity to talk to DeMarcus about life in the NBA and how he is adjusting to playing an 82-game schedule rather than a much shorter high school or college schedule.
"It's been a big transition for me," he explained. "It hasn't been the best season but I've learned a lot from it and I'm just trying to finish out the season strong."
He admitted that the longer season is tough
"It's tough on your body," he said. "You just try to get out there and get your body warmed up but it's a tough process."
Cousins also acknowledged that his season in Lexington was something he misses greatly.
"It was probably the best experience I've ever experienced," he told me. "I enjoyed it a lot. I really miss it. I wish I could continue it but I had to move on."
Cousins had to move on but his time in Big Blue Nation is something he will never forget. The feelings are mutual. As a rookie, Cousins is averaging 14.2 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. In March, playing primarily in the power forward position, DeMarcus is putting in 16.5 points and 10.6 rebounds.