Despite having survived the first round of Team USA cuts, danger continues to lurk for DeMarcus Cousins. Boogie admits that it would be devastating if he didn’t make the final roster this summer. Per the Sac Bee:

What are the areas (Mike) Krzyzewski and USA Basketball czar Jerry Colangelo said you need to improve? “Well, I need to be a better leader, which I’m not. I know I need to work on my defense. I’m not out there trying to let a guy score on me, but I have to get it (schemes) down pat. I need to be as smart on defense as I am on offense, learn to understand defense as well as offense. And I want to be that complete player.”

 

What do you struggle with the most, defensively? Is it footwork? Difficulty grasping the concepts? Or conditioning? The USAB folks noticed that you are trimmer than the past two summers but still believe your conditioning is subpar for the uptempo system Krzyzewski runs. “I want to lose another 10 pounds, and that’s why I practiced with the Kings during the summer league. I’ve lost a lot of that old baby fat. But I am just not a typical defensive player for a normal big man. A lot of big men can’t defend. But they block shots, and that’s not really defense. Defense is about five guys moving as one … the moving-on-a-string theory. If one guy goes to the wrong place, it breaks down. But at the end of the day, as the center, I’m the defensive anchor. And I’m working hard on it.”

 

How disappointed would you be if you don’t make the team? “I would be crushed. Everyone knows how much I want to do this. This is my third year here (two with Select Team), and I don’t run from any challenge. I would be crushed, but I’m not a quitter. I would come back and try again.”