Cousins wants to show maturity vs. Miss. State

If the way he handled Mississippi State fans is any indication,

DeMarcus Cousins is more than ready to face Jarvis Varnado.

After some Mississippi State fans got hold of Cousins’ phone

number, the Kentucky center received hundreds of calls and text

messages ahead of Tuesday’s game.

“Some were racial, and others were girls like, ‘Let’s make

out,”’ Cousins said Monday. “I don’t know what to expect from


Cousins is eager to make up for his performance Saturday night

against Tennessee. The freshman scored five points and made just 1

of 8 free throws in the Wildcats’ 73-62 win over the


Varnado and Cousins are the only players in the Southeastern

Conference averaging double figures in points and rebounds – and

Varnado’s 519 career blocks are second in NCAA history.

“They’re two different kinds of players,” Kentucky coach John

Calipari said. “One is going to block shots and be active and be

quicker to the ball. The other is just a hard matchup for


Mississippi State is seeking its first four-game winning streak

in the series in school history. Varnado blocked seven shots in a

66-57 victory at Kentucky last season, and in 2008 he had 10 while

recording a triple-double in a 69-64 win in Starkville.

The second-ranked Wildcats are working to avoid another big game

by the Bulldogs’ star, who is averaging 13.3 points and 11.3

rebounds this season.

“Having DeMarcus in there, and when DeMarcus is out having

Daniel (Orton) in there, and then Patrick (Patterson) is also in

there, I think it will be a bit of a different story,” senior

Perry Stevenson said. “At least we’re hoping for it.”

Cousins and Calipari both acknowledged that the freshman let his

emotions get the better of him against Tennessee. Cousins gave

Calipari a hug during Monday’s walkthrough, and the coach is

confident Cousins has matured.

Just look at how well he handled all those nasty calls and

messages on his phone.

“I’m glad it was his and not mine,” Calipari said. “He’s a

fun-loving kid.”