Former UK teammates adjust as losses mount

At this point last season, John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins still hadn't lost a game. After Kentucky's win over Georgia on Jan. 9, 2010, the Wildcats moved to 16-0 and would win three more times before the first of only three defeats all year.

Heading into their NBA teams' second game against one another on Tuesday, Wall and Cousins actually have one more victory together (17) than they had last year at this time. The problem is a combined 52 losses between the Wizards (9-26) and the Sacramento Kings (8-26), who are both second from the bottom in their respective conferences.

"We talk about it all the time, me, him and [Los Angeles Clippers rookie] Eric [Bledsoe], talk about how it is," Wall said. "It's a tough experience from last year; we won a lot of games, and then this year, we're losing."

As unfortunate as the fortunes are for their teams -- Bledsoe's Clippers are 12-24 -- it's actually easier for the trio of first-round picks that all of their teams are struggling.

Up next
Kings at Wizards
Where » Verizon Center
When » Tuesday, 7 p.m.
TV » Comcast SportsNet
Josh Howard will miss the next week to 10 days with soreness in his surgically repaired left knee. After making his season debut on Dec. 18, Howard hasn't played a full game since Dec. 29, missing three games and playing in the first half of two.

"It is helpful because you got one of your brothers going through the same situation," Cousins said. "It'd be different if one of us was winning and trying to give each other advice. 'Of course, you can say that because you're winning.'"

Wall is looking forward to playing against Cousins for the first time after missing the team's previous encounter in Sacramento on Dec. 8, watching from the bench with a sore left foot as the Wizards stumbled to an embarrassing 116-91 loss.

"We can't worry about other people," Wizards head coach Flip Saunders said. "But we'll remind them of how we played there."

After getting off to a troubled start thanks to foul trouble on the court and a couple clashes with coaches in practice, the 6-foot-11 Cousins has settled down and started living up to the billing of being selected fifth overall in the 2010 NBA Draft, averaging 21.2 points and 9.2 rebounds in the last six games.

"He's getting more touches and he's staying out of foul trouble," Wall said. "When he was in foul trouble, he didn't play as much and that will frustrate a player like that, as a rookie. It would frustrate a lot of people."