March Madness 2012: Kentucky Will Not Be Beaten with Stellar Play of Teague
Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, John Wall and Brandon Knight.
These four John Calipari-coached point guards took his teams to two Final Fours and were all top-10 picks in the NBA draft, including two No. 1 overall selections.
Now, how is a player supposed to live up to as high expectations that were placed on Kentucky’s freshman point guard Marquis Teague?
Coming off a career-high 24 points, Teague may be starting to blossom into the player that everybody thought he would become.
Teague, the brother of Atlanta Hawks’ guard Jeff, came to Kentucky as the top point guard recruit in his class, according to ESPN.com.
However, Teague struggled with the high expectations placed on him because Calipari’s past successful point guards. There was a question whether he could fit into Coach Cal’s dribble-drive offense. He even admitted to having sleepless nights during the season.
"I was just thinking too much. Trying to force shots up sometimes instead of making the easy play," Teague said.
Teague averaged 10 points and 5 assists throughout the season, but shot a poor 31 percent from three.
This season, Kentucky has a player of the year candidate and a future No. 1 pick in Anthony Davis, along with future lottery picks Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Terrence Jones.
These three players have carried Kentucky to success, along with Doron Lamb and arguably the best bench player in the nation, Darius Miller.
How will Marquis Teague play against Indiana?
The frequently asked question all season long about this Kentucky team, how good can this team be with Teague performing at his highest level?
That question was answered last night, in their dominating 87-71 win over a very good Iowa State team. Not only did Teague set his career high in points, he shot an unbelievable 10-of-14 from the field. He played a complete game, dishing out seven assists and grabbing four rebounds.
The stat line doesn’t even show how much of an impact Teague made on Kentucky’s offense.
He was the facilitator of their offense, like any good point guard is, drawing defenders and creating opportunities for his teammates. If defenders put emphasis on Teague, Kentucky has so many other scoring options who will open looks.
Kentucky needs Teague to be a major factor in their rematch against Indiana, a game in which he hit the go-ahead shot with 49 seconds left. He finished the game with 15 points and five assists.
If Teague can continue his stellar play throughout the tournament, Kentucky’s already high chances to advance to the Final Four and win the championship will increase.
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