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Kentucky’s Marquis Teague is Better Than Many Think: Fan’s Take
Kentucky fans will always compare the Wildcat's point guard to John Wall and Brandon Knight. Kentucky Coach John Calipari is well known for his former players who are now in the NBA. Kentucky point guard Marquis Teague has a lot to live up to.
Kentucky fans and media types are down on Teague. They all say he is a poor free throw shooter, he makes questionable decisions with the ball, and he is erratic. Against North Carolina, Teague made just three of his 11 shots in the game with no three pointers. He also bricked a free throw at the end of the game instead of putting the Cats up by two and many think he traveled before the final buzzer.
Is the criticism fair?
The idea that Teague is not good isn't right. It is certainly true that Teague is not at the level of the others when they left college hoops behind. However, compare him to the other two at this point in their careers and Teague stacks up pretty well.
Here are the stats for all three through the North Carolina game:
Points - 18.1
Assists - 7.7
Turnovers - 4.4
Steals - 2.6
FG% - 55%
Points - 17.3
Assists - 3.3
Turnovers - 4.5
Steals - .5
FG% - 45%
Points - 10.2
Assists - 4.1
Turnovers - 2.9
Steals - 1.8
FG% - 44%
John Wall looks like the clear winner here but Teague had fewer turnovers than Wall. When Wall was at Kentucky, he took some horrible shots and turned the ball over a lot but they needed him to score and make plays. Teague's numbers compare favorably to Knight. Knight scored more but had fewer assists, fewer steals, more turnovers, and a similar shooting percentage. Knight became a clutch shooter as the season progressed, though. Teague will get much better as the season moves along.
It is still early
Of course, Teague could play better but it is early and he is plenty good already. Against North Carolina, he wasn't perfect but he ran the team pretty well and didn't hand the ball away for easy run outs with turnovers. Unlike Wall and Knight, Teague only needs to be a point guard rather than a scorer. Over his last four games, he has averaged 5.5 assists vs. only 1.25 turnovers. The Cats are loaded with guys who can score.
Teague is exactly what this team needs to go deep in the tournament. All he needs is to hit a big three or make a couple key free throws in a game for Big Blue Nation to catch on.
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