Player Breakdown: Marquis Teague

11/16/2011 02:33 PM

Okay, Kentucky fans, we’ve seen how special this year’s team can be. Not only have they blown out inferior opponents, but they’ve also taken down a quality UCONN team in the national spotlight at Madison Square Garden. Even further, Kentucky played less than mediocre and still had a commanding lead of about 15 the entire 2nd half.

If we noticed one thing, not only from this team but also from Cal’s previous teams, it’s that the team will only go as far as the point guard will take them. That pressure falls on the shoulders of Marquis Teague. Can he handle it?

We saw an extremely sloppy 1st half at MSG from Teague; however, the real telling sign was that he came out in the 2nd half and added to Kentucky’s run. He knocked shots, got to the rim, and ran the team much better after he calmed down at halftime. I believe that shows a lot of maturity, and Kentucky fans should rejoice in the fact that he didn’t give up. Most freshman become head cases, and the best thing to do is just sit them down and wait until next game. Not Marquis Teague though. Not Marquis Teague in the bright lights of New York City on national television. That shows a lot.

Let’s be honest, every one of Coach Cal’s teams have been sloppy at this point in the season. Players are being asked to play faster than they ever have before and do it against teams that are gunning for them night in and night out. John Wall would have games where he had 6,7, and even 8 turnovers in a game, but he worked through them and Teague will too.

What I like about Teague is that he’s not only a good passer (when he’s under control and Cal will stress making the easy play for a month to him), but he can also hurt teams by slashing to the rim or knocking down shots. He’s multi-dimensional. That will be big for Kentucky moving forward. He also has strength to go with an incredibly fast first step. His decision-making will come with time. Give it a chance. The biggest thing for Teague is to get the other players in right situations. He needs to know the game plan better that anybody else because the others all play off of him.

Good news is Kentucky is talented from top to bottom. It’s been tested and proven on national television. Watch for the progress of Teague to be in direct correlation to the effectiveness of the Wildcats moving forward. There are 5 games between now and North Carolina. In that time, look for vast improvement to an already “scary” good team.

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