Being a point guard isn’t any easy task. Just ask Marquis Teague.
“It’s not that easy at all,” the Kentucky freshman said. “You’ve got to get everybody in position, and make sure you’re giving guys (an opportunity to score). We’ve got other guys who can score and I’ve got to keep them happy, too. We have a lot of great players and I’ve got to make sure everybody is getting the ball and getting a chance to play.”
Teague scored nine points, dished out four assists and committed just two turnovers in top-ranked Kentucky’s 69-44 win over Tennessee earlier this week at Rupp Arena. Teague’s outing earned him a heaping of praise from Kentucky coach John Calipari following the win over the Volunteers.
“It makes me feel like I’m getting better, I’m progressing and becoming a better leader on the court,” he said. “At first I was struggling and frustrated, but my teammates kept talking to me and telling me that everything would be all right. I never doubted myself, but I was getting frustrated.”
Aside from becoming more familiar with the offense, Teague has changed his approach to running the team, an obvious transition that’s paying off for the Wildcats.
“I’m just running the team better,” Teague said. “My pace has slowed down, I’m getting more involved and looking for my teammates first and then creating for myself. I’m picking and choosing when to take shots, when to go to the lane and when to find people.”
Teague admitted that the concept wasn’t easy to grasp when he first arrived at Kentucky.
“It’s becoming easier for me,” Teague said. “Early on it was hard, because I was used to scoring and it was tough on me at first, but it’s been better lately.”
When he first arrived at Kentucky, Teague was considered a downgrade from John Wall and Brandon Knight, Calipari’s first two point guards at Kentucky. However, Teague is starting to make a name for himself and his style of play.
“I guess all the point guards who have been here end up making a name for themselves after a while and they stop comparing you and you just grow into your own and that’s what I am doing,” he said. “I am not Brandon Knight or John Wall. I just try to do what I do. I was trying not to pay attention to it because if you pay attention to it probably will frustrate you. I just tried to stay focused on our team and what we had going on. I just tried not to pay attention to it, because if you pay attention to it, it will frustrate you. I just stayed focused on my team and what we had going on.”
Teague’s goal is to keep advancing the Cats on an upward trend. Following a 73-72 loss at Indiana on Dec. 10, Kentucky has reeled off 14 straight victories and has opened the Southeastern Conference with eight consecutive wins. Ironically, Teague said he “started feeling more confident” following the loss to the Hoosiers.
“We just want to continue to get better every day,” Teague said. “Get better for March and April. That’s what we want to do.”