ATLANTA — Marquis Teague isn’t worried about lack of sleep. It’s all part of the process in the NCAA Tournament.
It would have been easy for the Kentucky point guard to complain of fatigue following Kentucky’s 102-90 victory over Indiana in the South¿Region semifinals that ended early¿Saturday morning at the Georgia Dome, but Teague was wide awake Saturday afternoon talking about the team’s next game, one that includes a ticket to next weekend’s Final Four in New Orleans.
Overall top seed Kentucky (35-2) will take on Baylor (30-7) in the regional finals at 2:20 p.m., less than 48 hours after the Wildcats avenged an earlier-season loss to the Hoosiers that sent Kentucky into the Elite Eight for the third consecutive season.
Kentucky coach John Calipari was on three hours rest here Saturday, but Teague said the players were in bed a few hours longer, although they were following Calipari’s routine. Teague admitted that the team was “pretty tired” after defeating Indiana.
“We got a little bit more than three hours (of sleep),” he said. “But we didn’t get much (sleep) either. We had to get up early, get ready for breakfast and come (to the Georgia Dome).”
Teague enjoyed the team’s win over Indiana. The freshman point guard scored 14 points, made all six of his free-throw attempts, dished out seven assists and committed just two turnovers.¿As a team, Kentucky had just six miscues against the Hoosiers.
“It was a real fast game and both teams were in transition trying to score a lot of points,” he said. “It made a fun game. It was up-and-down and that’s how we like to play.”
Teague is expecting a similar up-and-down encounter against Baylor, similar to the fast-paced contest the Cats experienced in their previous contest against the Hoosiers.
“They like to get out in transition and score the ball like we do,” Teague said. “They have athletic players and it should be a fast-paced game. They are one of the (few) teams in the country that match-up pretty well with us. They’ve got a lot of talent, athleticism and they’ve got a good team. They are kind of like us and we match-up well with them.”
Teague has competed on the prep circuit with Baylor guard Quincy Miller, who also was recruited by the Wildcats before settling on the Bears during the recruiting process.
“I know him and I’ve played in a lot of all-star games with him,” he said. “We both were recruited by (Kentucky), but I haven’t really talked with him as much lately.”
Although Teague’s brother, a guard for the Atlanta Hawks, is in town, it’s been business as usual for Teague. Jeff Teague had a game Friday night at adjacent Phillips Arena, but time restrictions hindered a chance for the two brothers to catch up on lost time.
“He couldn’t make it,” he said. “His game was still going (when we were playing). My mom had to leave to come to my game.”
Teague is focused on the task at hand instead of conducting a family reunion.
“We take every game one game at a time, focus on our team and who were playing at that moment, execute our offense and do our best to win that game,” he said.
He also added that Kentucky doesn’t focus on other games in the Big Dance.
“We don’t really watch them,” he said. “I mean, sometimes you know, we catch a little bit, but we really don’t have time to watch the other games.”
UK Basketball: Teague says fatigue is no issue for Cats
Kentucky guard Marquis Teague throws down a dunk in Kentucky's 102-90 victory over Indiana Friday night at the Georgia Dome. Photo by Bill Thiry