Marquis Teague used to the spotlight

June 12, 2011 

Ind All-Star Preview Basketball

Marquis Teague had 18 points for Indiana on Friday night, but he also missed 13 shots and had four turnovers.

DAVID LEE HARTLAGE — ASSOCIATED PRESS

Marquis Teague

Position: Point guard

Height: 6-2

Weight: 170

Hometown: Indianapolis

High school: Pike

Rivals ranking: No. 5

Scout ranking: No. 7

ESPN ranking: No. 7

MaxPreps ranking: No. 11

Everyone knows the list by now: Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, John Wall, Brandon Knight. And now, Marquis Teague.

Teague becomes the latest premier point guard to sign with John Calipari, and he joins a group that has produced two of the last three No. 1 overall draft picks, two of the last three Rookies of the Year and this season's NBA MVP.

That's a lot of added pressure to put on an 18-year-old kid who's expected to start and excel from day one in a Kentucky uniform.

Don't expect Teague to buckle.

"He's been getting attention since he was a freshman. The spotlight has always been on him, so I think he'll handle that just fine," his big brother Jeff Teague told the Indianapolis Star when Marquis committed last April.

Jeff, a point guard for the Atlanta Hawks, would know all about the spotlight. And he's not the only member of the Teague family with a basketball background.

Their father, Shawn, played for Rick Pitino at Boston University, a tie that set up the biggest off-the-court battle between Calipari and Pitino since the UK coach arrived in Lexington.

Calipari won out, with Teague's parents citing the Cats' style of play as a perfect fit for their son's game. The decision also made Teague public enemy No. 1 with Louisville fans after the Cards spent two years recruiting him and even added one of his assistant coaches to their staff.

Teague won't have to face their wrath in the Yum Center this season, and his one-and-done talent means there's a good chance he'll never set foot in the building as a U of L opponent.

The Louisville faithful might prefer it that way.

An explosive guard with the ball in his hands, Teague regularly lulls defenders to sleep in the halfcourt offense before blowing by them to create an open look for him or a teammate. It's the type of game made for the dribble-drive offense, and one that Calipari noticed right away.

"Who is the skinny kid who never makes mistakes?" Calipari recalled saying when he first saw Teague play two summers ago. "From that point on, that was the point guard I wanted.

And, after watching the Cats play under Calipari, Teague knew UK was the school he wanted.

"I'm a point guard," he told Scout.com earlier this year. "That's my biggest thing. I wanted to play for a coach that would allow me to play my game and wouldn't hold me back."

Ben Roberts

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