Teague continuing to improve

Calipari said. "I told him if he is playing to score, he is screwing us up. Just run our team. If you have the opportunity to drive, do it. Just run our team. When he started playing, he played well. He made free throws, he made layups, he made and ones (goals and a free throw). He carried us."

Kentucky coach John Calipari said all preseason that freshman point guard Marquis Teague would struggle — like every other point guard he has had — early in the season, and Teague did.

Teague had 18 turnovers and only 11 assists in Kentucky's first four games. However, despite a subpar first half at Indiana last week, he has 27 assists and only eight turnovers the past five games. He was 0-for-5 from the field and had three turnovers the first half at Indiana and did not play the first 4 minutes, 10 seconds of the second half. When he came back in, he went 6-for-6 from the field, scored 15 points and did not have a turnover in the final 14:15.

"When he plays like that we're a different team. It makes so many mismatches, especially with people trying to guard him. He's so quick and so strong that he gets to the rack with ease. When he's playing that way, we feel like we're unstoppable," said senior teammate Darius Miller.

Calipari said there was no mystery to why Teague played so much better the second half, and the way he hopes he will again Saturday when UK tries to bounce back from that Indiana loss against Tennessee-Chattanooga.

"Teague started running our team," Calipari said. "I told him if he is playing to score, he is screwing us up. Just run our team. If you have the opportunity to drive, do it. Just run our team. When he started playing, he played well. He made free throws, he made layups, he made and ones (goals and a free throw). He carried us."

Calipari says struggles like what Teague had the first half turn into valuable learning lessons for talented point guards adjusting to college basketball.

"I told him, ‘You have to got to let me coach you. You can't do what you think you want to do out there. You have got to play like I am telling you,'" Calipari said. "How did he look the second half (at Indiana)? Like one of the best point guards in the country. He responded and did good."

To his credit, Teague knows he has to listen and learn. He understood there would be difficult times and numerous comparisons to former Calipari point guards like Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, John Wall and Brandon Knight.

"He gets on his point guards more than anybody because that's where it starts. He even tells me, ‘I'm going to be on you the hardest, so don't take it personal, just respond.' So he gets on me pretty hard," Teague said. "He tells me to talk to them (other players) because I am the floor general and I?am the one out there. If somebody is not doing something right, he wants me to let them know. I am more of a quiet guy, but coach Cal demands that out of you, so that is what you have to do. I?am trying to get better at that. All my life I?have not really talked a lot, but I?can talk if I?have to."

Calipari says the more games Kentucky plays, the better Teague will become.

"He's got to learn. He needs more games just to learn. He's like all these point guards that I've coached, you can talk them through it all but until they get in there and get the feel of it, like when to pull back, when to push it, when to pass, when to shoot a jumper and everything else, they just don't know," Calipari said.

Teague is averaging 10.8 points, 4.2 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game.?He senses enormous improvement in his play already.

"I think my game has come a long way. I'm being more of a leader, and I've gotten stronger and am able to finish at the hoop better," Teague said. "I've got a long way to go, but I?know I am better now than when we started back in October."


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