Catching Up: Jeff Teague

Former Wake Forest standout Jeff Teague was the 19th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks. The playoff-bound Hawks have very strong point guards in Mike Bibby and Jamal Crawford, but the future is bright for Teague. DeaconSports caught up with the 6'1" point guard after a recent heart-breaking loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

DeaconSports: How has the adjustment been to the NBA?
Jeff Teague: It's been wonderful. We're winning and we have a shot at a championship, so that's always good. I'm not playing as much as I did in college, but everything is good.

DS: How do you adjust your game now, not knowing whether you're going to record a DNP or play 20 minutes? Is it a different mentality?
JT: You just have to be prepared every game. When they call your number you go in and do your job.

DS: What have you worked on the most since you came in the league?
JT: Everything. A little of everything, defense, offense, everything. It's the truth.

DS: What has Mike Bibby been teaching you?
JT: Being a point guard. The whole scheme of being the point guard. The ability to shoot and running a team. But that has been a big part of my season—I'm just trying to work on those aspects of my game.

DS: Have you been keeping up with James [Johnson]?
JT: That's one of my best friends, so I talk to him a lot. We've played them a couple of times, so I got to see him play. He's a little frustrated and we're in the same position. You've got to wait your turn, but it comes with being a rookie.

DS: You really became a YouTube legend in college, what was that like?
JT: It's fun man. Your friends tell you about it when they see it. It's a good time, but I don't try to pay too much attention to it.

DS: You talking with anyone on the team now?
JT: Yeah, Gary Clark. Me, him and James came in at the same time. We're really good, close friends. I talk to him after almost every single game. The last game I talked to him was the N.C. State game and he had a good game and shot the ball well, so I keep up with him.

DS: Have you been talking with the coaches?
JT: Yeah I talk to Coach Gaudio. Me and him are really close. I talk to him a lot; he always encourages me to keep my head up and keep shooting the ball when I get the opportunity. I always talk to Coach Muse even though he's not there too. When I was there, he was there, so I talk to him a lot.

DS: What has been the biggest life adjustment between college and the pros?
JT: We have a lot of free time. After practice you have nothing to do, so you have to be smart with your time. In college, I had to study and do things like that, but now all I have to do is play video games and stay out of trouble. You try to stay focused, get in the gym and get your shot going.

DS: For the rest of the season, what do you realistically have your goal being?
JT: I just want to play in the playoffs. My first year in the NBA getting to play in the playoffs would be big.

DS: It was a playoff atmosphere out there tonight and I know you wanted to be on the floor out there.
JT: Tonight, I didn't get my opportunity, but as long as I keep working hard, hopefully it'll come around.

DS: What has Coach Woodson been telling you?
JT: Just keep playing defense. If I keep playing defense, then I'll get out there.

DS: Thanks Jeff, I appreciate it.
JT: No problem.

Demon Deacon Digest Top Stories